The Wiggles Win 2005 DHL Australian Exporter of the Year: Colourful Skivvies Were Rubbing Shoulders with Business Suits at the 42nd Australian Export Awards as Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister, Mark Vaile, Named Aussie Icon the Wiggles International as the 2005 DHL Australian Exporter of the Year

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"These great Australian entertainers have had Rim outstanding export success and thoroughly deserve to be named overall winners of this year's Australian Export Awards," Vaile said.

"By matching great ideas, creativity and determination with smart business strategies, The Wiggles have built an international entertainment phenomenon that is also a sophisticated global business. The Wiggles have used their training in early childhood education and musical skills to create songs and characters with a distinct Australian character that are loved by children and parents around the world.

"Tonight this award acknowledges The Wiggles for growing a business that includes video and music sales, television rights, live performances, franchises, as well as licence deals with global giants, such as Walt Disney in the United States.

"Worldwide sales of Wiggles DVDs and videos now exceeds 17 million and last year alone The Wiggles had over one million fans wiggling in the aisles at live concerts in countries across the globe," Vaile said.

During the gala dinner held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Trade Minister Mark Vaile also announced the 11 category winners of the 2005 Australian Export Awards, including: forensic instrument company Rofin; voice recognition software developer Appen; prime lamb exporter WAMMCO; Caterpillar Elphinstone and Qantas.

The 2005 finalists include large and emerging businesses, both metropolitan and regional, from every state and territory, across industries ranging from manufacturing to mining, agribusiness to the arts, tourism and education.

Vaile said "we're honouring some outstanding Australian companies tonight and highlighting the enormous benefits that their export efforts bring to the wider community. These exporters are evidence of the sorts of benefits that can flow when you take Australian talent, intellect and acumen onto the world stage."

"These outstanding businesses exemplify the commitment, ingenuity and adaptability of Australia's export community," he said.

Minister Vaile thanked major sponsor DHL Express' General Manager Australia, Harlis Malkic for DHL's ongoing support of the prestigious awards. …