Vanya Cullen has honoured the legacy of her parents by following in their footsteps, humbly accepting the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to viticulture and oenology.
In 1994, her father, Dr Kevin John Cullen was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to medicine and wine and in 1999, her mother, Diana Madeline Cullen, was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to viticulture and wine.
Being selected on the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours list is very special. King Charles III, being a green visionary, supporting sustainability and biodynamics against the odds for years. Vanya also congratulated the other incredible and worthy recipients.
Since taking the reins of Cullen Wines several decades ago, Vanya has transformed the family business into one of Australia’s most successful and environmentally sustainable winery and vineyards.
Thanks to Vanya’s passionate vision and work, Cullen Wines is organic and biodynamic certified and was the first winery in Australia to be certified 100% carbon neutral.
Vanya said she was ‘humbled, honoured and surprised’ to find out she would receive the award. ‘All round, it’s wonderful for myself, for the Wilyabrup Margaret River wine region, for the Western Australian wine industry and for sustainability. It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to make the best wine on the same land sustainably since 1983. It’s been a long fight to have my style of biodynamic winemaking recognised and now to be awarded an Order of Australia for my life’s work and passion, I am truly grateful’.
She also acknowledges the traditional custodians the Wadandi people with respect on whose land the wines are made elders past present and emerging.