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Contractor of the Year Award winner, Mitchell Cousins, is proud to be the owner and director of a Newcastle business with a long history in the local area.

Coles Refrigeration & Air Conditioning has been trading for more than 80 years and was founded by the late Sidney Harold Cole, the son of a British mechanical engineer who came to Australia in the 1880s to establish Adelaide’s first meat chilling plant.Mitchell aims to be the local employer of choice pointing out that the business is only as good as its employees. “We want to attract the best in the industry,” he says.

The Contractor of the Year award was sponsored by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioning.
The Contractor of the Year award was sponsored by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioning.

“We aim to be around for another 80 years so there is a big emphasis on providing same day service response for 98 per cent of all breakdowns,” Mitchell says.

“We also provide obligation free quotes and technical advice to ensure accurate sizing of systems and professional design services.”

Mitchell started out as a technician commencing his apprenticeship in 2001.

“I started my apprenticeship straight out of high school, I couldn’t wait to get out into the world and start working,” he says.

“After completing the first year of my apprenticeship I enrolled in TAFE and did a certificate three in industrial instrumentation. After attending TAFE four nights a week for three years I ended up with a diploma of electrical engineering and half a mechanical engineering diploma as well as my refrigeration and air conditioning trade.”

Mitchell says his interest in the trade began as a child growing up around pubs.

“My parents managed a number of pubs plus there was a short stint on a vineyard so I have been around refrigeration for as long as I can remember,” he says.

“This definitely sparked my initial interest but after only one day on the job I knew this trade was a good fit for me.”

Mitchell says there are a long list of qualities required to be a good contractor.

“It’s the ability to solve problems as they arise and to think quickly on your feet, plus it’s important to work with all stakeholders from beginning to the end,” he says.

Coles Refrigeration & Air Conditioning has commenced construction on a state-of- the-art 2400m2 building with new warehouse, workshop, showrooms, demonstration room plus offices. It is due for completion early next year.

“We want to position ourselves as market leaders and to offer a proactive holistic approach to HVACR for our customers,” he says.

Sponsored by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioning Australia (MHIAA), the award winner was announced by the company’s senior advisor, Graham Hamilton.

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