On March 29, 1920, a small company in Melbourne, Australia, was incorporated as the “Victorian Institute of Refrigeration.” Since rebranded, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) celebrated its 100th birthday on March 29, 2020.
Its work as a leading voice in Australian refrigeration continues, and the centenary offers opportunities to reflect on the past of refrigeration as well as to consider the industry’s future despite the challenges of the current global COVID-19 pandemic.
AIRAH has created a website dedicated to its centenary. This resource offers an account of the company’s history in photographs and articles, accomplishments of AIRAH members, current news and publications about HVAC&R, as well as coverage of regional conferences and events around Australia.
“Throughout 2020, we invite you to submit information, photos, memories and ideas to help mark AIRAH’s Centenary milestone,” AIRAH says on its centenary website.
AIRAH has planned a calendar of events and ceremonies throughout the year. The main event, Outlook 2020, is scheduled for November 8-10, 2020, in Sydney. This will combine two of its flagship events: the AIRAH Awards Gala and The Future of HVAC Conference. The conference themes are broad enough to appeal to industry experts and practitioners, and cover everything from innovation and disruption to regulation and legislation. Outlook 2020 is regarded as the most anticipated event in AIRAH’s centenary but other regional events are scheduled, subject to change.
Like all organizations, AIRAH has had to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing “our organization’s responsibility to help lower the chance of COVID-19’s spread,” AIRAH President Tony Gleeson announced on AIRAH’s website that the group was suspending Refrigeration 2020, which was scheduled to take place in Melbourne March 23-24, 2020. AIRAH has adapted to this by offering links to presentations by scheduled conference speakers, as well as free online learning resources. The group is continuing to monitor the pandemic and is updating members regularly.