Victoria / Tasmania

Master Electrician of the Year

Winner: Rowan Diamond – 1st Call Electrical Services
Originally hailing from the UK where he owned and operated Diamond Electrical Installations, Rowan is now celebrating his 10th year as the director of 1st Call Electrical Services in Melbourne. Rowan is passionate to smash the stereotype of unreliable, unscrupulous and disorganised small electrical businesses. He believes and demonstrates that the smallest electrical business can be utterly trustworthy, reliable and provide fantastic service to the general public, building a new level of respect, trust and value in the industry.
What the judges said: Rowan demonstrated a high desire to continue his great work in giving back to the electrical industry and to provide a happy working life for all his staff. His desire to take on new challenges and implement new video training platforms is a real point of difference in the industry. Rowan is genuinely passionate about his business, his industry and his people and it is a real credit to him.

Women in Contracting

Winner: Lauren van Strijp – Melbourne Electrical Data and Solutions
Lauren van Strijp, founder of Melbourne Electrical and Data Solutions, established herself within the electrical industry with a vision to deliver a service that exceeds customers’ expectations. Having worked in the corporate world for several years, with a key focus on business practice, human resources, professional development and management; Lauren saw an opportunity to use her experience and formal qualifications to make a positive contribution to the community. Today, she oversees all facets of the company, including: strategic planning, relationship management, administration, compliance and managing a team of employees.
Lauren attributes her company’s success to solid foundations, market awareness and a positive team culture. She is an advocate for women entrepreneurs and is a proud member of the MEA Women in Contracting committee.
What the judges said: Lauren has continually improved within her business to automate many of the day to day tasks allowing her the opportunity to gain further efficiencies and even open up more time with her family. This continual improvement is a real testament to her drive and ambition.

Commercial Project of the Year

Winner: John Kurta – Kuga Electrical
Spa Industries is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of spas and pools. With three acres of spa manufacturing, the lighting needed an upgrade, specifically those positioned to light up the machines. With a team of 3 electricians, within 2 Kuga Electrical installed 127 LED high bays, 400 LED tubes and 122 LED downlights. The annual savings from the LED lighting upgrade alone is about $9,600 with an approximate energy saving of 65 per cent. The team also installed a 200kW solar PV system at Spa Industry’s head office in Hallam, saving approx. $40,000 a year. Panels used for the install were Jinko 270W and the annual output is 178,551kWh.
What the judges said: One of the largest roof mounted Solar Projects in Victoria that met the customers’ requirements and satisfaction, reducing the customer carbon footprint and providing future energy savings. A project with many logistical and safety issues successfully managed and delivered on time and in budget that will pave the way for future projects.

Residential Project of the Year

Winner: Robert Urpis – Argus Technologies
Argus Technologies was awarded the contract for the design, supply and installation of a comprehensive electrical, communication and automation system for a new private residence in Mt Eliza. Featuring a two-storey dwelling with expansive tiered gardens, pool and tennis court, the scope included the design/supply of:
  • Full electrical infrastructure, switchboards and lighting
  • A CBUS lighting system
  • Free-to-air TV and networking infrastructure
  • Whole home video and audio distribution
  • Control4 home automation system, and
  • Integration with a third-party provided security and CCTV system.
The highlight of the project was the design and installation of a fully automated high-end dedicated home theatre.
What the judges said: Robert was overwhelmingly passionate about his project, his client and technology. Robert demonstrates passion for the future of the industry and is dedicated to coaching future generations of electricians in new technology. This project is at the cutting edge of home automation that has future – proofed the property for many years to come. Robert takes pride in the Service he provides the customer throughout the entire process to meet and exceed client needs.

Energy Efficiency Project of the Year

Winner: Glen McLaren – Laser Electrical Campbellfield
Energy Efficiency Project of the Year – Glen McLaren – Laser Electrical Campbellfield
Over this project was a 728.6KW solar install at Tek Foods in Campbellfield. Being a meat wholesale and manufacturing company, their electricity consumption was huge. The project was a joint collaboration with another electrical company to install the solar system. It was completed in a couple of weeks with the help
from their fellow Laser members. Challenges were how to get hundreds of solar panels up onto the roof, which needed craning up in 2 sessions and in several different positions so not to put too much weight on the roof sections.
The key achievement was finishing the job in a very limited time frame.
What the judges said: One of the largest roof mounted Solar Projects in Victoria that met the customers’ requirements and satisfaction and will reduce the customer carbon footprint and give future energy savings. A project with many logistical and safety issues successfully managed and delivered on time and in budget.

Legrand Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Brian Enniss – Jaylan Electrical (Tasmania)
Brian moved his family to Queenstown in Tasmania, a rural and isolated area, to undertake his apprenticeship, knowing that it was going to be a long and tough journey for all involved. Only being nine months into the apprenticeship, he says every day is a learning curve, but along with this comes the excitement of learning something new. Despite the risk and the pay drop, Brian wanted to do something he could really enjoy, instead of just something to pay the bills. He felt that a trade provided a much brighter than a mundane job that just brought in good money.
What the judges said: Brian took a huge risk leaving a steady job that was well paid to become a mature age apprentice. Brian demonstrated a genuine love for the industry and enthusiasm for his new-found trade. His desire for more challenge and a need to develop a lifelong skill was evident in his presentation to the judges.

Electrician ‘Tradie’ of the Year

Winner: Jason Branagh – Ballarat Electrical Company

What the judges said: Jason has demonstrated excellence with his breadth of experience, scope of responsibility and continual development throughout his career in the electrical industry. He has risen through the ranks to lead the largest projects his company has ever taken on. Jason shows compassion and patience in developing talent from apprentice through to ‘A’ Grade and back a capable team through the modern challenges our industry presents with both humility and passion for the trade.