Join the ECA team! New position available

Join the ECA team! New position available

Here is an exciting opportunity to join the Export Council of Australia (ECA) as a full-time Membership Development and Events Manager (for an initial contract of 12-months).

We are looking for an all-rounder and self-starter, someone who has the right attitude, quick to learn, and relevant experience to become ECA’s Membership Development and Events Manager.

The successful candidate will use their membership development skills to identify and engage new members and sponsors, as well as enhance relationships with existing members and sponsors.
Another key aspect of this role is to plan, implement and manage State Export Awards programmes and ceremonies (in person or digital) to ensure they are delivered professionally, on time and in budget.
A strong alignment to ECA values combined with a passion for ECA’s vision and mission is critical.
The ECA supports a blended workplace policy. Hours of work are negotiable for the right candidate.
A day in the life of a Membership Development and Events Manager includes:
  • Identifying and establishing new business membership and corporate partnerships.
  • Effectively communicating ECA offerings and maintaining a consistent level of partner engagement and communication.
  • Actively monitoring and understanding individual business needs and responding effectively to their requirements.
  • Building and maintaining strong relationships with new and existing channel partners.
  • Organising events, such as the Export Awards. This includes orchestration of events, identifying and securing nominations and sponsorships, managing judging of the winners, preparing documentation and written material (such as case stories, media releases and correspondence). Working with the ECA Chair, CEO and ECA team to deliver the Awards ceremonies (in person or digital).
  • Determining and managing the Export Awards budget to maximise profit return for the programmes in consultation with the Chair/CEO, as advised.
  • Managing ongoing relationships with the ECA’s Export Awards partners. Effectively communicate with them and ensure the contractually agreed marketing/event activities are met.
  • Increasing Export Awards partnership revenue and ticket sales.
  • Collaborating with the graphic designer to deliver all creative material for the Export Awards.
  • Promoting events, based on a clear marketing plan.
  • Developing and executing other ECA events in collaboration with the ECA Divisions involved.
  • Monitoring industry best practices.

This position offers an excellent opportunity to gain invaluable experience. We are committed to ensuring working conditions are excellent with a positive team environment.

Required qualifications, skills & experience:

We allow work from home and the office. You will be working with and reporting directly to the CEO/Chair.
To be a successful in this role you will have the requisite background and abilities:
  • At least 5 years’ experience in a similar role (business development, membership, corporate events, communications or similar) with experience in the international trade & investment industry (essential).
  • Relevant Tertiary qualifications, i.e. Bachelor of Commerce, International Business, Marketing, Communications or similar (desirable).
  • Proven success in establishing relationships with senior executives and stakeholders, and work collaboratively with all sectors including government, business, academia and not-for-profit.
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of partnership attraction and retention strategies and ability to convert prospects to partnership revenue.
  • Have strong computer skills (MS Office, Xero) and preferably have CRM management experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including confident presentation abilities.
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and influence decision makers.
  • Keen interest and understanding of current and emerging trade issues would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated innovative thinking and openness to change.
Personal attributes
Ability to achieve results within time constraints and conflicting priorities.
Ability to work methodically and with attention to detail.
Ability to work autonomously as well as in a team environment.
Strong communication skills and ability to liaise with all levels of management.
Ability to work remotely with little supervision working both autonomously and collaboratively.
Active listening skills, being adept at influencing, and motivated by achieving results.
Self-motivated, organised, and thrive on providing service and assistance to ensure optimum membership services.
Work well in a fast-paced environment and enjoy the challenges it brings.
How to apply:
Does this sound like you? Please email your CV and cover letter to
Letter must be addressed to Ms. Dianne Tipping, Chair, Export Council of Australia and detail how your skills and experience align with this position. Closing date for all applications is 14th June, 2021.
Please note all personal information collected during the selection process will only be used for recruitment and employment purposes.

Featured Member: Avanta Premium

Featured Member: Avanta Premium

Established in 2019, Avanta Premium is a NSW based, Australian owned and Australian made brand manufacturer of milk based products namely baby formula, proteins, supplements and more.

