Stephen Bird has been announced as the winner of the 2022 AAAA Outstanding Service to Industry Award

The AAAA Outstanding Service to Industry Award is the most prestigious of the Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards, and its winner is also inducted into the AAAA Hall of Fame.
2022 winner Stephen Bird started his career in the Automotive Aftermarket on the 4th of February 1974 under the Repco Management Cadet program. He quickly developed a passion and love for both the company and the industry which set his career on a journey through the ranks at Repco and GPC Asia Pacific. He is now enjoying his well-earned retirement after a distinguished and highly successful career.
“I feel very privileged to have worked for a fantastic company in such a strong industry and with some great people,” Stephen said.
“For 43 years I just loved going to work. The thing I love most about the Automotive business is that it is truly a people business. Building healthy relationships both internally and externally is critical for success and something I loved to do. It is an industry filled with exceptional people.
“I spent over 20 years in the store and distribution network and met some amazing people. I don’t have time to thank all the people who mentored and assisted me during my operations journey, but I would like to thank Wayne Bryant, Douggie Smith and Mal Dunning for their support over the past 30 years.
“Moving into Merchandise was a challenge I really enjoyed. Being a supplier in our industry isn’t always easy but we do have a resilient and enthusiastic supplier base who help us to look after our customers. Some people in the supplier community stand apart from the others through their proactiveness and willingness to go the extra mile – a big thank you to John Zhao and Ron Brooks, Gino Ricuitti, Chris Hatton and Kevin Holmes, Boo Khoo, Gerry Nabarro, Toby Dymond and John Firth.
“Throughout my career I worked with some
great teams but can say the Automotive Merchandise team was the hardest working and most fun team I have worked with. Again, there are too many people to thank but a big shout out to David Cattunar, Gareth Robinson and Daisy Balcombe.
“Thanks also go to our team in NZ. Many years ago, the business made the decision to merge the Merchandise and back office departments of the Australian and NZ businesses. It was a bumpy road at times but with the support of Jonathon Maddren, Louise Sixton, Allister Hughes and Andrew Barry we successfully achieved all our goals. And thanks guys for making my team and I welcome in NZ and also for introducing us to Danny Doolans.
“My thanks also go to the Merchandise Leadership team and in particular, Graeme Heine, Linh Chieng and Brett Jennings. There were some hard times, good times, ups and downs but we nearly always delivered our numbers and had many laughs along the way.
“During the journey I have worked under numerous Managers, EGMs and CEOs, but special thanks go to Gary Dunwell, John Moller, and Rob Cameron for all your encouragement and support and for letting me be me.
“But my biggest thank you goes to my wife and children. Their understanding and support allowed me to build my career. Thanks to Claire, Jemma, and Riley.
“The AAAA does a fantastic job in representing and championing the industry and I believe it has gone a to a new level over the past 10 years. Thank you to the AAAA for this prestigious award. It is a huge honour and I really appreciate it.”

For more information about the awards, visit www.aftermarketawards.com.au