Elizabeth Paparo, Affil.AIRAH
Elizabeth Paparo, Affil.AIRAH, is in her 11th year in the HVAC&R industry, having worked in the wholesale sector originally within Heatcraft Australia and now as part of the Beijer Ref group, heading the communications function at Kirby.
Kirby is a leading HVAC&R wholesaler and OEM, with more than 60 branches Australia-wide and a national head office, manufacturing and distribution facility in Sydney. As part of the marketing team, Paparo creates both internal and external material to support the wholesale network, as well as Kirby's product management team.
Paparo enjoys putting content together to deliver messages and drive programs, and notes that the company's recent rebrand has been a rewarding time to create new material and expand Kirby's customer-facing social media.
A member of the NSW AIRAH division committee, she is also the NSW division committee diversity champion. In 2020, she joined the AIRAH Refrigeration Conference Technical Committee.
Paparo is an advocate for the Women of AIRAH Special Technical Group, and supports the work that AIRAH does to encourage women in the HVAC&R industry.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
I was employed by a manager I’d previously worked with. Like most, I didn’t give much thought to refrigeration and air conditioning before I joined the industry. A colleague once said to me "this industry gets into your blood”, and it’s become that way for me too.
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
It has to be all the times that have made me laugh. I’ve worked with some great people and there have been plenty of moments at events, as well as random moments at the office, that still make me laugh today! At the end of the day it’s the people that make the memories special.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
This is my third year as an Affiliate Member. I’d looked on from the sidelines for a few years and then took it upon myself to join. It has opened up a new network of connections that have broadened my thought processes and helped me develop professionally.
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
To the younger women new to the industry, I would say: stay! We’re in an essential industry and we need you. Women bring a different perspective and approach to the work. The industry has depth and there are many directions where you can grow and make a difference. Challenge thought processes and procedures in your own workplace; attend industry events; and make the most of your opportunities when they arise.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
Hopefully our future generations will have impacted government policies globally and we will all be manufacturing and consuming with a more eco-friendly mindset. To combat our innate self-indulgences, perhaps technology will also be developed to regulate the energy and water usage in our built environment.