Their factory is based in Western region of NSW and all their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, making their products the only 100% Australian-made powdered formulas available to date with science and research also playing a fundamental role.

Their main export markets, are Asian and Middle Eastern countries, although they are open to explore new markets and any potential opportunties that may come up.
Like for many other exporters, Covid-19 has imposed them a major hurdle as the shipping costs have skyrocketed and despite all the challenges they’re still facing in 2021 they are well focused for the long run and they are confident there will be an increase in the demand of 100% Australian-made products.
With passion for improving quality nutrition during both early stages of life, as well as adulthood, Avanta’s main focus is to provide a series of premium products based on science and 100% Australian made.

Care Essentials: From warming blankets to face masks and respirators

Care Essentials: From warming blankets to face masks and respirators

As Covid-19 wreaked havoc nationally and demand for safety equipment grew, Victoria’s regional medical device manufacturer Care Essentials pivoted its focus to produce a range of PPE products, surgical face masks and N95 respirators.

“Our decision to explore making PPE masks came because we kept receiving calls from hospitals, federal and state departments asking if we had capability to make masks,” said Abhay Sinha, Care Essentials Managing Director.

“Being the recipient of the Export Award from the Governor of Victoria and the Australian Export Award for Regional Exporter in 2019, gave us a lot of credibility as a reliable supplier of critical medical devices.
“We quickly realised it would be possible to produce the PPE masks because we already used non-woven fabric in manufacturing our medical products.”
The Geelong-based company was primarily known for its manufacture of patient warming blankets, specifically its Cocoon blankets, and warming machines used by hospitals globally for more than 20 years. The products help protect patients from hypothermia, infection and speed up recovery from surgical procedures. They are used by 60 per cent of Australian hospitals and exported to more than 50 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Canada.
Mr Sinha said the development of the Micro Pore system, used in their warm blankets to give a uniformly-distributed air flow, helped form the basis of their initial mask designs.
“With the help of our R&D team and consultation from various subject matter experts, we were able to achieve a design which provided a high level of fit test result. This is especially crucial for N95 masks, to provide a secure seal and protection to the wearer.”
While Victorian businesses were shutting down, the company remained open and functional because it was an essential service.
Two specialized machines were initially ordered in April to start perfecting designs and enable the manufacturing of surgical masks and N95 respirator masks.
“By June, we had several designs which were sent to different laboratories in Australia, the US and Spain for testing, quality assurance and to obtain all the required certifications,” said Mr Sinha.
With the products TGA registered and ISO 13485 certified, Care Essentials relocated to larger premises and production commenced.
Within a couple of months, a further six machines were purchased to increase production and 50 additional staff were hired from local auto businesses to operate the eight machines running continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“These additional machines allowed us to increase production of surgical grade masks, N95 respirators and add new products like bouffant caps, and non-slip shoe covers for healthcare workers. “This expansion also allowed us to use more local businesses for packaging and printing and engineers to help with maintaining the equipment.
“We even started to make ear savers which previously would have been only bought from China,” said Mr Sinha.
Care Essentials then secured a Victorian Government contract to high quality single-use face masks and N95 respirators for the community and healthcare workers across the state.
“Our staff were critical to our expansion, they helped keep us going. Without their determination and willingness to follow the strict COVID-19 measures we put in place, none of this would have been possible.
“Maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our staff was our priority. We sent non-essential staff to work from home, while factory staff were monitored with thermal scanners and wore face shields and masks despite being uncomfortable.”
Mr Sinha said key learnings working under COVID-19 restrictions was the importance of maintaining regular communication with clients and suppliers and how important video conferencing had become.
“Also, as a country, we need to be self-reliant and develop sovereign capability for critical products such as medical supplies and PPE.
“You have to stay positive, be bold, trust your instincts and have a go. Don’t rely on hearsay that it can’t be done, manufacturing in Australia is still possible,” said Mr Sinha.

