Gwen Gray was a trailblazer for women in the world of HVAC&R.

During World War II, Gwen worked in the drawing office of the Department of Defence Production at Fishermen’s Bend in Melbourne, where Beaufort bombers and Beaufighters were manufactured. At war’s end, she was engaged by Bassett Consulting, where she worked as a mechanical engineer for 40 years.  It was during her time with both of these organisations that she completed part-time her course in Mechanical & Marine Engineering.

Her impressive CV includes projects such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital boiler extensions in the early 1960s, and the construction of the Arts Centre Melbourne in the 70s. Gwen also helped develop a para-professional course at RMIT for refrigeration and air conditioning.  She was one of the very few women in her era working in Australia as an Engineer and was also a Federal Councillor from 1971–75.

Gwen became AIRAH’s first full female member when she joined in 1967. She went on to become the President of AIRAH’s Victorian Division and was recognised during AIRAH’s Centenary celebrations in 2020 as part of the 100 Faces of AIRAH.

Gwen Gray passed away in April 2021 at the age of 94.



A life member of AIRAH, Simon Hill is widely known and highly respected both within the Institute and throughout Australia’s HVAC&R industry. He has accrued more than 40 years’ experience in mechanical services design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance.

Throughout his career, Hill has been a significant contributor to the Australian HVAC&R industry. His many achievements include developing and presenting training seminars on ventilation, fire and smoke control and fire damper installation on behalf of AIRAH, CIBSE and the AMCA, as well as private corporations. He’s also acted as an expert witness in relation to legal resolution of HVAC disputes, and provided professional opinions on interpretation of HVAC standards and regulations.

Simon has contributed significantly to Standards Australia on multiple sub-committees responsible for HVAC in the control of fire and smoke in buildings & Maintenance of Fire Safety Systems & Fire and Smoke Dampers.

In recognition of his stellar industry contribution over four decades, Simon Hill has also earned AIRAH’s highest individual honour, the James Harrison Medal.



Ian has been involved in the building services industry since 1968, attending the National College in London and holding almost every position from apprentice draftsman, engineer, project manager, culminating with his role establishing & being Managing Director of the National Air Conditioning Group with offices in 5 Australian cities.

Ian has voluntarily given a huge amount of time and effort to the industry through various groups including the South Australian branch of the AMCA, the Specialist Sub-Contractors Association, the Engineers Australia Society of Building Services Engineering, and of course the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, where Ian served as the South Australian Chapter Chair and on the CIBSE ANZ Regional Committee as Treasurer for 15 years before serving as Chair from 2014 to 2017.

Ian is presently the ANZ Almoner for the CIBSE Benevolence Fund for Members or families in need of financial assistance. Ian received the Bronze Medal from CIBSE for his services to the Institution.

Ian is a very well-respected member of the building services industry in South Australia and the ANZ Region and has been a proud member of CIBSE for over 50 years.



Ken has played a leading role in industry with a long and distinguished career working for a who’s who of companies in the industry from Kelvinator, Carrier and Haden Engineering right through to Sigma Industries, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu General, DJ Staniforth, Teco and Temperzone.  Yet this is not why we wish to honour him.

Ken has been one of those unrecognised gems that makes the association and everyone around him better because of his efforts.  His service to industry has been exemplary.  In his roles with AREMA for 20+ years he has provided advice and contributed to a seemingly endless series of standards and technical committees.  These roles have also included international engagement on standards and training for both companies and industry associations as well as significant technical support to both Government officials and industry associations.

He has assisted AREMA members (at any time of the day, night or weekend) in ensuring they understand the nuances of issues and their implications and has mentored apprentices and technicians who have progressed to leaders in the industry.

Ken was named HVAC Leader of the Year in 2017 by Climate Control News.

Quite simply, AREMA and its members would be far poorer if he had not been in our midst for the last couple of decades.



Chris Wright has worked in the HVAC&R industry for over 48 years.  Commencing as a Cadet Engineer who concurrently completed his qualifications at night school, he then moved across to Consulting to gain design experience before progressing through to Director of TCM in Tasmania.  TCM have consistently employed around 30 specialist Mechanical Services Plumbers, Electricians, Refrigeration Mechanics and Apprentices throughout that period and completed many iconic projects such as, IMAS, Utas Gas Upgrade, CSIRO Upgrade, Police HQ Buildings, RBA Upgrades, Education sites Maintenance, and Hospital Projects to name a few.

Chris has been an AMCA member for over 45 years including roles as National Board & Board Executive member for 8 years, and Tasmanian & National President during which time he represented AMCA at 3 MCAA Conferences in the USA including chairing the Alliance of USA Canada, UK and Australia in 2017.

Chris went on to represent Australia on the NEBB US Board in 2004 & 2005 and then resumed the role on the NEBB Australia Board from 2012 to 2018, including becoming the NEBB Australia President from 2011 to 2020.  Chris continues this passion today as the President of TACA, a newly formed Testing and Commissioning Association.

Chris is passionate about the industry and its professionalization – particularly for training to a high level in the specialised HVAC and Mechanical Services Industry.  Chris has been an outstanding contributor to our industry; a proud AMCA Member that has gone above & beyond.



Noel started as an RAC apprentice 50 years ago and has since spent his career shaping training in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector through senior roles with TAFE NSW, WorldSkills, Energy Skills Australia, Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee and the Australian Refrigeration Council. He has been involved in WorldSkills competitions at regional, national, and international levels since 1989 and is currently WorldSkills International’s RAC Skills Competition Manager.

In his current role as the Technical and Training Manager at the Australian Refrigeration Council, Noel helps technicians and businesses improve their day-to-day operations, as well as participating in various national industry and technical committees and working groups to develop solutions for safety, technology, training, and refrigerant issues in the sector.

Noel works closely with RACCA and other industry bodies, regulators, training authorities and trainers to ensure that the training delivered is relevant and up to date with current industry needs. He gives tirelessly of his time and knowledge in our field.

Noel has been working along with RACCA on many industry training projects over the years. One of these projects was the using of flammable refrigerants. Noel was heavily involved in this project from the writing of the material to being on the stakeholder committee, to overseeing the training of teachers and the roll out of the roadshow across NSW.

Noel has been the expert that RACCA would go to for anything training related.