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High flying exporters recognised for achievements in challenging year

High flying exporters recognised for achievements in challenging year article image

Australia’s top exporters have been rewarded for their resilience and success in a challenging year at the 59th Australian Export Awards.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan praised all Australian Export Award finalists for their contribution to supporting jobs, the economy and local communities.

Northern Territory business Monsoon Aquatics was named Australian Exporter of the Year.

“Despite the challenges of the past year, Monsoon Aquatics grew its sales by 35 per cent, and export sales by 18 per cent,” Mr Tehan said.

“This small business is supporting local jobs and businesses while also contributing to social and environmental initiatives, including academic research, youth employment and maintaining the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

“All 89 finalists should be proud of their businesses; together they have contributed more than $6.2 billion in export earnings to the Australian economy and employ more than 17,700 people.

“Our Government is supporting Australian entrepreneurs and businesspeople to engage with international trade and be innovative and adaptable to succeed.”

The 13 national category award winners were:

  • Advanced Technologies – DroneShield, NSW
  • Agribusiness, Food and Beverages – Monsoon Aquatics, NT
  • Creative Industries – WildBear Entertainment, ACT
  • E-commerce – Clean and Pure, WA
  • Emerging Exporter – Penten, ACT
  • International Education and Training – Engineering Institute of Technology, WA
  • International Health – Invetech, VIC
  • Manufacturing and Advanced Materials – AW Bell, VIC; Riviera Australia, QLD
  • Minerals, Energy and Related Services – Consep, NSW
  • Professional Services – CMAX Clinical Research, SA
  • Regional Exporter – AirPhysio, NSW
  • Small Business – iBuild Building Solutions, VIC
  • Sustainability – True South Seafood, TAS

Aspen Medical was inducted into Australian Export Awards’ Hall of Fame, an accolade for Australian exporters which have won in their category on three occasions.

About the winners

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES – DroneShield (NSW)

Established in 2014, DroneShield’s initial focus on counter-drone protection – where it is now a global market leader – drove innovation in radio frequency technologies, radar, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence. Today, the company designs and manufactures an expanding range of military-grade electronic warfare solutions to detect signals, objects, and vehicles across aerial, ground, and maritime spaces.

DroneShield has proven itself as a global player with commercial, governmental, and defence customers in more than 120 countries, including the Australian Defence Force and the US Department of Defense. The company concluded 2020 with revenue up 58% on 2019 despite the covid-19 slowdown – with revenue in the second quarter of 2021 exceeding that of the entire previous year.

AGRIBUSINESS, FOOD AND BEVERAGES – Monsoon Aquatics (NT)

With state-of-the-art facilities in Darwin, Cairns and Bundaberg, Monsoon Aquatics are a world leading supplier of premium, hand-picked Australian coral and marine life. The company supplies retailers, wholesalers and public aquaria across Australia and the world.

Monsoon Aquatics livestock is sustainably sourced and collected under government regulated licences. It pioneered the collection of livestock from some of the Northern Territory's most remote locations and was the first company to export Territory coral to an international market in 2011.

An industry leader, Monsoon Aquatics has continued to innovate since its establishment in 2008, growing total sales 35% and export sales by 18% in in the last financial year.

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES – WildBear Entertainment (ACT)

WildBear Entertainment is a content studio that produces factual film and television for broadcast, theatrical and digital distribution. WildBear specialises in compelling true stories that resonate globally. With offices in three Australian capital cities as well as Dunedin, New Zealand, WildBear produces factual film and television using the expertise of respected producers Bettina Dalton, Veronica Fury, Serge Ou, Alan Erson, Dr Chadden Hunter, Craig Meade and Michael Tear.

WildBear has been commissioned by leading international platforms including the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Netflix, PBS and Disney+, as well as Australian broadcasters Nine, Seven, Ten, ABC, SBS and Foxtel. The company has continued its growth as a factual business powerhouse over the past year, with international revenue climbing 83% in 2019-20 and total income up 39% on pre-pandemic levels.