Understanding the changes to EMDG scheme

Featured member: Flavourtech

Flavourtech is a privately owned company, established in 1985 and based in the town of Griffith NSW. They design, manufacture, service and support specialised processing equipment for the food, beverage (coffee, tea, wine & beer), dairy, flavour and pharmaceutical industries worldwide. Over 90% of their products are exported and they have installed equipment in over 60 countries.

The unique technology and innovative applications that Flavourtech has developed allows it to process these products in a very gentle manner through the use of steam alone, and without the use of any chemicals or solvents. Their core technology, Spinning Cone Column (SCC) is considered best in class for flavour capture in the tea, coffee and flavour industry and is used by market leading companies in these industries world wide.

Flavourtech has grown by customising solutions to fit the specific requirements of customers in different regions across the world which allows them to differentiate their products against their competitors. Flavourtech has implemented global best practices in its design and manufacturing processes, as well as adapt its sales & marketing strategies to each of the regions it competes in. As a consequence, Flavourtech has become a more creative, flexible and culturally-aware company as it competes across many different industries in various regions.
Flavourtech were pioneers in the zero alcohol trend having installed their first SCC in the wine industry in the late 1980’s. Many more followed with installations in the USA, Spain, Portugal, South Africa over the late 1990’s. Installations for zero alcohol beer were also achieved in the early 2000’s. The development of the Resin Adsorption Column in 2018 is to meet the requirement of achieving <0.05% alcoholic products. Zero alcohol products processed through the Spinning Cone Column can be found around the world.

In the mid 90’s Flavourtech combined their SCC and Centritherm technologies into a ‘total solution’ creating the Integrated Extraction System (IES) tailored to meet the individual needs of beverage customers. It also developed revolutionary new technologies such as the Rotating Disc Column (RDC)in 2015 that extracts coffee in a fraction of the time of conventional techniques while improving quality.

A major milestone was achieved in 2018 with the sale and subsequent installation of a full IES process line, including the RDC, into the soluble coffee industry in Colombia and India. This multi-million dollar process line allows Flavourtech to not just be a small part in someone else’s process line but to supply the entire process line itself. This achieves a “Customer for Life” with service and support supplied by Flavourtech for many years into the future securing ongoing export business and further building the relationship with customers.

Much of the canned coffee in Japan, iced tea in the USA and instant coffee just about anywhere in the world has likely passed through a Flavourtech technology. The majority of Flavour houses around the world also use the Spinning Cone Column to capture natural aromas from fruit, vegetables, tea and coffee.

Flavourtech were National Manufacturing category winners of the 2018 Export Council Awards. They were also NSW winner of the 2020 Premier’s Export Council’s Resilience Awards.
Flavourtech joined the ECA to ensure it stayed up to date with all news regarding export, export markets, FTA’s, Incoterms and freight. The ECA has experts in all areas that assist Flavourtech in their decision making when questions arise.
The Pandemic has changed the way Flavourtech conducts their business. Pre pandemic half the Flavourtech team travelled for sales and technical meetings, installations, commissioning and maintenance of equipment. The way of the future has been accepted by Flavourtech staff and now all meetings are conducted virtually. This has been extended by the maintenance, installation and commissioning teams that now through the use of technology such as Augmented Reality glasses can see and hear as if they were standing in front of the equipment on the other side of the world.
The early adoption of using technology to conduct their business and clear and open communication with their customers sees 2021 being a stellar year for Flavourtech with sales from a variety of countries that include India, Scotland, USA, Spain, China, Japan, Brazil and Vietnam. Like all companies Flavourtech hopes to be able to once again travel for face to face meetings and installations but for the time being Flavourtech is staying on top of their game with their multi talented, expert team.

Exporters – Are You Giving Away Your Important Business Assets?

Exporters - Are You Giving Away Your Important Business Assets?

In my experience Australia is a ‘clever country’ and Australian businesses frequently produce highly innovative products and processes. However, I have often seen that business owners are sometimes too quick to dismiss their products and processes as not being innovative enough to warrant patent protection.

