2023 Australian Export Awards

  • Speech, check against delivery

Thank you David and good evening everyone.

It's a pleasure to be with you tonight to honour and celebrate the success of Australia's outstanding exporters.

I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather tonight.

I acknowledge and respect their elders past and present, their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

I also acknowledge and welcome other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be with us tonight.

This year is the 61st anniversary of one of Australia's longest running business awards programs.

Since 1963, the Australian Export Awards have recognised the achievements of over 2000 Australian businesses as national finalists.

More than 750 of those businesses have gone on to win a national award.

Businesses that have backed themselves to bring Australia's premium goods and services to the world.

Tonight we recognise 86 worthy national finalists who are winners in their home state or territory, from a field of over 300 quality applications.

We recognise these businesses not only for their incredible effort and innovation – but also because of their contribution to our economy and the jobs you've helped create.

In fact, this year's finalists employ more than 22,500 people and generated close to $12 billion in export earnings last financial year.

Half of tonight's national finalists are small businesses, with an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Nearly 40 per cent are led, or co-led, by women.

And we have exporters both new and well established, our newest national finalists tonight - at just two years old - are AusNorth Trading and Bixie Lab.

What a phenomenal effort they have made to have already found their feet on the world stage.

On the other end of spectrum, we have two finalists here tonight which were established prior to federation - A.H. Beard and what is now TAFE Queensland.

Another finalist, CBH Group, began exporting way back in 1933.

But regardless of size or age, every one of tonight's finalists is a success story in their own right.

They lead a cohort of Australian businesses that are vital to the nation's economic prosperity.

Not only do they create jobs and wealth for the nation, they take the best of Australia to the world.

As Australia's Minister for trade and tourism, my job is to continue to strengthen Australia's reputation as a great trading nation.

To reach out to the world and open new doors for our exporters.

I have often said that we want more trade, not less.

That's why, since we last gathered in this hall for the Australian Export Awards, our government has been hard at work securing our trading relationships around the world.

Today, over 19 of the 20 billion dollars in trade impediments into China have been resolved.

And I know how much this means to Australian exporters.

I was glad to stand alongside many of you at the world's largest tradeshow in Shanghai last month and watch you getting back to business.

At the same time, our work continues to help diversify our trade – forging new partnerships and encouraging Australian exporters to expand their market horizons.

The world is certainly awake to what Australia has to offer.

Our reputation as a trusted, reliable trading partner is reflected in our enviable ninth position among Nation Brands globally.

But our job is not done.

We have still so much opportunity within reach.

That's why it has been, and will continue to be, a priority for this Government to make exporting as easy and rewarding as it possibly can be.

We will continue fighting for the best possible outcomes in new and emerging markets and pursue trade deals that are in the best interests of Australia.

But tonight, we pause to celebrate.

Together we recognise the hard work of our exporters, the risks they take and of course, the success they have achieved as a result of their efforts.

Finally, I thank Austrade for managing the Australian Export Awards Program, and bringing it to life at tonight's Ceremony.

Thanks also to the dedicated Austrade, DFAT and other agency staff around the world for the work they do every day supporting Australian exporters to grow and diversify.

Congratulations to all of the finalists of the 61st Australian Export Awards and to the award winners who will be recognised tonight. We thank you and wish you continued success.

And I look forward to announcing the 2023 Australian Exporter of the Year later this evening.

Thank you.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: 02 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555