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Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation Committee

Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation Committee

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation Committee brings a broad range of business experience and financial expertise, along with a passionate commitment to the Botanic Gardens.

Andrew Kay


Since 2007, Andrew Kay has been the Managing Director of Wirra Wirra Vineyards and is well-known and respected in the Australian wine industry. During that time, he has expanded the business and developed sustainability and biodiversity programs at the vineyards.

Andrew has considerable board and committee experience both within the Australian wine industry, and in external positions including the Joanna Briggs Foundation (promoting evidence-based health care), the Centennial Park Cemetery Authority, and the Industry Leaders Fund Scholars Network. He and Wirra Wirra are strong philanthropic supporters of a number of South Australian charity organisations and contributors to the arts sector, including the prestigious Fleurieu Art Prize.

James Allen


With a passion for entrepreneurism and a background in agribusiness, James has focused his career on supporting the growth and development of Australian enterprises. An energetic leader of business advisory firm Bentleys SA, James takes a practical approach to supporting business owners as they set up and grow their operations.

James’ expertise includes all manner of business advisory and taxation services, including not for profit organisations, start-up enterprises, international taxation and business structuring and succession.

James is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is the National Chairman of Bentleys’ Agribusiness Pillar.

Merilyn Kuchel

Merilyn Kuchel began her professional life as a schoolteacher, but in the early 1980s she studied horticulture while establishing a large Hills garden, and then began lecturing at TAFE, designing gardens and offering horticultural advice.

She was the SA and the NT co-ordinator of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme from 1997 to 2005. From 2009 until 2015 she worked part time as a project officer for the Sustainable Landscapes Project at the Botanic Gardens of South Australia.

Merilyn has been the horticultural advisor for the National Trust at Beaumont House since 2009 and leads a team of volunteer gardeners in the rejuvenation of the three-acre garden.

An active member of the Horticultural Media, Garden History and Mediterranean Garden Societies, she offers her services as an advisor to people wanting to renovate old gardens.

Elizabeth (Libby) Raupach

Elizabeth (Libby) Raupach OAM has more than 30 years’ experience in areas of performing arts, arts training, community engagement and fundraising.

Libby has previously worked as the Executive Director of the Helpmann Academy and General Manager of Common Ground, and currently manages a 90-acre rural and vineyard property.

In 2008, Libby was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to the visual and performing arts, particularly in the areas of education, administration and training”.

Libby has served on various boards including as Chair of the State Theatre Company of SA and State Opera SA, Deputy Chair of the Jam Factory and Windmill Performing Arts Company and member of the National Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. She is also a member on the Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

Lowen Partridge

Lowen held senior roles in communication consultancies and in-house marketing for a number of professional service organisations before establishing her own consultancy, Peartree Brand Strategy. She has worked across most sectors including construction, finance, food and wine, health, retail, local government, manufacturing, tourism and professional services (legal, accounting, architecture and engineering).

Lowen holds a Degree in Education from Flinders University, an MBA from the University of South Australia and a Graduate Diploma Wine Marketing from the same university. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is an Accredited Family Business Adviser and a Certified Practising Marketer.

Bill Fowler

Bill in an insurance professional with 15 years experience with Origin Energy. He has served on the Boards of the Wyatt Benevolent Trust, Novita Children’s Services, and the Gas Industry Superannuation Fund.

Mimi Wong

Mimi is a Senior Partner at GRIST and has extensive experience in sales and service (retail and contact centres), customer retention, leadership mentoring, behavioural coaching, change management, business processes and marketing. She has worked on Telstra boards to assist with marketing, equal opportunity, change management and process management.

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