Business owners fail to understand that ‘next-generation’ products and processes, even minor improvements to their existing commercial products and processes, may be eligible for protection by way of an intellectual property (IP) right.

These misunderstandings can lead to businesses essentially ‘giving away’ their innovative products and processes, especially when it comes to exporting. This issue is briefly addressed in this article by way of short questions and answers.
1. Can I still protect my commercially available product or process?
Generally speaking, IP protection for the product or process must be sought prior to publicly disclosing the product or process. If too late, it may yet be possible to protect the product or process in some countries by way of a patent and/or design registration (known by various names in different countries). This possibility will depend on the country in which you are seeking protection, whether it is a product or process, the nature of the public disclosure, and the date of the earliest public disclosure.
Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada, for example, provide a 12-month grace period against self-disclosure. This means that you may be able to obtain valid patent protection for your product or process, provided that you file a suitable patent application in each country of interest within 12 months of the date of earliest public disclosure.
2. What is the difference between a patent and a design registration? Can I do both?
A patent protects the inventive concept. Whether it is a process or a product, protection may be provided for something more than just the commercial form (embodiment) of the invention. A design registration, on the other hand, protects the appearance of a product (but not a process).
Although there are similarities between patent systems and design registration systems between different countries, there are also important differences. Australia, for example, provides a 20-year term standard patent for protecting novel (new) and ‘inventive’ products and processes, as well as an eight-year term innovation patent for protecting novel and ‘innovative’ products and processes. A product or process that does not qualify for a 20-year term standard patent may nevertheless qualify for an innovation patent. Some countries also offer dual patent protection systems, and some countries offer a design registration system (note that the Australian innovation patent is due to be phased-out later this year).
And yes, products can usually be protected by way of both patents and design registrations.
3. Can I protect my ‘next-generation’ product or process, even if it represents a minor improvement over my commercially available product or process?
As alluded to above, various countries differ with regards to what is protectable by way of patents and design registrations. For example, a ‘next-generation’ product which differs in appearance from the commercially available product may yet be registrable as a design and possibly also protectable by way of an innovation patent or equivalent utility model in some countries. For example, a ‘next-generation’ process which differs slightly from the commercially available process may yet be registrable by way of an innovation patent or equivalent system in other countries.
4. Can I delay filing for IP protection overseas?
In most cases the answer is yes. Australia as well as many other countries are party to the ‘Paris Convention’ (for the protection of IP). This means that you can file a patent application in Australia first, then delay filing in other ‘Convention’ countries up to 12 months later without penalty. That is, the ‘Convention’ filing in the foreign country will be entitled to a priority date established by your Australian filing. In practice this means that if a competitor copies your invention in any ‘Convention’ country after your Australian filing, then you have up to 12 months in which to file a ‘Convention’ application in that country in order to stop that competitor.
The same is true for design registrations, except the deadline for filing in ‘Convention’ countries is six months as opposed to 12 months.
5. Is there any point in filing for IP protection if I am not prepared to enforce it in a court of law?
My view is that if you have a commercially valuable product or process then there are advantages in filing for IP protection, regardless of whether you end up obtaining a valid patent or design registration, and regardless of whether you seek to enforce it in a court of law.
If IP protection is not sought, then the invention is open to copying. Markings such as ‘patent pending’, ‘patent granted’, ‘design applied for’ and ‘registered design’ can disincentivise competitors from copying your product or process. Pending or granted IP rights can be licensed or sold on a country by country basis. Pending or granted IP rights can help attract and secure commercial partners, such as distributors, agents and the like, with the promise of exclusive rights to the product or process. Pending or granted IP rights are also an effective marketing message.
Regardless of what stage you are at in your export journey, if there is a possibility that you are giving away your business assets, speak to an intellectual property attorney as a matter of priority.
This article is intended to provide general information only. The contents should not be relied upon as detailed legal advice for any specific case. Specific advice should be sought from your legal advisor.
This article is written by Gint Silins, Principal at Spruson & Ferguson