E-COMMERCE – Clean and Pure (WA)

Australian skincare company Clean & Pure uses Australian-sourced, 100% certified organic ingredients in its line of trusted products synonymous with health and natural beauty.

Since its beginnings in 2004, the Clean & Pure range has expanded to include cleansers, moisturisers and balms. In 2020 it established a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility complete with laboratory, commencing full production automation in March 2021. Clean & Pure commenced exporting in 2017 and today holds agreements throughout New Zealand, Asia and the US.

Clean & Pure is the only brand in the world to use real Manuka honey in its solid lip balms, in a unique manufacturing process granted R&D status by the Australian Government. A recent unsponsored post from a passionate customer saw a 1000% increase in online sales, increasing by way of repeat customers and online shopping during the 2021 lockdowns.

EMERGING EXPORTER – Penten (ACT)

Penten provides secure wireless and software services for classified information exchange to defence and government agencies in Australia and abroad.

The Canberra-based cyber technology company’s products include AltoCrypt Stik, which secures sensitive information on a USB-sized device; AltoCrypt Phone, providing secure chat, voice and mail on a commercial phone; TrapDocs, helping to track unauthorised access to files; and Tactical Communications Security, entirely sovereign communication solutions for battlefield, emergency and disaster situations.

Established in 2014, Penten currently employs 140 staff and assists clients in more than five countries, including the UK, US, New Zealand and Canada. Penten’s biggest exporting focus for 2021 onwards is expanding into the US and maintaining growth within the UK.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING – Engineering Institute of Technology (WA)

Established 2008, The Engineering Institute of Technology is one of few private, government-accredited vocational and higher education providers worldwide. With a grand total of 38 awards, EIT offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in engineering, as well as a professional doctorates, diplomas and a graduate certificate in renewable energy technologies. EIT's short courses include non-accredited professional certificates of competency, making them well-suited to professional development.

Campuses in Perth and Melbourne use a blended platform of learning to offer a range of engineering degrees, with all EIT programs also offered online. Students across the world, many in remote locations, are attracted by EIT’s live, interactive tutorials, remote laboratories, simulations, and industry-based teaching experts. EIT's current enrolments exceed 2,350 students from more than 150 countries.

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH – Invetech (VIC)

For more than 30 years, Invetech has partnered with global leaders in health and life science, creating breakthrough solutions that millions rely on every day, such as Point of Care molecular detection of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Invetech assists the world's foremost therapeutic and diagnostic companies to commercialise diagnostic devices and cell and gene therapy manufacturing by providing design and development consulting, engineering, manufacturing services and cell and gene therapy platforms.

To date, Invetech has completed more than 5,000 design and development projects for an international life science, consumer and industrial client base. To meet the needs of its growing market, Invetech has development and manufacturing centres in Australia and North America. The company currently exports to the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Israel and countries throughout Europe.

MANUFACTURING AND ADVANCED MATERIALS – (Joint winner) – AW Bell (VIC)

AW Bell is an advanced precision metal parts manufacturer with a core business in investment and sand casting. Highly vertically integrated, it also offers its customers precision machining, inspection, assembly, engineering, design and manufacturing support, and metallurgical services.

Located in Melbourne, AW Bell provides international companies with a world class advanced manufacturing alternative with proven quality, delivery and customer service performance throughout its export history. In the past 12 months, AW Bell further matured its global aerospace presence, acquiring new projects with existing customers whilst securing an additional key North American aerospace defence contract. Export regions currently include North America, Germany, New Zealand and China

MANUFACTURING AND ADVANCED MATERIALS – (Joint winner) – Riviera Australia (QLD)

Riviera is Australia’s world-class luxury motor yacht builder. Founded in 1980, the company has launched more than 5,750 motor yachts over the past 41 years. The yachts built by Riviera today are internationally acclaimed for their innovative design, superior engineering and performance, and ultra-luxurious interiors.

