Children's act the Wiggles have become the first entertainers to win the Australian government's Exporter Of the Year award. The band won from a shortlist of 75 corporations.

Children's act the Wiggles have become the first entertainers to win the Australian government's Exporter Of the Year award.

At a ceremony held last night (Dec. 1) in Sydney, deputy prime minister and trade minister Mark Vaile commented, "By matching great ideas, creativity and determination with smart business strategies, the Wiggles have built an international phenomenon that is also a sophisticated global business." The four-piece band, which formed in 1991, won from a shortlist of 75 corporations.

According to Mike Conway, Sydney-based GM of Wiggles International Pty Ltd. the band has built up a A$40 million ($29 million) a year business, of which 75% is generated outside Australia.

Their business activities include CDs, DVDs and videos, of which more than 17 million units have been sold internationally in the past 12 months -- up 20% year-on-year according to Conway. In addition, the Wiggles draw revenues from television rights and live performances.

The colorful skivvy-sporting members each have training in early childhood education. Two of the band members had a stint in the 1980s pop band the Cockroaches, which had a domestic hit with the song "She's the One."

The awards were established 42 years ago to showcase Australia's top exporters, to promote them as role models, and to encourage other local businesses to strive for success abroad. The Australian government trade export body Austrade provides secretariat services for the awards.