HOLDEN TRAGIC MAKES GOOD
REDARC’s Steve Moore: from tinkering with Kingswoods and Commodores to training a workforce
Growing up in Australia most people are either Holden tragics or Ford fans. Born and raised in the southern Adelaide suburbs of Seacliff and Marino, REDARC Training Manager, Steve Moore, was definitely on The Lion’s team.
“I started working on cars with my now Father-in-law when I was still at school,” Steve says.
“I had a string of older Holdens (HG Kingswood, HX Kingswood, VL Commodore, HJ Caprice) that due to their age required plenty of attention!
“Fortunately, we had a pit in the garage so we could get stuck into replacing engine mounts, transmissions, repairing bodywork and electrical components without having to lay on the floor.”
Steve learnt the value of hard work at a young age via his first evening part-time role.
“My first paying job was working for a fast-food chain. It was a good introduction to working and the team we had there was made up of great individuals who enjoyed making work fun while doing a great job,” he says.
Steve was attracted to working as a tradesman after finishing high school because he liked to work with his hands.
“After the fast-food chain I found myself washing dishes at a local pub and I then worked for a builder as his assistant,” Steve said.
“Once I graduated from high school, I became an apprentice auto electrician so I could grow my knowledge and skills within the automotive industry. The electrical side had always been of high interest as it seemed not many understood it and I saw this was my opportunity.
“I was lucky enough to be employed by Belair Road Auto in Kingswood South Australia. The boss and the tradespeople there were extremely knowledgeable, and I was able to gain some excellent skills and make the most of my apprenticeship.
“Once I was qualified, I went to another auto electrical business for about a year, then moved into the Commercial two-way radio field working for Comwide Radio Services. This gave me a good understanding of communications, data, and GPS technologies.”
By this stage, Steve had a young family and was keen to grow his career and turn his focus back onto the automotive industry.
That was when he saw REDARC Electronics were seeking customer service technicians to work in technical support.
“I was successful with my application and spent a couple of years on the phones assisting anyone and everyone who called with an enquiry, or looking for system advice or fault finding,” he says.
Steve then moved into the Area Sales Manager role, looking after SA/NT for several years and “making many great relationships and travelling a lot of kilometers across Australia”. He also made several trips to the US to help introduce REDARC to the RV and over-landing industry in the States.
But not being the type to get stuck in a rut, Steve soon found himself looking for a change of direction.
“I went back to school to complete a Cert IV in Training and Assessment so I could transition into my current role as Training Manager,” Steve explains.
“In this role, I work to provide information to the trade, distribution and RedNetwork to ensure the customers can sell and install REDARC products with confidence.
“I am also currently studying as an apprentice electrician so I can advise on AC standards and wiring.”
Steve believes that he was destined to work for the South Australian-based REDARC Electronics.
“My application for REDARC was the best move I have made career wise; I have been able to assist many people, travel to some of the most incredible places in the world and further my knowledge and qualifications. I have also made some great friends along the way,” he says.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing for Steve, who recounts a story where he got it horribly wrong one day: “I once left a test light powered while it was on the front seat of a Porsche, which melted a hole in it. (I was) not too popular with the boss at Belair Road Auto on that occasion,” he quips.
Steve sees his strengths as his technical knowledge “when it comes to auxiliary power systems” and his interpersonal skills.
“I love talking with people and working alongside others to achieve a common goal,” he says.
While always keen to reach his full potential in his current role, Steve is an advocate of always keeping a lookout for the next challenge.
“Remember this is the starting point, always keep your eyes open for opportunities, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and question what you don’t understand and don’t stay in a job that you are not happy doing,” is his advice to those aspiring to break into the automotive industry.
Steve believes that both attitude and skills are important.
“I feel with a good attitude you can develop incredible skills. The more positive your attitude is to the task, the better outcome you will yield,” he says.
Steve has an interesting hobby outside of automotive.
“I have a passion for collecting skateboards and skating in general,” he admits.
“(They are) mostly ’80s and ’90s Powell Peralta and Santa Cruz reissues. I’m up to about 25 boards now and all are fully set up.”
Steve is married with three children – two boys and a girl.
“I have been with my wife since we were 16 years old and our kids are 16, 14 and 12. We enjoy spending time together, mountain bike riding, skateboarding, and laughing. They mean everything to me and are the reason I get up and go to work every day,” he says.
Steve has definitely come a long way from those days tinkering in the garage on his trusty Kingswoods and Commodores, but throughout the whole time he’s remained a self-confessed ‘car guy’ with a strong leaning towards the Holden camp.
REDARC Electronics was founded in August of 1979 by electronics engineer, Robin (Bob) William Mackie in South Australia. Bob started the business by designing and manufacturing vehicle ignition systems and voltage converters. In fact, the name REDARC is believed to have come from the spark developed in the first ignition system having a ‘red arc’.
In 1997 Anthony and Michele Kittel along with Michele’s Father, Denis Brion, purchased the business following the premature death of its founder. Denis Brion retired in 2002 and Anthony and Michele purchased 100 percent of the business at that time.
Under the current ownership, REDARC has grown from humble beginnings to become a world-class, advanced electronics manufacturer, servicing both domestic and international markets.
Through rapid growth, REDARC has moved premises several times. In 1997 it was operating out of a tin shed in Lonsdale, South Australia, with only eight employees.
Today, REDARC Group (REDARC) operates in a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility, employing over 250 people nationally and internationally, of which over 100 are full-time engineers and includes REDARC Electronics, Hummingbird Electronics and REDARC Defence Systems.
The head office is (still) based in South Australia, at REDARC’s advanced manufacturing facility with branch offices in New South Wales and Victoria.
The Group is fully integrated and shares the in-house resources including the advanced manufacturing and testing facilities and has staff based across Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe.
REDARC has had to adapt and grow, as the industry’s customers move and change. Beginning by designing and manufacturing vehicle ignition systems and voltage converters, REDARC now provides mobile, off-grid energy and safety management solutions to customers worldwide in the recreational, industrial, and mining industries.
Along the way, REDARC has seen success with a variety of products, from the market leading Tow-Pro and revolutionary BCDC range, to the state-of-the-art Manager30 and the innovative RedVision TVMS.
The company continues to diversify its range by adding more capable products and feature a range of options from the basic set up to the most extreme needs.
For more information visit www.redarc.com.au