From Riviera’s state-of-the-art facility on the Gold Coast, a team of more than 850 create more than 120 motor yachts every year. The Riviera range spans 39 to 78 feet, with 24 models from six distinct Riviera collections.

The long-term, international popularity of Riviera motor yachts is evidenced by more than half of annual production heading to overseas markets each year. This global reach sees Riviera motor yachts cruising the Mediterranean, Pacific and Caribbean, as well as the Great Lakes and coastal waters of North and South America.

MINERALS, ENERGY AND RELATED SERVICES – Consep (NSW)

Consep manufactures and supplies market leading technology to the global mining, water, and construction industries. It is Australian owned and managed with offices in Sydney, Perth, Vancouver and Toronto.

In mining, Consep equipment maximises gold recovery efficiency, with their research indicating that 15% of the $40bn global gold production is processed directly by Consep equipment, which is designed, manufactured and exported from Wetherill Park in western Sydney to 31 countries around the world.

Consep sampling technology, designed to excel in the Australian Iron Ore Industry, is used worldwide, for all commodities, at plant and port to determine the value of exported ores.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – CMAX Clinical Research (SA)

One of Australia’s longest established and most experienced independent facilities for clinical trials, CMAX applies the highest safety and quality standards to deliver trials which enable accelerated drug development and approvals. Its custom-built facility, located in the heart of Adelaide’s BioMed City, is equipped with 66 inpatient beds and a dedicated outpatient suite.

Over 27 years, CMAX has developed strong working relationships with medical experts and pharmacology specialists. CMAX services are of particular interest to global biopharmaceutical and device companies in USA and Asia, where regulatory approval processes are slower.

Against a backdrop of steadily increasing demand, CMAX export sales almost doubled in the 2020-21 financial year due to pandemic-related industry disruptions.

REGIONAL EXPORTER – AirPhysio (NSW)

AirPhysio is an Australian-made Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) device, used for critical mucus clearance and lung expansion. It assists in treating respiratory conditions inducing asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema and pneumonia. The AirPhysio device is portable, reusable, drug free and comes in four unique designs.

Based out of Tweed Heads and Maitland in New South Wales, AirPhysio employs 60 locals with plans to pass 100 employees by the end of 2021. Using a trusted distributorship model and affiliate partners, it sells more than 50,000 devices to more than 35 countries every month. Major importers of AirPhysio are the US, UK, most European countries, Southeast Asia, Saudi Arabia and Canada, with partnerships in Japan and China currently in negotiation.

SMALL BUSINESS – iBuild Building Solutions (VIC)

At a compound annual revenue growth rate of 816%, iBuild has fast become one of Australia's most competitive prefabricated building suppliers. iBuild delivers kit homes and modular buildings to customers across the country, also exporting to South Pacific and West African nations including the Cook Islands, Tonga and Senegal.

An approved tender supplier of prefabricated buildings to the Victorian Government and United Nations, the iBuild team of more than 40 operates from sites across three countries, including a 5000 square-metre factory in Melbourne.

iBuild has recently focussed on its digital presence, launching virtual reality walkthroughs to target overseas customers. These efforts lead to a $2 million contract to Senegal in a German foreign aid project.

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD WINNER – True South Seafood (TAS)

True South Seafood is a leading supplier of premium Tasmanian, and New Zealand wild caught live abalone and Paua, as well as the largest exporter of sea urchin roe from Tasmania. True South Seafood was re-branded from RTS Pauaco in 2021 to better reflect the business and its values.

With established markets in Australia, the US, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan, True South plans to open a new factory to produce value-added products from urchins and abalone in 2022. This includes an organic fertiliser and soil conditioner created using the waste from an invasive urchin species and made using 100% renewable energy.

This is a big win for the environment, the industry, and the community by restoring marine ecosystems, creating additional jobs, and increasing market diversification.

Full information on winners and finalists can be found at: www.exportawards.gov.au

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