Sunshine Coast business Helimods was recognised as an outstanding export success story by securing the 2019 Premier of Queensland’s Award for Regional Exporter last night in Brisbane.
Helimods was founded by born and bred Sunshine Coast local Will Shrapnel in 2002, with just $5000 from his credit card and is now a multi award-winning, hi-tech aerospace business whose cutting edge, innovative services are in hot demand globally.
Helimods will represent Queensland at the National Awards to be held in Canberra on 3 December.
Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT) was also a finalist at the event in the Regional Exporter Award. AAT was established in 1996 out of the vision and dedication of diver and then senior manager at a commercial aquarium John Langmead.
The local businesses joined 42 other leading exporters from across the Sunshine State last night to celebrate the products and services Queensland is sharing across the globe.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson congratulated both HeliMods and AAT on their achievements and noted their export success highlighted the great business environment and opportunities that existed on the Sunshine Coast.
“Exporting is one of the keys to future economic prosperity on the Sunshine Coast and our Regional Economic Development Strategy aims for 20 per cent of locally produced goods and services to be available for export by 2033,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“To help achieve this goal, council delivers a Local to Global program incorporating export programs and networking events, access to exhibitions and missions and pathways to State and Federal contacts and programs.
“HeliMods and AAT are outstanding examples of the contemporary and innovative businesses that operate on the Sunshine Coast.”
HeliMods was a finalist for the second year in a row, after a 2018 nomination for the Dermot McManus Award for Innovation, and was nominated across two categories this year – Regional Exporter and Manufacturing and Advanced Materials.
“We are thrilled to have been recognised as a leader this year. It is a great reflection and recognition of our rapid growth into international markets,” HeliMods Founder and Managing Director Will Shrapnel said.
“We’re proud to be able to showcase the specialist capability we develop right here on the Sunshine Coast to the global marketplace and look forward to continuing on our exciting growth journey ahead.”
AAT CEO John Langmead said he was buoyed to reach the finals of the Regional Exporter Award for its world-class commercial aquariums.
“These are exciting times for our company. We’re currently finalising plans to double the capacity of our World Headquarters on the Sunshine Coast, with brand new, state of the art facilities to support our sales, marketing, design, engineering, R&D, logistics, specialist fabrication and aquaculture operations. We’re living proof that Australia’s Sunshine Coast is a great place to do world-class work on an international scale.”
HeliMods joins a long list of Queensland export award winners and finalists from the Sunshine Coast, including Aussie Red Crab, Australia Zoo, Buderim Ginger, Gourmet Garden, Typefi, Walker Seafoods and Coyo.
The Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards are coordinated by Export Council of Australia on behalf of Trade and Investment Queensland. The annual event acknowledges those in Queensland businesses engaged in international trade and rewards dedication to what they do within the state and around the world.
Queensland has around 7300 exporting companies, which sold $87 billion worth of goods to the rest of the world in 2018–19. It is understood that 40 per cent of the State’s exporters are based in regional Queensland.