By Marie Redman
If passion could be bottled, then Marie Redman would be sought after by famous perfume houses and marketing executives across the world.
Marie oozes an enthusiasm and dedication to the promotion of Western Australia’s Great Southern region. Whether it is primary produce, value-added products, wines, natural resources or tourism experiences, Marie knows that the Great Southern has got the lot. She is a firm believer in the people who drive the economic and social fabric of the region’s communities and believes that if God had a home town it would be somewhere in the region.
Originally a city girl, Marie fell in love with a young agricultural science student at university who, during their courtship, was doing a thesis on fly strike! Although a somewhat unglamorous introduction to country living, she was undeterred by the hardships associated with life on a farm, and she and husband Terry embarked on a life together in the bush.
Throwing herself into country life and getting involved in community projects to assist families with young children, Marie built a string of successful local businesses, including the Denmark Liquor Store Great Southern Regional Wine Centre.
Marie’s passion for the Great Southern’s wine and produce has seen her take up leadership roles in the Great Southern Regional Marketing Association, the Denmark Chamber of Commerce, and Denmark Tourism Incorporated. She is highly respected for the role she has played in supporting and marketing the region’s 75 wine producers.
Believing that small producers can become big, she is making a concerted effort to help small producers to help achieve their dreams. With success stories already well documented in the region, including the Albany Farmer’s Market, Qantas Mt Barker Western Australia Wine Show, Taste Great Southern, (a three day food and wine extravaganza held on the long weekend in March) and a highly sought after food and wine touring guide for the region, Marie is not resting on her laurels.
“We have great natural resources, fantastic wines, primary produce and living here is a pleasure. Visiting the region is a must for any tourist who wants to enjoy a totally fantastic food and wine experience,” Marie said.
Marie’s ambition is to create a “Y-ine Show” to foster regional women’s roles and involvement in the wine industry. Marie laments that although the number of women winemakers has increased dramatically over the past decade as more and more young women undertake winemaking degrees across the country, in stark contrast, the majority of wine shows are primarily judged by men.
She wants to redress that trend. Her vision is to enable women to more fully participate in the wine industry, particularly in the largely male domain of wine judging.