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Employee Profile | Andrew Otley

Contact staff stand outside the Launceston office in 1999
Bill and Trish Fromberg with Contact staff in 1999

Contact Group AV Manager, Andrew Otley, is one of the company’s longest serving employees.

Based in the Launceston branch, Andrew started as an apprentice electrician, just before Bill and Trish Fromberg bought the company in 1999.

Contact looked very different then, with just a handful of staff based solely in Launceston.

Andrew said a career in the electrical industry beckoned from an early age, he was always pulling electrical items apart, but very few got put back together.

During the final years of his apprenticeship, Andrew became increasingly interested in computers and niche technologies like C-Bus and Nurse Call systems.

Contact Group Director, Bill Fromberg, recognised his talent in this area and gave him the opportunity to manage those technologies for Contact.

It created lots of work for the company and led to many months working away from home.

Andrew installed the Nurse Call system at the St Helen’s Hospital, as well as aged care facilities in Swansea and St Helens.

He also spent 12 months working for Contact Group in Strahan, which he credits as one of his career highlights.

The refurbishment of the Strahan Village Hotel involved living onsite with former Contact employee, Rob Young.

Contact won a NECA award for this project which included a complete refurbishment of the Hotel’s electrical and data systems.

AV Manager Andrew Otley being presented with a NECA award for the Strahan Village project.
Andrew Otley and Rob Young won a NECA award for the Strahan Village project

“Basically, as soon as you stepped outside your door you were at work, so it was quite unusual – you lived and breathed it – a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into that one.”

Andrew Otley | State AV Manager

Another highlight for Andrew was the audit of Hydro Tasmania’s communication towers.

“I remember Bill coming up to me and saying how would you like to do a bit of travel around Tasmania,” Andrew said.

The project involved flying in helicopter all over the state testing and verifying the electrical integrity of Hydro’s 40 communication towers.

“It’s probably one of the most memorable things I’ve undertaken because I got to see parts of Tasmania that I’ve never seen before, we flew over Strathgordon Dam and the state’s south-west, so I think it was a once in a lifetime experience that one.”

Andrew Otley | State AV Manager

Andrew said he feels lucky to work in a family-owned company where he has been given so many wonderful opportunities, from apprentice to Business Development Manager.

His message to other apprentices is to make sure they’re keeping up with all the technology.

“There’s so much innovation in lighting technology and control technology for electricity these days and it’s continuing to grow.

I feel that’s where the future is,” he said.

AV Manager Andrew Otley installing a Nurse Call system.
Andrew Otley installing a Nurse Call system at the John L Grove Rehabilitation Centre in Launceston