Spirits & Cocktails Australia has announced the appointment of drinks industry veteran James Atkinson as its new Media & Communications Manager.
Atkinson joins the association with extensive media experience, the last 12 years of which has been as a specialist drinks industry journalist, copywriter and PR advisor.
A former editor of industry titles TheShout and Brews News, he has contributed on drinks to publications including Drinks Trade, Just Drinks, Good Food, Selector, Halliday and many more.
Most recently, Atkinson is the creator and host of the popular Drinks Adventures podcast, for which he was shortlisted for the IWSC Spirits Communicator Of The Year 2023 trophy, among other accolades.
Spirits & Cocktails Australia chief executive Greg Holland said the association is delighted to welcome James to the team.
“James’ knowledge, talent and experience in the drinks industry will be a valuable asset to our small but mighty team,” he said.
“He’s already hit the ground running with a flurry of media activity on the next excise hike, which will hit an unfathomable $!00 per litre of alcohol on 1 August.
“I look forward to James continuing to work with Members and distillers across Australia to enhance our advocacy and industry profile.”
James Atkinson added: “I am hugely excited to join Spirits & Cocktails and begin the next phase of my career in the industry that I love.
“I am already impressed with the professionalism and passion of my colleagues in Spirits & Cocktails and the Australian Distillers Association.
“I have particularly relished the opportunity to contribute to their campaign for spirits excise reform, as it is abundantly clear that Australian spirits are on the precipice of being a global export powerhouse if we can get the policy settings right.
“For those who have been asking me what this means for the Drinks Adventures podcast, I am delighted to confirm that it will keep going with Spirits & Cocktails’ blessing, which is a brilliant outcome for all concerned!”
Following Atkinson’s appointment, Nicole Lestal will move into the role of Communications & Program Director.
Spirits & Cocktails Australia represents major spirits manufacturers operating in Australia, with 12 members. Its vision is to promote a safe and vibrant spirits sector, which reflects Australia’s mature drinking culture and creates opportunities for sustainable growth and economic development.