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Australian Export Heroes 2012

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Just over ten years ago the Australian Export Heroes Awards were created by a group who believed in acknowledging the efforts of those hard working people, who often spend years and years building their companies and taking them to global success; while also supporting Australian industry. Taking a company to export success, as most established exporters can testify, is no small feat and Australian companies have an even bigger mountain to climb, given our location. Yet the seven 2012 Australian Export Heroes, often spending personal time away from family and friends in far flung and often dangerous locations around the world, have achieved success for their business, and more importantly they have sold Australia and Australia’s diverse range of industry capabilities to the world. The 2012 Australian Export Heroes are:
  • Howard Mackay Croker from Croker Oars
Croker Oars was established in 1962 by Howard Croker. Over the past 48 years they have grown to become the second most prominent oar manufacturer in the world.  Today Croker Oars is exporting to more than 30 countries and has representatives in over 24 countries and manufactures between 8,000 and 12,000 oars a year with a work force of 16. Croker Oars is hoping for a succesful London Olympic campaign this year which will only assist in the success of the business.
  • Richard Rains from Sanger Australia
Richard Rains is chief executive officer of Sanger Australia Pty Ltd ("Sanger"), a Proprietary Company that is ranked number 844 out of the top 2,000 companies in Australia. Sanger is well known around the world as an international trading merchant of high quality Australian meats. Richard has driven the companies export success to new markets.
  • Barry Thomas from Cook Medical
Since 1963, Cook Group companies have been among the leaders in developing healthcare devices that have improved lives around the world. In 2009 Barry returned to Australia to assume the role of director Asia Pacific. Cook (US) could see the potential of Asia, and installed Barry to forge ten individual companies into a strategic regional operation.
  • David Chester from Magic Millions
For more than 30 years now, Australia’s longest-serving Bloodstock Agent, David Chester, has been one of the leading figures on the Australian thoroughbred scene.  From his first thoroughbred sales selling rostrum at the Brisbane Showgrounds in 1966, David’s bloodstock management career took off. From there the worldwide thoroughbred circuit became his oyster.
  • Janine Allis from Boost Juice Bars
Janine is founder and managing director of the Retail Zoo (holding company of Boost Juice Bars and Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill) - which has more outlets in more countries than any other juice bar in the world. Boost Juice is well on the way to achieving their aim of being the ‘world’s most loved and favourite brand’ thanks to Janine’s passion and drive.
  • Frank Seeley AM from Seeley International
Seeley International was founded in 1972 when Frank Seeley AM was selling portable air conditioners and was the first to develop and manufacture portable (1972) and fixed (1983) residential evaporative air conditioners made entirely out of plastic, which overcame previous metal corrosion problems - quickly becoming the industry standard.
  • Eduard Johannes Planken OAM from Wescobee Limited
Eduard is chief executive officer of Wescobee Limited, established in 1926 and is exclusively owned by Western Australian beekeepers. With over 28 years involvement in the apicultural industry, Eduard has guided the company to the point where it now exports to around 20 countries. These individuals represent the determination, passion, and commitment that so many of our leading exporters display to win on the international stage. If you know of someone who displays these attributes, and may be considered for an Australian Export Heroes Awards, please contact us at the Institute for the 2013 Awards.

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