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Darwin-born Soraya Smith stands out in the crowd, somewhat reluctantly.

She is the co-owner of a successful specialised electrical, automation and instrumentation company and a woman thriving in what is still an industry dominated by men 

“I’m the quiet type who just gets on with the job,” she says. 

Soraya, who owns TEC Automation with her husband Ryan, is descended from the Traditional Owners of K’gari (Fraser Island) in Queensland and has family ties to Vanuatu. 

The mother-of-three was recognised for her efforts to increase diversity in the workplace by being named Tradeswoman of the Year at the National Association of Women in Construction awards in 2023. 

She has more than 10 years experience working in Aboriginal affairs. 

TEC Automation, which specialises in electrical control systems and automation, has won a suite of prestigious contracts, including with Defence and Power and Water. 

The company has a reputation for delivering excellent work with a focus on energy efficiency, energy reduction and remote monitoring of systems. 

It is at the forefront of giving clients greater control of electrical systems. 

“If you want to turn off one of our systems you can do it easily through a touch screen,” says Ryan, who was also born in Darwin. “That empowers the client.” 

The business encourages its staff to upskill – half are studying at the moment, ranging from electrical instrumentation and computer work to engineering and administration. 

“It’s not just about getting more money,” says Ryan. “People enjoy learning new skills and the opportunity shows them that they are valued. 

“Encouraging training is a big commitment for a relatively small company but we think it’s a good investment.” 

Soraya and Ryan are both heavily involved in the community and support a string of sports and good causes. 



Design and construction of graphics and programming for automation and SCADA systems to gather and quickly analyse real-time data in industrial and commercial settings, including sewerage, water and oil. 


Carrying out general maintenance and repairs of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 


From repairs and installations to maintenance, TEC Automation specialises in enhancing the electrical infrastructure of commercial and industrial buildings. The company’s expertise extends beyond mere service – it ensures your building remains compliant, sustainable and certified, catering to long-term vitality. 


Cleaning switchboards, including designing and producing switchboards locally to any specification or upgrading switchboards to modern standards. 


Comprehensive solutions and simple lighting management software systems, remote light point management, lighting automation, and energy efficiency and resilience that improve operator control. 


Diverse, local electrical solutions, including repairs, installation and maintenance in commercial and industrial settings. Servicing instruments in various fields, including hazardous areas, sewerage and water, and oil and gas, plus the installation and maintenance of control systems, and facilitating fault finding to ensure minimal interruptions to production. 


TEC Automation 

2/43 Marjorie Street, Pinelands NT 0829 

PO Box 37001 Winnellie NT 0820 

(08) 8968 9484