Scholarship Success Story

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Aaron Durasovic, Director and Founder of Earth & Energy and Gold Winner of the 2016 Middy’s Scholarship Program, is paving the way for young Electricians looking to make a difference.

Aaron has put a green spin on the traditional Electrical business model. Earth & Energy provides sustainable capital improvements to businesses across the commercial and industrial sectors, and implements solutions to improve the energy efficiency of businesses helping them take action against climate change. Earth & Energy services consist of LED lighting, HVAC, Solar, Energy Monitoring Technologies and a newly implemented Asset Maintenance Division, ensuring energy efficiency remains long after the initial installation has been completed.

Aaron started his career as an Electrical apprentice at a company that focused on Solar installations. This sparked his interests in Renewable Energy and Sustainability. He then started working full time for a small Electrical business. Over time, Aaron began noticing the absence of an environmentally conscious behaviour within the Electrical industry. This prompted him to start his own business with a focus on bettering the environment through energy efficiency.

Aaron says, “The more we listen to the community and our clients, the more successful we are. We are living in a time where people genuinely care about the footprint they leave behind and are mindful of preserving the planet for generations to come. All we’ve done is respond to what the community wants.”

Since Earth & Energy’s inception, Aaron has developed a recycling program which ensures all hazardous waste is removed from a job site and dispensed of responsibly. Aaron says, “It is not enough to just make a business sustainable, you need to also be mindful of how the bi-product and waste are disposed.” Earth and Energy disposes and repurposes mercury in old fluorescents through the Moonee Valley Transfer Station, offering tox-free waste services; a move that has been found to be beneficial for all clients.

Over the years Aaron has become a loyal customer of Middy’s Airport West. It was there that he first heard about The Middy’s Scholarship Program. Being a lifelong learner, Aaron was eager to continue his education and saw this as an invaluable opportunity to expand his business and skill set.

“Jarryd Lawlor, Sales Rep of Middy’s Airport West initially sparked my interest and made me aware of the Scholarship Program. Jarryd suggested I should apply, explaining how the program offers Electricians a way to reach their true potential with access to a diverse range of skill enhancement and training courses. It’s refreshing to see Middy’s staff so enthusiastic about what the Scholarship Program offers and their willingness to get contractors to enter into this tremendous initiative”.

Like many, Aaron faces the struggles of working full-time whilst managing his own business. In applying for the Scholarship Program, he dedicated many hours each night to complete a high-quality application form that he felt proud to submit.

“I found the online application process simple and straight forward. Before finalising my submission, I critiqued and proofed all of my answers to the six questions. I outlined the core values of Earth & Energy to articulate my story and the challenges faced in the Electrical industry. I felt that this mindset would give me the best opportunity to win”. Aaron’s plan, if his submission was successful, was to capitalise on the substantial funding he’d receive, furthering his education and providing a real advantage for his business.

He consulted with his partner, brother and business mentor when applying, all of whom offered similar advice, encouragement and reinforcement as to how invaluable winning a Silver or Gold accolade would be. In September 2016, Aaron, along with 11 other recipients, received a phone call from Middy’s General Manager of Sales & Operations, Nick Collins to tell him he had won. The 12 lucky recipients, out of almost 400 applicants had, to the judges, the edge over other candidates. The judging panel were hand-picked by industry experts consisting of Rod Lovett (NECA), Keith Van der Zyden (Energy Safe Victoria), Jeff Patchell (Connection Magazines) and John Clarke (NECA Education & Careers) who selected the best 12 forward thinking Electricians for 2016.

“It is a testament to Middy’s, giving electrical contractors, a real head start in life, investing in their own industry, with the freedom for the next generation of Electricians to be educated and at the forefront of receiving industry training funnelled through the Scholarship Program”, says Aaron.

Aaron can now fast track his career with access to $10,000 in Scholarship funds to be spent on the latest and most up to date training courses of his choice. “I believe that utilising the Scholarship funds wisely is one of my greatest recommendations for future Scholarship recipients. Choosing your own educational path is invaluable, selecting the direction you wish to take your business in and upskilling yourself”.

Since winning the Scholarship Program, Aaron has re-jigged his working arrangements to manage his time more productively at Earth & Energy. He is determined to reap the rewards of his new-found skills and provide a competitive edge in today’s challenging environment of the Electrical industry. “My education and work life have taken precedence over a number of activities and holidays that were planned, now remaining postponed”.

The Middy’s Scholarship funds are available for recipients to participate in customised training courses for only one calendar year, giving access to select Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) best suited to each individuals personal and professional needs that positively impacts the self-development of the person and their business. “I really got stuck into selecting my courses early, to make the most out of the $10,000 grant. I recently completed four different courses including Estimate Stages 1 & 2 (NECA), Certificate II Split Airconditioning & Heat Pump (Box Hill Institute), Certificate IV Integrated Technology (Box Hill Institute)”, says Aaron. “I have undertaken specific courses that have really added a point of difference to my business. I believe Earth & Energy is very unique and I want to continue to keep it diverse and offer more niche services to my customers”.

Aaron has added new offerings to his business, which continues to flourish and provide a 360-degree view of services to his clients. More confident than ever about Earth & Energy from a business and financial perspective, by advancing himself through new disciplines of the Electrical trade, Aaron is now able to make more rounded decisions and improvements for his company.

For the remainder of 2017, Aaron’s preference is to complete training courses that are concentrated on Business Management, Monitoring Power, Heating and Cooling, and Renewable Energy. Believing that these sectors are important for the Electrical industry and are in high demand for the modern-day Electrician.

This article was originally featured in our quarterly Middy's MAG #19 Sep - Nov 2017 Edition. Read the MAG