Austrade helps Tassie Tiger Hunter take on the World

Austrade assisted exporter, Tasmanian conservationist and founder of Thylacine Expeditions, 34 year old Shane Malcolm, after winning over international television viewers through his assistance with nature conservation documentaries.

Mr Malcolm made headlines around the world after offering a bounty of $1.75 million to anyone who could find a live Tasmanian Tiger (scientific name Thylacine). The reward topped-up an offer made by Kerry Packer of $1.25 million.

Mr Malcolm said as a result of the publicity he received, he was approached by a Japanese television station to assist in making a film about looking for the Tiger.

"We took a Japanese celebrity along with 10 other crew members from a Japanese Zoo on a Tasmanian Tiger Expedition. Unfortunately we didnt find the Thylacine, however we found a range of Tasmanias unique and amazing wildlife, including devils, quolls, echidnas, wombats, platypus and pademelons," Mr Malcolm said.

"The documentary was shown on NHK Television in Japan which attracts around eight million viewers."

Austrades Tokyo-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Phil Ingram said Australia has been a popular overseas location for Japanese production crews for a long time.

"There are plenty of export opportunities for Australias film industry in Japan if they make the investment in marketing and meeting the needs of the Japanese customers, like Thylacine Expeditions is doing," Mr Ingram said.

"The Japanese film producers like Australia, not just because of the wide open spaces, scenic diversity and pristine environment, but because of the good support services that cater to their every need, such as location identification and logistics management, camera crews and first class technical support."

"The Japanese filming in Australia is so good, I get homesick watching some of the commercials on TV with those grand scenes of Australia in the background," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Malcolm said his ultimate aim is to increase the filming side of his business.

"Ive just assisted with the filming of another documentary about Wombats and Tasmanias other unique wildlife and the ancient Tasmanian landscape which took a month to film for Tokyo Broadcasting Systems TV (TBS)," he said.

"Japans TBS network has a viewing audience of 60 million people, the documentary will be shown over three nights with 18.5 million people watching each night on Sunday primetime television (8pm from 10th December)."

"Another project includes a three month 'Blue Chip' wildlife documentary on the life of a platypus from the little puggles to full grown adult and the struggle for survival. "

"Austrades been very helpful in my securing of export deals in Japan, Sally Chandler from TradeStart in Hobart has been a good mentor and provided me with plenty of good advice on how to do international business and is helping me to launch my business in the US, Japan and Europe, while Austrades Tokyo-based Business Development Manager, Reiko Shimada, identified the TBS television opportunity in Japan for me," he said.

A long time naturalist and conservationist since a small child, Mr Malcolm has skills based on experience, not university degrees, he said the passion for conservation is something they dont teach you at uni. His motivation for the business is like Irwin to be a wildlife warrior. Mr Malcolm said his business uses the name Thylacine as a vehicle to increase awareness about the importance of conservation. "The Tassie Tiger is a great example how an animal can become extinct through ignorance," he said.

In addition to assisting with documentaries, Thylacine Expeditions runs specialist nature tours of Tasmania for international tourists.