Mechanical services & HVAC industry champion Peter Staedler retires after nearly six decades of service

January 18, 2024

After a distinguished career spanning almost 60 years in the building services and HVAC sector, industry stalwart Peter Staedler is embarking on the next stage of his eventful life. Peter officially retired from his role in Special Projects with the A.G. Coombs Group on 22 December 2023 and he leaves behind a significant legacy that will serve the industry for decades to come.

A prolific career of giving back to the industry

In addition to the outstanding contribution Peter made at the A.G. Coombs Group – and for the previous 40+ years at AE Smith – he was instrumental in mentoring and creating vocational pathways for young apprentices and professionals entering the industry.

His prolific career began as a draftsman and Peter went on to assume roles in project management, construction management and general management. He was instrumental in working on many of Melbourne’s landmark institutions and buildings including the Royal Children’s Hospital, Austin Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, Rialto Towers, Eureka Tower, Melbourne Central and Crown Melbourne.

Recognition of a lifetime of dedication

But above and beyond the projects he worked on, his dedication to the sector as a whole and supporting the next generation of building services professionals was highly notable.

That commitment was celebrated last year when the Air Conditioning & Mechanical Contractors Association of Australia (AMCA) honoured him with a Service Award at the 2023 Victorian Industry Excellence Awards in recognition of his contribution to the HVAC industry.

Peter laid the groundwork and spent the last decade driving the development of AMCA’s Drafting course and the Managing for Profit program including its Project Managers Diploma course. He played a pivotal role in establishing the HVAC Centre of Excellence – a collaboration between AMCA and Holmesglen that won an international CIBSE Award. He also served as an AMCA board member for 12 years and was President of AMCA Victoria for two years.

A lasting legacy at the A.G. Coombs Group and beyond

“It has been an incredible journey… working with the two best mechanical contractors in our industry – A.G. Coombs and AE Smith,” said Peter.

“I feel I have done enough in the last 58 years in the mechanical services industry. In particular I have enjoyed my last 11 years at A.G. Coombs working with young employees and I hope that some of my experience has made a difference,” he added.

“Peter will be sadly missed by the team at A.G. Coombs and across the entire HVAC industry,” commented Mark Mitchell, Executive General Manager, A.G. Coombs Projects.

“He has done so much more than ‘enough’ – selflessly giving back to the industry and helping guide the careers of some of our best and brightest – so we remain eternally grateful. On behalf of everyone at the A.G. Coombs Group, I wish Peter the best of luck in his retirement and look forward to hearing all about his future endeavours and adventures,” he added.

Peter Staedler saying farewell to colleagues past and present at his retirement function on 19 Dec 2023 at Eureka Tower.

Peter Staedler accepting the AMCA Australia Service Award in recognition of significant contribution to the industry, presented by AMCA CEO Scott Williams in Jul 2023.

Step back 15 years… Peter Staedler congratulates Imran Khan on winning the 2009 AMCA Training Achievement Award. Then a trainee draftsman at AE Smith, Imran is now Operations Manager (VIC) for A.G. Coombs Projects.

Circa 1980… Already 15 years into what would be a lifelong career journey in the building services industry, a young Peter Staedler (far left back row) standing with colleagues from AE Smith in Richmond, Melbourne.

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