The ARBS Hall of Fame Award goes to those nominated by the ARBS member industry associations to have significantly contributed to the development of the HVAC&R and building services industry. 

This award recognises outstanding service, contribution and commitment above and beyond the call of duty.  The individuals are recognised as having worked tirelessly, and in most cases voluntarily to further the industry and its endeavours with demonstrable achievements being of benefit to the industry.

ARBS 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

WILLIAM  ROY AHERN  1914 – 1984

wr ahernTo many of those who knew him well, Roy Ahern is thought of as the best Engineer that the refrigeration and air conditioning industry has produced in Australia.
Roy possibly made the greatest individual AIRAH Member contribution to gaining general industry, government department and academic group recognition of AIRAH as a legitimate technical body representing the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia.

Importantly, Roy Ahern was a gentleman in its literal sense, his actions reflecting honour, humility, integrity, courage and good humour that gained him universal respect in a harshly judgemental industry, even from those who did not agree with his strong opinions.

Twenty Eight (28) years after his death, Roy Ahern is still affectionately and respectfully remembered by many AIRAH Members as one of the Founding Fathers of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Australia.

Nominated by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning, and Heating we welcome Roy Ahern to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


murrayMurray is a Life Member and Fellow of AIRAH, a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineers and the Australian Institute of Energy. He is also a member of the Australian Acoustic Society. He is currently a Director of a ACADS-BSG Pty Ltd supplying programs to a number of overseas companies, including New Zealand, S.E.Asia and North America.

For many years he worked on the AIRAH Application Manual Sub Committee and was author and co-author of a number of these important AIRAH publications. In 1989 he received a citation from AIRAH for his contribution to the development of these Manuals.

He has presented numerous papers at AIRAH Conferences and Seminars in addition to a number of international conferences and in 2003 won the W.R. Ahern award for the best paper published in Ecolibrium.  He has also been a sessional part time lecturer at VUT, University of NSW, Monash University and Swinburne University.

Nominated by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning, and Heating we welcome Murray Mason to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


cliveIn recognition of his research work in helping to understand Legionella and controlling it as an environmental pollutant, and for services to Public Health, Clive Broadbent was honoured with the award of Member of the Order of Australia.
Evidence of this contribution to society is found in the many research-based publications

Clive has produced and in his work as chairperson for a number of standards setting committees.

Clive Broadbent has presented technical papers on the full suite of standards at many conferences within Australia, the USA, the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany, and at other European forums.
In addition to the above Clive has been the author of 12 TAFE modules on air conditioning systems, and over 120 technical publications such as conference papers, journal articles, books and monographs.

Previous recognition of his work includes winning the AIRAH Journal annual best paper award twice and being awarded the AIRAH James Harrison award. He has also received best paper awards with CIBSE in the UK and ASHRAE in the USA and certificates of appreciation from engineering institutes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia .

Nominated by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (ANZ Region) we welcome Clive Broadbent to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


gibbsGrahame has been involved with the Building Services Engineering industry in Australia since 1958 – primarily as a consultant.  

In connection with his involvement in design of controlled environments, Grahame was a member and Foundation Honorary Secretary  in 1992 of the Australian Contamination Control Society and a member of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering.  He has been the Standards Australia delegate to the International Standards Organization (ISO) attending meetings in London, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Sydney.

Grahame was founding committee member of the Australian Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers Region in 1987 has been a member of AIRAH since the 70’s serving as Chairman of NSW Chapter for three years and also an AIRAH board member during the 90’s.  He has had many published papers in the AIRAH journal and was awarded the WR Ahern Medal in 1984 for the best technical paper in 1983.

In 1994 Grahame was awarded a CIBSE Bronze Medal for Services to the Institution and a Silver Medal followed this in 2009.  He continues his involvement as ANZ CIBSE Regional Almoner while in virtual retirement.

