22 November 2021

Exporting Australian passion and know-how

This year, Aspen Medical joins the Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame.

The latest Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame inductee reflects on building a global brand with purpose. It also shares some tips for new applicants.

Exporting is in Aspen Medical’s DNA. This social purpose-driven, healthcare solutions business has applied to the Australian Export Awards every year since 2006. It’s also topped its category three times!

It’s a feat that sees the Canberra-based company inducted into the Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame.

‘Winning is such an incredible honour,’ says Bruce Armstrong, Aspen Medical Group CEO. ‘To be recognised multiple times means so much to us. But now, we’d like to give other businesses the opportunity to benefit from our experience. And to benefit from the awards.’

Armstrong makes clear that ‘we absolutely want to share our experience with other applicants. And stay involved in the program in whatever way we can.’

Social purpose and success

This drive to help others underpins Aspen Medical’s whole ethos.

‘Social purpose is incredibly important to us,’ says Armstrong. ‘We want to make the world a better place. We firmly believe that businesses can be successful, and can make profit, and have a social purpose.’

What drives Aspen Medical’s success as a business? ‘Believe it or not, growth and export is at the centre of our strategic plan,’ says Armstrong. ‘We form the foundations of our solutions in Australia. But it’s export that gives us the growth we’re after.’

Building a global brand

This is one of the reasons why the Australian Export Awards has been so meaningful to Aspen Medical.

‘When you’re going from Australia to another region, the award helps you establish your brand in that new country,’ says Armstrong. ‘It’s incredibly valuable.’

 The main reason why Aspen Medical applies to the program year after year is recognition for its team.

‘It recognises the substantial effort of our entire team,’ says Armstrong. ‘We want to export Australian compassion but also our Australian know-how and make-it-happen attitude. The Australian Export Awards help us do that.’


Melbourne, Australia- July 31: Players of Australia pose for a team photo prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group B match between Canada and Australia at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on July 31, 2023 in Melbourne / Naarm, Australia. (Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Paying it forward

This multi-time winner’s advice to other exporters is to simply apply.

‘But when you do, spend time on it and tell a story,’ says Armstrong. ‘Don’t just give the numbers – that’s not what will win you the award. The awards are about the stories, the effort of your team, your achievements overseas, and how you made it all happen.’

Aspen Medical has seen great benefits in the annual application process, regardless of a win.

‘It makes you reflect on what you’re doing to make your business successful,’ says Armstrong. ‘We look back at the years we didn’t win and take that as a great learning experience. It led us to a better understanding of how we’re exporting.’ 

The wins always feel special, says Armstrong.

‘Each time we won, it felt like the first time again!’ he says. ‘You look around and there are so many other great companies. Some large, some small, some just starting out just like we did all those years ago. They’re all doing such incredible work. It makes me proud to be Australian.’

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