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Published:  23 July, 2008

Hazel Murphy, the chief executive officer (Europe) of Wines of Australia, is leaving at the end of the year to take up a non-executive directorship and European advisory role with an as yet undislosed South Australian wine company. I have had 17 years of commuting and just did not want to sign up for another three years,' she told Harpers. Murphy will remain with the generic body until February, to see off the Australia Day Tastings in London and Europe. Jonathan Scott, general manager of the Australian Wine Export Council, said: Hazel's untiring efforts and contribution to our wine industry have been fundamental to the export success we enjoy today. Accolades bestowed upon her, including the Maurice O'Shea Award in 1996 and membership of the Order of Australia, have been richly deserved. Hazel's departure will certainly leave us with a big hole to fill in the UK and Europe. We intend to see her off in style at the end of what she says "has been one hell of a ride". We wish her well in her future work with Australia.' Murphy opened the first Australian Wine Bureau office in London in 1986, but for several years before that had been working with the Australian wine industry and advocating that Australia's wine opportunities needed to be seized and exploited'. In 1985, the year preceding her full-time involvement, Australian wine exports to the UK totalled 750,000 litres. They now stand at 190 million litres - a 250-fold increase. This success in the UK has been perceived as an important springboard to other European and North American markets. In her third career', Murphy has decided to spend more time at home in the North of England, in part for family reasons, but also to undertake different projects working for herself.