2019 Australian Export Award Winners Announced

Australian Exporter of the Year and Professional Services Award Winner, Populous – Brisbane (QLD)

Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Award – Essence Group, Greenwich, Sydney & Nowra (NSW)

Creative Industries Award – Rising Sun Pictures, Adelaide (SA)

E-commerce Award – Swisse Wellness, Melbourne (VIC)

Emerging Exporter Award – Koala, Alexandria, Sydney (NSW)

International Education and Training Award – The University of Adelaide, Adelaide (SA)

International Health Award – Leica Biosystems, Mount Waverley, Melbourne (VIC)

Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Award – Marand Precision Engineering, Moorabbin, Melbourne (VIC)

Minerals, Energy and Related Services Award – Microbiogen, Lane Cove, Sydney (NSW)

Regional Exporter Award – Care Essentials, Geelong North (VIC)

Small Business Award – Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils, Osborne Park, Perth (WA)

Sustainability Award – Modibodi, Balmain, Sydney (NSW)

Technology and innovation Award – Seeing Machines, Fyshwick, Canberra (ACT)

11:00pm, Canberra: Australia’s most successful exporters have been recognised at the 57th Australian Export Awards in Parliament House, Canberra this evening.

Thirteen businesses from around Australia have been awarded for their outstanding export achievements including the 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year – Populous – for their work in sport and entertainment venue design.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham congratulated Brisbane based company Populous for taking out the top award of 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year.

Populous is a business with a world-renowned ability for designing iconic venues across the globe such as Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and the Yankee Stadium in New York,” Minister Birmingham said.

Populous is now one of the largest architectural firms in the world, generating around 80 per cent of its income from exports and this year has created 58 new jobs in Australia.

“This is an outstanding story of a company that over two decades through expanding into overseas markets has transformed into a powerhouse within its industry and is a standout example of our growing services sector.”

Minister Birmingham said this year’s awards recognise the enormous contribution exporters make to Australia with the 94 finalists employing over 34,000 Australians generating more than $7.8 billion in export sales.

This year’s award winners are from the city, outback and bush, and span a range of sectors from businesses exporting designer mattresses, essential oils, aerospace parts, animation services and underwear,” Minister Birmingham said.

There are some incredible business success stories amongst this year’s winners such as Koala who has transformed into one of Australia’s most successful online retailers and has now begun exporting their designer mattresses to Japan through to hall of fame inductee Animal Logic who is recognised as one of the world’s leading independent creative digital studios.

Exports create more Australian jobs and make a huge contribution to our economy. Businesses that export hire 23 per cent more staff, pay 11 per cent higher wages and have labour productivity that is 13 per cent higher than non-exporting firms. That’s why we continue to back our 53 000 exporters by providing more opportunities through expanding our network of free trade agreements.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists. They exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation and I hope they can inspire thousands of other small businesses out there to become exporters. I would also like to acknowledge Mulpha, the SPSG Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline and Sonnen Germany who received Minister’s Investment Awards in recognition of the positive contribution foreign direct investment makes to the economy in creating jobs and driving innovation.”

Austrade Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephanie Fahey says the Australian Export Awards offer an opportunity to recognise the success of Australian businesses in taking their produce, products, technology and services to the world.

“The 57th Australian Export Awards, co-presented by Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recognises and honours Australian companies engaged in international business who have carved out opportunities in a highly competitive global trading environment through their creativity, determination and leadership,” said Dr Fahey.

Australian animation company, Animal Logic has been inducted into the Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame as they have won the Creative Industries category three times. Founded in 1991 and driven by a simple philosophy – ‘to create great work with great people’, Animal Logic is recognised as one of the world’s leading independent creative digital studios, producing award winning design, visual effects and animation for over 25 years. From creating mischievous bunnies in Peter Rabbit, building heroic minifigs in The Lego Movies to teaching prancing penguins how to dance in Happy Feet, Animal Logic inspires audiences around the world with great stories, breathtaking visuals, compelling characters, memorable performances and ground breaking technology.

Winner of 2019 Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Award is Essence Group Pty Ltd, Greenwich and Nowra, NSW

Essence Group is a leading manufacturer of infant nutrition products, dietary supplements and listed medicines. The company provides natural health items such as tablets, capsules, powders and sachets to Australia’s biggest brands, including a2 Milk Company, Aldi, Blackmores, Swisse and Woolworths. Essence exports to China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE, the UK and the US, and aims to further increase its international footprint with global and local partnerships, collaborations and acquisitions. In 2018–19, exports accounted for more than 40 per cent of sales, up 30 per cent on the previous year. https://essencegp.com.au/

Winner of 2019 Creative Industries Award is Rising Sun Pictures, Adelaide SA

Award–winning visual effects studio, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP), creates computer-generated imagery (CGI) for feature film and series. In the last year alone, RSP contributed visual effects to Ford v Ferrari, Spider-Man: Far From Home, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Dumbo, Captain Marvel, Alita: Battle Angel and The Predator as well as Chinese productions The Eight Hundred and Turandot. Clients include 20th Century Fox, Disney, Marvel, Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros, as well as Chinese film companies. Since its inception in 1995, staff numbers have increased from 4 to 180. https://rsp.com.au/home/

Winner of the 2019 E-commerce Award- Swisse Wellness, Melbourne VIC

Founded in 1969, Swisse has grown from a small shop in Melbourne into a globally recognised wellness brand with a portfolio of more than 150 vitamins, supplements, functional food and natural skincare products. The company exports to China, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US. In 2018–19, exports made up 48 per cent of revenue. In 2018, Swisse was the number one imported brand for nutrition and health food in China. It was also named by Alibaba’s Tmall International as most popular and highest selling imported foreign consumer brand, across all consumer industries, during the ‘Single’s Day’ e-commerce shopping festival in China in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, Swisse’s China revenue grew by more than 60 per cent to just over $300 million. https://swisse.com/

