The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP

Media release

Thursday, 9 December 2004 - A18/2004

Casella Wines 2004 Australian Exporter of the Year

Trade Minister Mark Vaile tonight announced the winners of the 41 st Australian Export Awards at a gala dinner at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland.

"Tonight we recognise the achievements of some outstanding Australians who are true role models for our businesses and the broader Australian community. They clearly demonstrate that with the right approach we can compete and win on the international stage," Mr Vaile said.

"I am very proud to announce one of our most dynamic export companies, Casella Wines from the Riverina in regional New South Wales, is the DHL Australian Exporter of the Year. Casella's Yellow Tail US launch was the most successful of any wine brand in Australia's history. It is now regarded as a phenomenon, and 2004 sales in the US are expected to exceed 10 million cases.

"Casella is also making staggering progress in Japan. Total annual Australian wine exports to Japan are in the order of 700,000 cases. In just three months, Casella has shipped 315,000 cases to this promising market."

Winners in the 12 Australian Export Award categories include: Steve and Terri Irwin's Australia Zoo; South Australian animation company Imagination Entertainment; and West Australian companies Hamersley Iron and Mt Romance, suppliers of sandalwood oil to luxury international perfumes houses. Please see full listing of winners next page .

Mr Vaile said it was also an honour to present Grant Hackett with a Special Achievement Award for his enormous personal contribution to Australia's international image.

Major sponsor DHL Express' Regional Director Oceania, Gary Edstein, joined the Minister in congratulating all winners of the 2004 Australian Export Awards.

Businesses from across Australia, large and emerging, metropolitan and regional, have been recognised this year as export leaders in industry categories from manufacturing to mining, agribusiness to the arts, tourism, technology and education.

"The more Australian companies we can encourage and assist to export their products and services, especially small to medium businesses, the stronger the Australian economy will become," Mr Vaile said.

2004 Australian Export Awards Winners:

Swimmer Grant Hackett Special Achievement Award

Casella Wines (NSW) DHL Australian Exporter of the Year; and

Agribusiness Exporter of the Year

IELTS Australia (ACT) Education Exporter of the Year

Australian Gold Reagents Pty Ltd (WA) Emerging Exporter of the Year

Redmap Networks Pty Ltd (QLD) ICT Exporter of the Year

Australia Zoo (QLD) Tourism Exporter of the Year

Ausenco Limited (QLD) Services Exporter of the Year

Mayne Pharma Pty Ltd (VIC) Large Advanced Manufacturer

Exporter of the Year

Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd (WA) Minerals and Energy Exporter of the Year

Mt Romance Australia Pty Ltd (WA) Regional Exporter of the Year

Muir Engineering Pty Ltd (TAS) Small to Medium Exporter of the Year

Imagination Entertainment (SA) Arts & Entertainment Exporter of the Year

Media contact: Jemima Lohse (Minister's Office) + 61 2 6277 7420 or Jeff Gallimore (Austrade) +61 2 9390 2077

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