Aquariums rising: local experts top exports
  • Thursday 17 November 2011

In what is currently a challenging export market, a Sunshine Coast company has shown the way, winning the Regional Export Award in the Premier’s Export Awards 2011.

Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT) has created some of the world’s most recognised and loved public aquariums and oceanariums.

You will find them in places as far-flung as China, Lithuania, Turkey, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and Macau.

Not that AAT is new to prize-winning: it took this same prize in 2005, nearly repeating that feat in 2006, and this year was a finalist in the AustCham Westpac Australia- China Business Awards 2011.

The company, based in Kunda Park, has grown from a handful of staff to more than 80, project manager Bruce Eernisse said from Denmark, where he is currently on assignment.

The key to success was a quality product and client follow-up.

"It is usually the case that products we manufactured 20 years ago are still in operation, so frequently it is just maintaining contact with our clients," he said.

The Coast business environment has helped, too.

"Generally it has been good for business here, as we’ve received positive support from all levels of government and local trade organisations," Mr Eernisse said.

Economic Development and Entrepreneurship portfolio councillor, Lew Brennan, congratulated the company.

"AAT is, and has for some time been, a star performer in the export sector of our economy," he said.

"Under the leadership of company CEO John Langmead, AAT has developed a remarkable product, growing quickly despite the economic slowdown.

"As Mr Langmead has said himself, reputation is critical as it generates positive word-of-mouth and recommendation for new projects."

"The success of businesses like AAT help to reinforce the growing reputation of the Sunshine Coast as an ideal place to do business", Cr Brennan said.