Nominated by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (ANZ Region) we welcome Grahame Gibbs to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


gerardGerard first came to Australia in 1960 as a design engineer.  After conducting a business case study in Australia for the establishment Haden Engineering in Australia, Gerard went on to set up maintenance divisions in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. He also played a major role in setting up the project management team from the Sydney Opera House air conditioning and fire systems contracts.

Gerard has been the state manager of Haden Engineering for Melbourne, and then Sydney and in 1994 he was appointed CEO and managing director.

Gerard has held a number of positions in industry associations  including , president of the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA) in Melbourne and Sydney on separate occasions and went on to be national president in 1986/7. Gerard served as the president of the Building Industry Specialist Contractors Association of Australia (BISCOA) and then the Construction Industry Engineering Services Group (CIESG). 

Importantly he was a member of the Construction Industry Development Agency (CIDA) specifically representing the specialist subcontractors.

Gerard retired from the industry when Haden Engineering was sold to Tyco International.

Nominated by the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association we welcome Gerard Whittaker  to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


kevinKevin O’Shea has been in the HVAC & R industry for 45 years serving his apprenticeship in the UK in Industrial Refrigeration.  Kevin arrived in Australia in 1977 and started in his own business in 1979.  After  becoming a committee member of NSW RACCA (Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association) he became President of RACCA NSW in 1991.  Kevin is still serving as RACCA Australia’s National President.

Kevin’s other industry involvement and achievements include a Director of Refrigerant Reclaim Australia; the RACCA representative on Refrigerants Australia and was a board member of ARBS Exhibitions during its formative years.  He was involved in setting up the course for refrigerant handling for the CFC phase out; the first Chairman of the Australian Refrigeration Council, and involved in Worldskills from its very early days.  Kevin has also chaired a NSW committee providing training to TAFE teachers and technicians in rural NSW.  He is a Member of the Advisory Committee for the National Licensing for our industry, a board member of Electro Group Training since its formation, and Chairman of Electro Skills Centre.

Kevin received RACCA’s ultimate recognition of the Doug Staniforth Award in 1997 for his contribution to industry and is still actively involved in all aspects of our industry.

Nominated by the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association we welcome Kevin O’Shea  to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


billBill Robertson has had broad experience across many facets of the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.  Bill’s career began in engineering design in 1959 at GMF Electrical Motors and developed through managerial sales and marketing roles in a number of companies eventually retiring as General Manager of Torin in 2009.

Bill is a well-known and much respected member of the industry who always took an active part in association matters. This commitment culminated in his election as President of AREMA in 2007. Bill’s term as president is remembered for developing sound relationships with government, and expanding AREMA’s membership base.  His commitment to raising industry standards, with a particular focus on improving education and training outcomes was a consistent focus throughout his career.

Bill is a very gracious, refined individual regularly lending his expertise as master of ceremonies at AREMA functions with an air of professionalism and dignity.

His fifty-years in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry has seen momentous changes – Bill’s commitment to the broader industry, his willingness to mentor younger professionals and his capacity to learn and adapt have characterised a remarkable career. 

Nominated by the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturer’s Association we welcome Bill Robertson to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


bernieBernie Bugdalski is a professional sales and marketing strategist with over 30 years’ experience in the FMCG and Commercial markets of Electrical, Hardware and HVAC.  Bernie has always had a strong commitment to the work of industry associations and has made a significant personal contribution to the development of industry policy.

Representing Fujitsu General as a member of the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturer’s Association, Bernie was elected to the Executive in 2004. After serving 2 years as Vice President he was nominated and accepted the role of President – serving for 3 years from 2008 to 2011.

Bernie’s cool demeanour and considered approach helped productively manage some very tough issues during difficult times.  Overseeing an increasing membership Bernie forged closer, consultative and collaborative relationships with both Federal and State regulators. Importantly, Bernie had an inclusive vision of industry associations and fostered close relations with other industry groups.

Bernie’s lasting contribution means AREMA is well placed to solve some of the issues that have faced the industry for years - especially the issue of national uniformity of standards.

