LAST UPDATED 6 MAY 2023
biography Kaaren Palmer
In brief: After many successful years in business, Kaaren turned her analytical and creative brain to the pursuit of Champagne, both drink and place. The exploration of the science and art of champagne, and visiting and living in Champagne for extended periods, resulted in the 2016 publication of the acclaimed work, Champagne – A Tasting Journey
2020 Winner of the International Gourmand Food and Wine Book Awards Best of the Best Books of the past 25 Years Third impression of Champagne – A Tasting Journey printed in Champagne
2017 Winner of the International Gourmand Food and Wine Book Awards for Best French Wine Book. Third impression of Champagne – A Tasting Journey printed in Champagne.
2016 Published Champagne – A Tasting Journey, 448 pages, deluxe 4-part soft cover, 44 chapters encompassing history, production, terroir, style, the structure of the industry and the people. With original maps, illustrations, photos, diagrams and flow charts. Guided tastings with each chapter build knowledge with enjoyment. Suitable for beginners as well as the more experienced. After selling out at the launch in Reims, the work was reprinted a second time.
2014 Lived in Reims, Champagne. Invested into the Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne as a Dame-Chevalier.
2010 Vin de Champagne Awards Certificate of Merit
Financial portfolio management
2007 – present Member, and subsequently tutor, Springfield Champagne Group; Champagne Educator
2002 – 2008 Fellow of Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)
1998 – 2007 Property developments, Glenelg, South Australia
1986 – 2008 Founder, then C.E.O., finally Executive Chairman of the Board of Specialist Computer Supplies Pty. Ltd. (later Officematrix Pty Ltd)., the second largest Australian owned computer supplies and stationery company, with offices and warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, and a sales office in Canberra. Quality Assured to ISO 9002 1994. Over 100 staff. Sales >$30m per annum. Number 85 in Business Review Weekly’s list of Fastest Growing Companies in Australia in 1997, number 44 in 1998, number 32 in 1999.
Corporate sale of business to multi-national Corporate Express (Staples) in 2006. Holding company wound up in 2008.
1997 – 2006 Founding director of Krypton Discs, retailer of new and second-hand music CDs DVDs and music paraphernalia at Glenelg, South Australia. Permanent Staff 5, Casual Staff: approximately 20. Sales per annum $2 million.
A second Krypton store opened in the Mitcham Shopping Centre, South Australia, in November 1999.
Business successfully sold via management buy-out.
2002 – 2006 Non-executive director Leisureco Australia (management of swimming education and leisure centres Australia wide). Resignation due to impending retirement.
2004 – 2006 Founding non-executive director Leisureco New Zealand (management of recreation centres and swimming pools in New Zealand). Resignation after completion of start-up project.
1992 – 1994 Sales and Marketing Manager, Specialist Magnetics Pty Ltd, a successful exporter to Europe, Asia and U.S.A., of Australian designed and manufactured magnetic testing equipment. Personally responsible for the successful sale of firm’s products and intellectual property to Trace Mountain, California, USA in 1994.
1997 – 1998 Board Member State Opera of South Australia Board Member State Opera Ring Corporation
1995 – 1998 Committee Member and Honorary Treasurer of the Friends of the State Opera
2000 – present Foundation Member Art Gallery of South Australia Sponsor/ Member of Council of Benefactors State Opera of South Australia Member and Foundation Donor Port Power Football Club Member, Friends of the State Opera Member, Port Adelaide Football Club Donor: The Red Cross, Unicef, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Smith Family Edu-Cate, Stirling Library, State Library, St. Vincent de Paul, Co-Opera.
1996 – 2016 Private endangered species sanctuary, Adelaide Hills.
Prior to 1986: Teacher – Adelaide, London, Sydney (1969 – 1976) Agriculture (1976 – 1984)
Education: University of Adelaide, Wattle Park Teachers’ College, Australian Institute of Company Directors
Interests: Champagne, Cuisine, Dining, Fine Wines, Entertaining, Travel, Reading, Opera and Classical Music, Walking, Live Theatre, Cinema.