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Lunch, Learn and Leadership

October 13, 2023 - 12:30pm to 4:00pm
Lunch, Learn and Leadership

Join us for an inspirational luncheon, presented by HMRI.

Hear from five inspirational Hunter business and research leaders, and learn about their various journeys in leadership across their respective fields. They'll talk about the challenges they have faced, the learnings they have gained, as well as their unique perspectives on leadership and life.
Guests will enjoy a 3-course luncheon with premium beverages, including an Earp's gin cocktail, and live music.
Don't miss the opportunity to network with some of the region's most iconic business and research leaders.

When: Friday 13 October 2023, 12:30pm
Where: Earp Distilling Co., 41 Darling St, Carrington
Tickets: $195

Hear from our inspirational speakers from the Hunter region, including:

  • Lisa McGuigan | Winemaker, Marketer and Designer
  • Belinda MacDougall | Founder, Creator and Changemaker
  • Nathan Bartlett | Professor, Viral Immunologist, Groundbreaker
  • Clare Collins AO | Laureate Professor, Dietitian, Research Leader
  • Michael Earp | Distiller, Innovator, Owner
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Meet our presenters

Lisa McGuigan is the fourth generation of the famous Hunter Valley winemaking family, following in the footsteps of her father Brian, grandfather Perc and great-grandfather Owen. Having trained as a chef and in hotel management, Lisa initially forged a career in hospitality, working in hotels and restaurants across Australia for more than a decade. Her strong affinity for wine led her back to the Hunter Valley in 1996. Combining her hospitality experience with a keen understanding and appreciation of wine, Lisa created a new concept in cellar doors with Hunter Cellars. This venture saw her collaborate with several winemakers on a program of food and events that was new to the industry.
The experience enabled Lisa to identify a niche in the marketplace for a brand that encapsulated both great winemaking and a stylish approach to design – a brand that could engage people who had not previously been interested in wine. Renting a corner of her family’s winery, Lisa made her first batch in 1997. She named it Hermitage Road, after the road in the Hunter Valley that runs alongside several McGuigan vineyards. Relocating to Sydney to establish the brand, Lisa ran the business from a makeshift office in her garage. Thanks to Lisa’s hard work and a hands‐on approach to sharing her love of wine, the brand grew quickly. A hiccup occurred in 1998 when the French appellation mounted a campaign to prevent other winemakers from using the name ‘Hermitage’. Undeterred, Lisa renamed her brand Tempus Two, Latin for ‘second time’. Tempus Two was a great success, forging markets in the USA, the UK, Canada and Europe.
A state‐of‐the‐art winery, built in 2003, was designed to host large‐scale concerts, true to Lisa’s original belief that wine, food and entertainment are indispensable partners. After 10 years with Tempus Two, and now at the helm of an international brand, Lisa missed making and selling wine to people at a personal level. Accordingly, she purchased two retail wine stores in Sydney. Naming them Lisa’s Wine Vaults, she succeeded in introducing a whole new audience to wine.
In 2011 Lisa realised her dream of having her own name on a bespoke wine brand with the launch of Lisa McGuigan Wines. Her ethos: “To make the best wine I possibly can from great little parcels of fruit, and take it to the people.” Lisa prefers to take a modern approach to winemaking, drawing on a number of regions and varieties that she has come to know and love from a lifetime in wine. Her philosophy for Lisa McGuigan Wines is simple: “Wine by friends, for friends.”

Belinda MacDougall is the founder and Director of Cranky health –best known for the #1 selling product in the weight loss space The Man Shake. She built her company along-side husband and co founder Adam MacDougall in 2013 out of their garage in Merewether, Newcastle, and within 5 years it became the largest Australian owned health food company in Australia.
Over the past 10 years the company has shaken up the weight loss industry in Australia by raising the bar around product quality and actually making healthy healthy.