Nominated by the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturer’s Association we welcome Bernie Bugdalski to the ARBS Hall of Fame.

ARBS 2010 Hall of Fame Inductees


harrisonHarrison's greatest achievement and much of his financial failure stemmed from his inventions: he was a pioneer in all kinds of refrigeration.

At Geelong he designed and built the plant for the first Australian manufacture of ice and began production at Rocky Point, taking out a local patent in 1854.  Later,  finding ice unnecessary for many industrial purposes, Harrison designed a revolutionary refrigerator, and patented it in 1860. It was used next year in Scotland to distil paraffin, about the same time as Twining's machine in the United States.

Nominated by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning, and Heating we welcome James Harrison to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


denisDenis was a long time supporter of AIRAH – he joined the institute in 1948, was one of the first AIRAH members to be elevated to Fellow grade (in 1994) and he was also awarded the James Harrison Medal, AIRAH’s highest honour, in 1988.

He presented numerous papers at AIRAH conferences, many of which were published in the AIRAH Journal, and sharing the findings of his research was always a part of Denis’s life.

In addition to his involvement with AIRAH, Denis was instrumental in setting up the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment manufacturer’s Association (AREMA) and was a past president of the organisation.

Nominated by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning, and Heating we welcome Denis Joseph to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


agcoombsIn 1945 Allan Coombs founded the A.G. Coombs Pty Ltd company.  

Under the leadership of Allan Coombs the company expanded and grew throughout 60’s, 70’s & 80’s the into one of Victoria’s leading air conditioning, refrigerated mechanical services companies  and had been involved in a number major projects including the Olympic Village complex and the original Royal Children’s hospital.

Allan Coombs influence went well beyond the boundaries of his own company.  He was a strong supporter and contributor to the growth of the industry itself. Realising the need for a strong and cohesive voice for the mechanical services industry, Allan Coombs played a leading role in the establishment of the Airconditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association.  A.G. Coombs Pty Ltd was a founding member and Allan Coombs himself was the inaugural president in 1961.

Developing the skills of our industry as well as his own staff was a passion and major strength of Allan Coombs which forms an integral part of the companies’ philosophy today including the annual awarding of the Allan Coombs Training Achievement Award.  
For his contribution to the industry and training including the apprenticeship system in particular Allan Coombs was awarded an Order of Australia in Australia Day Honours on 26 January 1979.

Nominated by the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association we welcome Allan Coombs to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


gregAfter many years with Trane at various locations including California, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Jamaica and Wisconsin  Greg  took over the franchise for Trane in Sydney in 1980.  In 1995 Greg became the MD for Trane Australia and New Zealand.

Tonight in the audience there are several leaders of the industry who started their careers working for Trane under the guidance of Greg. This is particularly satisfying to him.
Greg remembers the difficulty of selling energy efficiency and wishes he was selling now as finally there is an awareness of the benefits to all of efficient HVAC systems. The industry has always had the answers but now at least the market is listening!!

Over the past 25 years Greg has been an active participant in the activities of AREMA, serving as President for several years. As AREMA’s representative Greg has been active on the boards of Refrigerants Australia, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and ARC. Greg has served as the Chairman of each of these organisations.

Now retired from full time employment Greg remains a member of AREMA and their representative to RA and RRA and consults to the Commonwealth Government on Energy Efficiency.

Nominated by the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturer’s Association we welcome Greg Groppenbacher to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


kjnoyesKevin  headed up a new Joint Venture "Clark Daikin Pty. Ltd." In 1969 and in 1982 the name was changed to Daikin Australia.  Production of Ducted Air Conditioners commenced shortly after, followed by the establishment of a new head office and central warehouse in Sydney.

In 1997 Kevin was appointed Daikin Australia's first Chairman and retired two years later, having been the first International CEO to be individually responsible for any Daikin operation outside of Japan - rather than the dual-management company structure that was normal practice for Daikin's other global operations.

