Championing Excellence: 2024 NT Export Awards Launch

Darwin’s business community, along with emerging exporters and government officials, gathered at Darwin Innovation Hub on April 19 to launch the 2024 Chief Minister’s NT Export Awards.

Jointly hosted by the Northern Territory Government and the Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory, the event attracted a diverse array of guests and industry leaders, all eager to celebrate the region’s achievements on the global stage.

The Honorable Chief Minister Eva Lawler presided over the event, emphasising the pivotal role of exporting in driving economic prosperity and forging global connections before officially launching the opening of nominations. Other notable presenters included Dante St James, Director of Innovation & Investment Readiness at the Darwin Innovation Hub, Daryl Guppy an Australian financial columnist, and Stephen Goodall Chief Policy Officer at the NT Chamber of Commerce.

Emphasising the significance of the Export Awards themselves as part of a national push for export-readiness, attendees gained insights into the benefits of participation, from expanding market reach to fostering innovation. The awards provide Territory businesses with invaluable opportunities for growth and recognition beyond what the Territory is typically known for.

“We’re not just the world’s dig up dirt playground. We’re also the world’s untapped knowledge centre”, Dante St James said in one of his speeches.

Continuing the theme of export readiness, the event showcased the instrumental role of the Darwin Innovation Hub in nurturing pioneering international businesses within the Territory. Dante St James shared stories of collaboration and growth, highlighting Darwin Innovation Hub’s commitment to driving innovation-led export initiatives though supporting exporters such as SB Energy, Aus North Trading and Go Locum through the Start NT program. This was further illustrated through the significant investments in successful exporters such as SPEE3D, Liandra Swim and Equatorial Launch Australia, by Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund.


Atomionics is a Singapore based startup building quantum sensors for resource exploration and navigation. With sensors that can build a 3D model of the subsurface, thus helping pinpoint resources critical for the energy transition, provide precise navigation, create a universal positioning system that works everywhere, as well as detect earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

SB Energy

SB Energy is a fully integrated US renewable platform focused on utility-scale solar, storage, and AI-enabled 24/7 energy management. Combining strong execution with expertise in project development, power marketing, supply chain, and asset management.

Liandra Swim

Liandra is a luxury lifestyle brand known for classic reversible swim styles, timeless designs and signature prints – which are inspired by Aboriginal Australian culture.

AusNorth Trading

AusNorth Trading is a Darwin based exporter of premium fruit and vegetables, seafood and Australian Native food. They export fresh Northern Territory Produce to SE Asia and other destinations.

Go Locum

Go Locum connects doctors to the best locum work around Australia. For every hour our doctors work we give back to organisations making healthcare more accessible in regional/remote areas.”

Equartorial Launch Australia

ELA aims to leverage the equatorial location for more efficient satellite launches into equatorial and geostationary orbits. The project seeks to support the growing demand for satellite launches and stimulate economic growth in the region.


SPEE3D printers enable the most affordable metal additive manufacturing process in the world. They make metal parts the fastest way possible, leveraging metal cold spray technology to produce industrial quality metal parts in just minutes, rather than days or weeks.

In 2023, Spee3d, an innovative Australian manufacturing company, clinched the Chief Minister’s NT Export Awards, showcasing their expertise in Advanced Technologies, Sustainability, and Manufacturing of advanced materials. By winning this prestigious award, Spee3d not only demonstrates its leadership in advanced manufacturing but also underscores it’s dedication to environmental stewardship and the advancement of sustainable technologies, positioning itself as a trailblazer in the global export market.

Dante St James says, “Yes, Darwin has a population smaller than Cairns or Townsville, but nobody in South East Asia is talking about Cairns and Townsville right now. They’re talking about the NT and that’s what we Paspalis are looking to capitalise in looking for investment opportunities with exporters that are wanting to do much bigger things homegrown”.

The Chief Minister’s Export Awards Launch Event, while a celebration of export excellence, served as a call for future other businesses to take up the export challenge, offering options for support, collaboration and pathways to international markets. Chief Minister’s Eva Lawler NTEA Launch Event extended an invitation for businesses to nominate themselves or others for the prestigious awards. 

About Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund

Paspalis is one of Australia’s leading private investment firms. Their business aligns its interests with those of their investors and partners for lasting impact in Australia’s North.

Paspalis invests in both Australian and Offshore high growth companies looking to grow their businesses in the Northern Territory. When Paspalis invest, they are able to leverage their reputation, knowledge, programs and network, providing meaningful positive value to their investees.

Learn more about PIIF here.