In 2022, the MacDougall’s sold a majority stake in their company to Australian investment giant, Pacific Equity Partners at a record valuation of over half a billion dollars, with the company now well on its way to becoming what is referred to in the business world as a unicorn company.
Later that year Adam and Belinda MacDougall donated a % of their wealth to establish The MacDougall foundation. The foundation provides funds that create a direct impact on the lives and welfare of those in need and companies working tirelessly to make this happen.
The MacDougall Foundation is passionate about the welfare of children, mental health, and those that have been left behind.
The goal of the foundation is to assist in making real change to enrich lives and provide help and hope in hard times.
Belinda now spends most of her time with her young children Harlow and Mila, she is CEO of her foundation which is her passion, and she also remains on the board of Cranky Health as a major shareholder.

Professor Nathan Bartlett is a viral immunologist and Head of the Viral Immunology and Respiratory Disease group, based at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. He also retains an honorary academic appointment at Imperial College London, UK  to continue collaborative research.
Following the award of PhD, Dr Bartlett undertook a 5 year Postdoctoral research position, first at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, then in the Department of Virology, Imperial College London. Dr Bartlett then undertook a second Postdoctoral position in the Department of Respiratory Medicine within the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), also at Imperial.
In 2015 Dr Bartlett accepted an academic appointment at the University of Newcastle where he has received funding from HMRI, Asthma Australia, NH&MRC and multiple Industry Partners and associated Government grants. He work has led to the publishing of multiple patents related to treatments currently in development for respiratory virus infections and exacerbations of chronic respiratory diseases.
He is now exploring novel therapies and treatments to fight COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that was declared a pandemic in March 2020. His team is exploring a range of anti-viral options for this virus, partnering with other researchers to explore different methods to fight the virus. 

Laureate Professor Clare Collins AO is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. Professor Collins holds an NHMRC Research Leader fellowship (L3) for which she was awarded the 2021 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Clinical Medicine and Science). Professor Collins is also Director of the Food and Nutrition Research program within Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).
Considered the most successful research dietitian globally, Professor Collins has been recognised by over 20 career awards, including Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and a Fellow of four prestigious bodies, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the Nutrition Society of Australia, Dietitians Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW.
Professor Collins is a great believer in sharing her knowledge through the translation of nutrition science to benefit the public. Her team have developed technology tools for dietary assessment, including the Australian Eating Surveythe Healthy Eating Quiz , accessed by over 500,000 people around the world, and the online program No Money No Time.
She is a highly sort after nutrition media commentator, having conducted thousands of media interviews for radio, print and TV. These include ABC, BBC, and as regular guest of Dr Karl on TripleJ Science Hour and Shirtloads of Science. She has authored over 100 articles for The Conversation with over 13million readers internationally. She co-created the EdX Massive Open Online Course, The Science of Weight Loss - Dispelling Diet Myths, completed by over 65,000 people across 180 countries.

Michael Earp wears many hats – managing director, commercial helicopter pilot, distiller, father of three amazing adults and happily married for 30 years.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Believing much of the curriculum at university was irrelevant to everyday life, Michael dropped out of university to pursue entrepreneurial pursuits in the hospitality and service industries. This provided some background and experience to start in the 136-year-old family business, Earp Bros, which imported and distributed a diverse range of building materials.
Together with his younger brother, Richard, they repositioned the business into an innovative solution provider. Primarily distributing hard surface finishes such as slip resistant floor tile, technical porcelain, external cladding systems, for construction industry specifiers and mid to up-market residential.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Over many years of research, many courses, a passion for distilling, and with full support from his business partner Richard, Michael initiated the establishment of a new distillery in Newcastle. Earp Distilling Co is a high tech, 21st century, innovative, high quality spirit manufacturer of Gin, Vodka, Rum, Whisky and liqueurs.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Michael has also served on several external boards, including Hunter Medical Research Foundation and the Newcastle Alliance. Michael has been involved in YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Organisation) and YPO (Young Presidents Organisation).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Michael loves innovation, adventure and semi-extreme sports and has a work hard, play hard attitude.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