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Fully Aboriginal-owned and operated air-conditioning and electrical contracting company Airlec Services is growing.

Rankin Kunde is building a 1000+ square metre workshop at Berrimah in Darwin in preparation for what he is convinced will be a golden age for Territory businesses.

Airlec Services has already carried out extensive air-conditioning, refrigeration and electrical work on a wide range of Industrial, commercial, domestic and government projects since it was founded 19 years ago in 2005, including large-scale Defence contracts as the head mechanical contractor.

“The new workshop will allow us to expand in multidisciplinary trades and employ more people,” says Rankin.

“Our focus is to employ more Aboriginal staff and apprentices. We want to provide training opportunities to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”

Airlec Services has a team of eight staff, including two apprentices.

New workers, whether they be labourers, refrigeration mechanics, electricians, plumbers, professional and administrative officers, need to be prepared to meet the high standards of workmanship.

Airlec Services, which deliver works in urban and remote locations, has built up a reputation of delivering projects on time, within budget and to each client’s satisfaction.

Rankin has an enviable work ethic – for instance, when he was working fly-in fly-out at McArthur River Mine back in the 1990s, he would perform subcontracting work during his weeks off.

“My life is my work,” he says. “I take pride in what I do and consider myself a hard and honest worker.

“I intend to build a thriving and reputable heating ventilation airconditioning company and lead Aboriginal people in the industry through training.

“I dream of one day leaving the business to my family who I hope will carry on the drive and passion I’ll leave behind.”.

Darwin-born Rankin, a proud bloodline man of the Ngangiwumirri- Uwinymil tribe, believes he inherited his sense of decency from his mother, Maxine Kunde (nee Calma), who is lauded for exposing the physical and sexual abuse of Stolen Generations children at the Catholic-run Garden Point mission on Melville Island.

“As a young fellow we didn’t have the interference of social media we have today. In my era, setting goals with the support of others was a lot easier.

“I took on my first trade when I was 16 years old as a refrigeration technician followed by an electrical trade as a mechanical electrician.

“I was fortunate because this included programming logic controls, and commissioning of heating ventilation air-conditioning and building management systems. “This is why I am where I am today.

“I want other young Aboriginal people to have the opportunity to work in this industry and support them to achieve their future goals.

“I feel many Aboriginal young people are lost and just need a chance to improve and build confidence.

“I am excited to provide employment and training opportunities to my community.”


Airlec Services Pty Ltd