Meet The Founders

James Halliday

 

James is Australia’s foremost observer of and commentator on wine. He has written, or contributed to, over 70 books (some translated into five languages), and currently writes for The Weekend Australian. He has won numerous awards and prizes, the most significant the 1995 Maurice O’Shea Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Wine Industry, the James Beard Award (twice), Julia Child Award and Louis Roederer Award. The annual Halliday Wine Companion, published by Hardie Grant Publishers, is Australia’s best-selling wine book.

James was a senior wine show judge for over 30 years. The annual Australia-wide Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon Challenges bear his name, as does the trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards. He co-founded Brokenwood (Hunter Valley) in 1970, and founded (with wife Suzanne) Coldstream Hills (Yarra Valley) in 1985; he was an executive winemaker for 37 years.

In 2010 James was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his contribution to the wine industry.

Judy Pridmore

 

Judy is a digital and technology strategist, with extensive business leadership, ICT governance and operational experience. She has held CEO and senior executive positions in startups through to ASX-listed companies including News Limited (CareerOne and Truelocal), Joval Wine Group, Golf Link, Westpac and Southcorp.

Judy was James’ multimedia publisher at HarperCollins Publishers (25 years ago, yes she did the first floppy-disk product and awarding winning CD-ROM’s with James and Paula). She was also co-founder of the ASX-listed startup, Winepros, with James, Len Evans and his daughter Sally, in the late 90’s.

Judy currently works as a business consultant, start-up and government advisor. She is a non-executive director of Family Life and sits on the Advisory Board of C31 (Melbourne Community TV Consortium Ltd) and the Board Guild of the AusTTA (Australian Transformation and Turnaround Industry Association).

Paula Grey

 

Paula has been working with James since 1991, and been his ‘right-hand’ throughout his parallel careers as Managing Director of Coldstream Hills, various consultancies and directorships, as well as his work as a journalist and author. It was unusual for James to write less than two books a year, one year creating and contributing to six!

James’ Wine Atlas of Australia became the benchmark, the wineries and wines becoming an entity of their own, the Wines and Wineries of Australia and New Zealand growing into the Wine Companion, Australia’s leading annual wine book, published by Hardie Grant.

Paula’s project management and database development skills have kept the Halliday machine running, with seamless production of tasting notes, book chapters, newspaper and magazine articles alongside board papers, press releases and corporate planning.

Dheeren Vélu

 

Dheeren is an experienced AI (artificial intelligence) and technology professional.

His executive career has been focused on working with large enterprises and organisations to adopt Cognitive Computing & AI technologies and implement innovative and game-changing solutions.

He has worked across multiple industry domains including the education, public sector, telecommunications and the banking, financial services and insurance industries.

Dheeren is a former IBM Watson Cognitive Solutions Leader, with over 15 years’ global experience in including the UK, Japan, NZ and he was a key contributor to some of the earliest AI implementations in Australia. Dheeren was awarded the ACS’s prestigious ICT Professional of the Year for 2018.