Retail Drinks appoints new Director, Policy & Communications

25 January, 2019 by Andy Young

Retail Drinks Australia has appointed a new Director, Policy & Communications, with James Coward starting in the role this week.

Coward brings policy and public affairs experience with him to the role, having worked at some of Australia’s largest government relations companies, industry associations and peak bodies including Restaurant & Catering Australia, Barton Deakin Government Relations and the European Australian Business Council (EABC). He has extensive experience in policy analysis, stakeholder management, strategic communications and political campaigns.


Retail Drinks CEO Julie Ryan said that Coward’s experience with hospitality and liquor would enable him to transition quickly into his role and representing liquor retailers.

“James has specific policy expertise in the hospitality and liquor space, having joined Retail Drinks Australia from Restaurant & Catering Australia where he worked for two years as their Policy & Public Affairs Manager,” Ryan said.

“With this addition to the team, Retail Drinks has significantly increased its resources to proactively engage with industry and government at all levels, to enhance the freedom for our members to retail responsibly.”

Coward’s role will see him taking on major responsibilities including coordinating policy and advocacy campaigns at a local, State and Federal Government level, developing relationships with political and industry stakeholders to advance the retail liquor industry’s key policy objectives.

He will also be responsible for managing all of Retail Drinks’ strategic communication activities, including the authoring of submissions, media releases, industry reports and policy position statements.