Frequently Asked Questions

61st Australian Export Awards

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What is the relationship between the State and Territory export awards programs and the Australian Export Awards program?

Entering at the state or territory level is the only path to the national Australian Export Awards:

  • Step 1: Businesses apply in their home state or territory Export Awards program in one or more of the 13 national award categories.
  • Step 2: Businesses are judged in their home State or Territory Export Awards program
  • Step 3: State and Territory winners of each of the national award categories are announced at State or Territory award ceremonies. Winners become ‘National Finalists’ of the Australian Export Awards.
  • Step 4: National finalists go through further judging rounds to determine a national winner in each category, to be announced at a national awards ceremony in Canberra.

You may only submit an application in one State or Territory Export Awards program. The application can only be submitted in the state or territory program where the organisation’s head office is located or where the majority of operations are established.

Who can apply?

The Australian Export Awards are open to all exporting Australian businesses, with a range of categories to choose from. Any business that adequately meets the judging criteria and requirements is eligible to apply.


Contact your state or territory program contact with any questions related to eligibility.


How do I apply?

You can apply via the online application portal at any time during the application period.


When do applications open?

Applications for the Australian Export Awards can be submitted over the application period. This will be approximately 7 weeks from mid-late April until early June.  You can stay up to date with the application timeline by checking key dates and visiting the website in early 2024.


What is the eligibility criteria?

There are various eligibility guidelines surrounding business, products or services and financials, which can be found at


What do I need, to prepare for my application?

You can preview the application question here


In addition to preparing your written responses, you will be requested to submit foreign revenue/export sales from each of your key export markets (up to 9 countries) over the past three (3) financial years. If you export into one country but your product is distributed to another country, you should prepare this information based on the country you export directly to. 


What are the award categories for the Australian Export Awards?

There are 13 national categories which can be found here.


Your state or territory may also have additional award categories that are not considered part of the Australian Export Awards national program. 


Can I apply in multiple categories?

You  can apply for more than one category at the state /territory level. However, you can only win in one category.


Read the category descriptors to determine which categories you are eligible for, which best relates to your business.


State and territory program coordinators reserve the right to determine the most suitable category or categories.


Can I use my submission from previous years?

Questions do change from year to year, so be sure to read the criteria & questions at our 'apply' page before getting started. Any results or activity to substantiate your answer must have taken place in the qualifying period.


Am I able to re-enter in consecutive years?

Yes! All past entrants are encouraged to re-enter the Australian Export Awards.


If you win three times in the same national category you will then be inducted to the Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame.


Is it possible to edit my application?

You can log in to the online application portal any time to amend your application up until the application closing date. Please ensure you check your state / territory program for closing date.


How does entering the Australian Export Awards benefit my business?


In addition to receiving recognition within your state or territory Awards program, national finalists and winners will receive significant benefits  in Australia and overseas.


As a national finalist and winner, your business will be:

  • recognised as one of Australia’s top exporters within the Australian business community, helping you unlock new business opportunities.
  • promoted internationally as a best in class exporter from Australia, helping you attract new customers and partners.
  • profiled as a highly successful Australian exporter, inspiring other Australian businesses to develop or grow their export strategy.


  • National finalists will be invited to attend the Australian Export Awards national ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.
  • You will join fellow exporters, Ministers and senior representatives from the business community to celebrate Australian export achievements. 

Enhance your brand

  • You will benefit from a comprehensive marketing package that includes your business profile being featured on the Australian Export Awards website.
  • As a national finalist or winner, your business profile will also be promoted via Austrade and digital channels, including media coverage and PR opportunities.

Actionable advice

  • As national finalist, you will receive valuable feedback and insights from national category judges on your application submission to assist with your export strategy and future business promotions.

For more information visit the 'why apply' page.

National Program Only

What is the judging process?

  • Step 1: Winners of the 13 national award categories in all State and Territory award programs become ‘National Finalists’ of the Australian Export Awards. These businesses are referred to Austrade to facilitate national judging.
  • Step 2: Category Judges from Government and Industry assess National Finalists, providing a score against the judging criteria, and a recommendation for category winner. These judges also note feedback on strengths or areas for improvement.
  • Step 3: Financial experts assess the financial data of each National Finalist.
  • Step 4: The scoring and insight from Steps 2 and 3 are aggregated and presented to a National Judging Panel, made up of Government and Industry and Chaired by Austrade’s CEO. This panel reviews the recommendations and agrees on a winner for each category. They also make recommendations to the Minister for Trade and Tourism on the Australian Exporter of the Year.
  • Step 5: The Minister for Trade and Tourism endorses the National Judging Panel recommendations and selects Australian Exporter of the Year.

Insolvency of an entrant

At any time, following submission of an entry in the Awards, but prior to the presentation ceremony, should the business become insolvent, or their business is placed under administration, the applicant is no longer eligible to receive an award.


The next national finalist will not be elevated to the status of national finalist.


If, following the presentation ceremony, the business returns to solvency, then the award cannot be reclaimed.


What are the judges looking for?

Answer the questions and provide accurate and concise information in conjunction with the Judging Criteria to see how the judges will be scoring your application.


Make use of the available word count to draw upon examples and use measurable data to support your claims.


Remember that judges often have a lot of submissions to consider, so make it entertaining and informative.


Judges assess how well you have answered each question. Ensure the information you provide is relevant to each question and your overall submission.


Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar before you submit.


Why do we have to provide financial data as part of the application?

  • Judges are looking for evidence of a sound capital base (substantial net profit) and sufficient capital (cash and resources) to support export/ international activity
  • Whilst estimates can be used for the most recent financial year, we encourage you to enter actual figures where available. If actual figures become available before the closing date, you can update your figures accordingly
  • Make sure to explain any losses or significant decreases in profits – the judges do not know your business and cannot assume what has caused unusual financial results
  • If you succeed as a national finalist the de-identified applications are assessed by Austrade financial team for confidentiality purposes

Do I need a professional writer to win?

Many past winners have written their own submission. You know your business inside and out, that passion cannot be replicated. However, you may certainly use a professional writer if you prefer.


Can I get feedback on my application?

All national finalists have the opportunity to receive feedback on their submission from the judges at the end of the program in December. If you are a national finalist or national winner, you will receive an email from the AEA team regarding this.


I need help with my application, who do I contact?

Contact your state or territory Export Awards program contact with any questions related to your application.


I need help with the online application portal, who do I contact?

For technical support:

  • use the Help button at the bottom of your screen of the portal
  • email or
  • call 02 5100 4009 (support line available between 9:00am to 5:00pm AEST).

Who sees the information supplied in my submission?

All information supplied in your application will be treated as commercial in-confidence.


State and territory and national Export Awards coordinators use the information solely for the purpose of judging the 2023 Australian Export Awards.


All judges sign a confidentiality agreement and conflict of interest declaration.