For many years Kevin was an active member of the AREMA executive and held the office as President for a number of years, working hard to build membership and was closely involved with a many legislative changes impacting businesses at that time.

Nominated by the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturer’s Association we welcome Kevin Noyes to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


jackpJack was MD of Fantech until 2000 and has served as Chairman since.  In 1993 Jack wrote the first edition of Fans by Fantech, at that time a 270-page catalogue which, now in excess of 400 pages, is updated every 4 years and is a market leader.  In 1994 he commissioned the production of an Interactive CD, another market leader.

Part of Fantech was sold in 1996 with the remainder going in 2000. The Company now has 14 offices including 3 in New Zealand and 1 in Malaysia as well as Agents around the Pacific region.
In 1978, Jack, a Member of AIRAH since 1966, joined the committee of the Vic Div of AIRAH, serving for 5 years, mostly as the editor of the newsletter.

A CIBSE Member since 1962, Jack joined the CIBSE ANZ Regional Committee in 2000 and was elected Chairman of the Region for 2 years in 2001. He was on the committee for 6 years. For his contribution to CIBSE he was awarded the Bronze Medal.

Jack also served on the Board of the ARBS Exhibition for 6 years.

Nominated by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (ANZ Region) we welcome Jack Pirie to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


John was instrumental in leading the charge in promoting and enhancing the presence of CIBSE in Australia and New Zealand. It was no easy task to establish CIBSE in such a far flung region.  

John negotiated the initial CIBSE/ IPENZ Heads of Agreement and co-ordinated an Institutional Regional presence by sending a representative to China.  John made personal representations to Council on the importance of the Institution supporting the remote Regions to enhance the influence of the Institution resulting in greater funding to promote the aims and objectives of the Institution.

The above illustrates only some of the issues John Tyerman has been involved in but it does not really illustrate the quite incredible single-mindedness of his efforts on behalf of CIBSE.

CIBSE has been a mission for John. Much of the above was at a time when his own business was in major difficulties.  During that critical time he stood by CIBSE totally, at financial cost to himself.

John also spent many years establishing an Ice Storage business in Australia. He was South Australian Manager of Environ and then Civil & Civic/Lend Lease.  He was the Engineering Manager of Frigrite and also led his own Consulting Practice in Adelaide for many years as John Tyerman & Associates.

Brian was very involved in World Skills, TAFE, RACCA, both state and national AIRAH, Celsius, to name just a few.  Brian was well known and respected as a teacher, mentor and friend to many in the industry.

Nominated by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (ANZ Region) we welcome John Tyerman to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


bstapletonBrian was instrumental in forming the refrigeration category at Worldskills in the late 1980’s and was part of the first support group to compete at the international Worldskills competitions .  The Australian contingent then went on to win four consecutive gold medals.
Brian continued to support Worldskills right up to his sudden death and would help where ever and whenever asked at regional, national and international levels.    Brian was not only a judge but also a big supporter spending his own money to support the youth of our trade.  He was passionate about the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Industry, which seemed to fill his working life and his family who supported his endeavours.

Nominated by the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association we welcome Brian Stapleton  to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


dstaniforthDoug is remembered as overcoming many obstacles to organise a national refrigeration association.  Interstate rivalries, legislation and communication issues were not enough to deter Doug, who was known Australia-wide as the powerhouse that got RACCA (Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association) of Australia going and moving ahead.   

RACCA can directly credit its involvement in legislation, training, Australian standards and Government lobbying at both state and federal levels to Doug’s tireless effort of many years.

Doug’s sudden death at age 64 cut short his plans for a nationally accredited and licensed trade.  One which RACCA is still trying to achieve.

Doug is remembered by industry colleagues as a work mate, a competitor, and a friend who worked selflessly to aid and progress the industry.

Nominated by the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association we welcome Doug Staniforth to the ARBS Hall of Fame.


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