Winner of the 2019 Emerging Exporter Award – Koala, Alexandria NSW

Online furniture company Koala prides itself on providing thoughtfully designed products that customers will love and keep. As a certified B Corp company, Koala meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Clever digital marketing, an industry-leading 120-night trial period and a commitment to sustainability have seen the company become Australia’s highest-rated mattress brand. Exports to Japan have more than doubled in the last year and the company now has 72 employees, up from 38 in 2016–17. https://au.koala.com/

Winner of the 2019 International Education and Training Award – The University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA

In 2018, international students made up 29 per cent of the University of Adelaide’s overall student body of 27,000. As a global institution it plans to grow this significantly by 2028, with an increased focus on regions such as Africa, the Americas, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania. In line with its growth objective, the university is increasing investment in online learning, blended model delivery and delivery of content in international markets as intensive training programs. The University has world-leading researchers working across a range of challenges, generating outcomes that make our world better. From more sustainable food production, to a healthier climate. From improved health and well-being, to cleaner energy sources. https://www.adelaide.edu.au/

Winner of the 2019 International Health Award – Leica Biosystems, Mount Waverley VIC

Leica Biosystems (LBS) is a key global player in cancer diagnostics, producing instruments that automate complex processes, allowing laboratories to process more samples in a repeatable manner while eliminating human error and improving patient outcomes. LBS produces three of the most recognised and successful diagnostic instruments used in cancer diagnostics globally, including the world’s best-selling advanced staining research platform, the BOND RX. Around 95 per cent of its products are exported to hospitals, private laboratories and pharmaceutical companies in 103 countries. In 2018, LBS’s total market share grew above market rate at 19 per cent globally. https://www.leicabiosystems.com/

Winner of the 2019 Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Award – Marand Precision Engineering, Moorabbin VIC

Marand is spearheading Australia’s advance into the global defence industry exporting defence products predominantly to US and European Defence primes. To date, Marand is the biggest Australian supplier into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project having delivered products with a total value exceeding $1 Billion. Marand have been building their export revenue strongly over the last decade, with exports currently more than over 65% of sales with further opportunities identified on military programs across the Air, Land and Maritime sectors. https://www.marand.com.au/

Winner of the 2019 Minerals, Energy and Related Services Award – Microbiogen Pty Ltd, Lane Cove NSW

Biotechnology company Microbiogen is transforming the global ethanol industry with new strains of yeast that produce biofuels more efficiently and economically. In a world first, Microbiogen technology has improved multiple industrial biofuel yeast features. Six “Innova” products have been launched over last 18 months achieving a 15% share of the global biofuel markets. Microbiogen’s yeast now produce more than 15 billion litres of bioethanol annually, enough to fuel over 5 million cars and over 35 times Australia’s total biofuel production capacity. The same technology is poised to disrupt the bread, sustainable feed and biochemicals industries amongst others. https://www.microbiogen.com/

Winner of the 2019 Regional Exporter Award – Care Essentials, Geelong North VIC

Geelong-based Care Essentials started out as a reusable blanket maker supplying one Victorian hospital. It is now a leading manufacturer and distributor of patient warming system to hospitals across the world. The company’s Cocoon blankets and warming machines prevents patients from hypothermia, infection and speeds up recovery from surgical procedures. Company exports to about 50 countries, including USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Canada. The revenue of the company is presently growing at 30% and exports accounts for 65% of total revenue. https://www.careessentials.com.au/

Winner of the 2019 Small Business Award – Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils, Osborne Park WA

Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils (DSO) is a 50 per cent Indigenous-owned company supplying high-quality Australian sandalwood oil to the global luxury perfume market. DSO produces oil from wood sustainably harvested by Indigenous desert communities from their Dutjahn (sandalwood) homelands near Kalgoorlie in a partnership recognised by the United Nations as world’s best practice and awarded the 2019 Equator Prize. In 2019, two top international fragrance makers agreed to use Dutjahn sandalwood oil in a deal that will generate millions in revenue which highlights interest in improving supply chain inequalities worldwide. Some 70 per cent of product is exported to Europe and the US. https://www.dutjahn.com/

Winner of the 2019 Sustainability Award – Modibodi Balmain NSW

Modibodi is the world’s first protective, high-tech underwear designed to safeguard against menstruation, incontinence and breast milk leaks, discharges, sweat and odour. The Modibodi collection, made from tech-savvy fabrics like bamboo, merino wool and microfibre, comprises reusable singlets, activewear, underpants and bras that look and feel like regular underwear. The company has 150,000 customers worldwide, has sold over 1 million pairs of garments and plans to launch a men’s range. Founder Kristy Chong estimates Modibodi products will stop 2 billion disposables being used over the next 50 years, resulting in almost 170 tonnes less waste. https://www.modibodi.com/

Winner of the 2019 Technology and Innovation Award – Seeing Machines Ltd, Fyshwick ACT

Safety monitoring is a major driver of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, and Canberra’s Seeing Machines is taking AI into the automotive sector. The company’s safety technology is being incorporated into Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to enable vehicles to detect if drivers are becoming drowsy or distracted. The company’s AI technology is installed in ADAS systems in over 16,000 commercial vehicles, and a growing client list of Tier 1 automotive suppliers in China, Europe and North America. With 250 employees, Seeing Machines has exported since 2001, and has offices in Asia, Europe, the UK and the US. https://www.seeingmachines.com/

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