Western Australian company Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils has won the small business award at this year’s Australian Exporter of the Year event, held at Parliament House in Canberra last night.
The company was selected from 94 finalists and was one of 13 Australian exporters to receive an award, revealed in an announcement from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (see below).
Founded in 2017, Dutjahn produces oil from wood that is sustainably harvested by indigenous desert communities near Kalgoorlie, where the company operates from its distillation facility. Its head office is in Osborne Park.
With its name derived from the indigenous Martu word for sandalwood, Dutjahn supplies sandalwood oil to the global luxury perfume market, including for Estee Lauder.
Around 70 per cent of its product is exported to Europe and the US.
It operates under a joint venture between Central Desert native title holders Dutjahn Custodians, Wiluna-based Kutkabbuba Aboriginal Corporation and the founders of WA Sandalwood Plantations, Keith Drage and Ron Mulder.
In July, Dutjahn was awarded the Equator Prize by the United Nations, which recognises community and indigenous efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Its small business award is the second Australian export award for the company, having won the emerging exporter award at last year’s ceremony.
The 2019 Australian exporter of the year and professional services title was awarded to global architecture and design firm Populous, based in Brisbane, which specialises in sports facilities, arenas and convention centres.
Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham said this year’s awards recognised the contribution exporters made to Australia.
He said the 94 finalists employed more than 34,000 Australians and generated more than $7.8 billion in the country's export sales.
“Businesses that export hire 23 per cent more staff, pay 11 per cent higher wages and have labour productivity that is 12 per cent higher than non-exporting firms,” Mr Birmingham said.
“That’s why we continue to back our 53,000 exporters by providing more opportunities through expanding our network of free trade agreements.”
“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,” Ms Fahey said.
2019 Australian Export Award Winners:
Australian Exporter of the Year and Professional Services Award Winner – Populous (Brisbane)
Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Award – Essence Group (Greenwich, Sydney & Nowra)
Creative Industries Award – Rising Sun Pictures (Adelaide)
E-commerce Award – Swisse Wellness (Melbourne)
Emerging Exporter Award – Koala (Alexandria, Sydney)
International Education and Training Award – The University of Adelaide (Adelaide)
International Health Award – Leica Biosystems (Mount Waverley, Melbourne)
Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Award – Marand Precision Engineering (Moorabbin, Melbourne)
Minerals, Energy and Related Services Award – Microbiogen (Lane Cove, Sydney)
Regional Exporter Award – Care Essentials (Geelong North, Melbourne)
Small Business Award – Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils (Osborne Park, Perth)
Sustainability Award – Modibodi (Balmain, Sydney)
Technology and Innovation Award – Seeing Machines (Fyshwick, Canberra)