The ARA Group began operations in 2001. The founders of ARA, Edward Federman and Leo Browne, envisioned creating an essential building services business for facilities and infrastructures. ARA has remained a privately owned and employee-owned organisation.
Today, ARA is comprised of four complementary operating divisions – ARA Electrical, ARA Products, ARA Fire & Security and ARA Property Services. ARA has a partnership with ARA Indigenous Services. The underlying products and services of each division are:
ARA Electrical – provides industrial low voltage and high voltage installation and service
ARA Products – manufactures a range of high security products and commercial doors; distributes electronic security products
ARA Property Services – provides building maintenance and repair services, cleaning services and installation and service of air conditioning and building automation systems
ARA Indigenous Services is a majority Indigenous owned business with the ARA Group as a minority investor. ARA Indigenous Services provides cleaning services and is a conduit for all of ARA services.
For twenty-two years now, we have worked to grow the company both organically and through strategic acquisitions. We have used cash flow from operations, a continued infusion of equity from our employees and shareholders and borrowings from our banks to fund our organic growth and our acquisitions. At all times, we have made certain that we kept our balance sheet strong and limited our borrowed funds to the extent that our earnings and cash flow could support those borrowings. And, we have worked hard to pay a good return to our shareholders with fully franked dividends.
The ARA story began in 2001, when Edward Federman and Leo Browne strategically planned the development of a complementary network of building and facility services.
Within the first year, ARA had four platforms of business – Electrical, Manufacture, Security and Fire Protection. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, ARA has grown into a substantial building service business in Australia and New Zealand. This growth, coupled with strong financial management, has contributed to ARA becoming a unique multi-service company.
The ARA Group is established.
ARA acquires CMC Property Services. ARA acquires 49 per cent of CMC Indigenous Services and establishes ARA Indigenous Services.
ARA celebrates its 20th year of operations.
ARA achieves organic growth of 50 per cent.
ARA launches Reconciliation Action Plan for 2018-2020.
ARA Marine is established through the merging of Wiltrading STACE and Oceanlink. BM Doors is acquired.
ARA becomes an employee-owned company.
ARA reaches new heights with a record revenue of $555 million. ARA continues to expand in New Zealand with new acquisition Neda Facilities Management (NFM) and Metalbilt.
Sicada Fire & Safety is acquired expanding ARA Fire’s reach into the mining industry.
ARA expands into New Zealand.
ARA achieves a 10th consecutive year of record revenue of $621 million.
Meet OUR team
With more than 30 years of experience in the building services industry, Edward Federman co-founded ARA Group in 2001 with a vision to build the business through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Since 2001, Edward has helped to grow the business to employ more than 3,000 people across a diverse range of product and service divisions.
Under Edward’s direction, ARA has gained recognition as an industry leader with a strong sense of commitment and giving back to the communities in which it operates.
Mark Pamula has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, beginning his career as an apprentice sheet metal worker before progressing into supervisory, sales and then operational management roles. Mark joined ARA Manufacture in 1993 and now oversees all ARA Manufacture’s businesses.
One of Mark’s key strengths is forming and building strong relationships with his team and ensuring the business unit is effectively managed. Marks strives to keep manufacturing alive in Australia and is most satisfied when young people can be given opportunities to develop their skills and work in an industry they love.
Allison McCann is an experienced finance professional with an established history in the building services industry.
Specialising in acquisitions, banking, forecasting and strategy, Allison has been Chief Financial Officer at ARA Group since 2014.
She was appointed Company Secretary in 2012, and in 2017 joined ARA’s Board of Directors — making her the first female to join the Board.
Allison serves on the Group’s Compensation Committee. She also holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Manchester.
Tony Franov joined ARA 19 years ago and has built ARA Security from a $4 million turnover business to a division with a turnover in excess of $90 million.
Tony is a member of the ARA Board of Directors and has extensive experience in the security industry across multiple sectors including Financial, Government, Corrections and Emergency Services.
Tony also managers ARA Fire since it merged with ARA Security as a key ARA division in 2023.
With more than 25 years in the Australian building and construction industry, Tony Murr has significant experience in structural and remedial construction for all industrial, residential and commercial sectors. For the last 16 years, he has proven his ability to take lead in overseeing larger scale group projects, as well as mentoring teams to focus on the delivery of individual projects.
Tony has shown excellent business acumen in his ability to mold ARA Building Services into a profitable and efficient business, working alongside ARA Group on the strategic acquisition of over nine companies that complement the existing framework of the building services business.
Phil Harding has more than 32 years’ experience in the air conditioning industry, with proven ability to maximise the strengths of large operational teams while nurturing and growing client/builder relationships. As Managing Director of ARA Mechanical since 2006, Phil has earned a reputation for his contribution to developing business strategies, incubating new business models and growing the business to the $70 million-dollar turnover division it is today.
Phil serves as an Advisory Board Member on the ARA Endowment Fund and holds a Master of Business Technology from the University of New South Wales.
Stuart Harmer has more than 30 years’ experience in the security and electrical engineering industry. As Managing Director of ARA Products, Stuart focuses on growing our market-leading security, access control, architectural hardware and identity distribution businesses using cutting-edge products and technology.
Stuart previously co-founded International Security Control Solutions (ISCS) in 1997 before the business was acquired by the ARA Group in 2009, where Stuart stayed on to build the ARA Products division. Stuart currently serves on the ARA Board of Management.
Jason Moore has over 25 years of experience in the industry, ranging from hands-on construction of electrical and instrumentation systems through to estimating and project management. Jason’s career progression has led him into operational management roles and was the General Manager for the Northern, Central and Southern Regions of ARA Electrical which consists of both low voltage and high voltage aspects of the business.
In 2020, Jason was appointed as the Managing Director of ARA Electrical. Since joining the ARA team in 2010, Jason has been focused on increasing the growth and performance of the business from a systems and financial viewpoint, as well as optimising business efficiencies.
Jason’s strength is ensuring the business unit is effectively managed, whilst building strong relationships with his team.
Paul McCann has more than 20 years’ experience across all aspects of property services, specialising in the commercial cleaning and property maintenance sectors.
Paul founded CMC Property Services (now ARA Property Services) in 1994 and built the company from its basic beginnings to where it is today. The business has become a leader in the sector through continual innovation, technology, customer service and its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Paul has served on the Building Services Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) Board for more than 12 years and was appointed Victorian President in 2014.
Michael O’Loughlin is a former Australian Rules football champion, having played more than 300 games with the Sydney Swans. During his sporting career, he achieved Premiership wins and All-Australian selection on two occasions. He was also inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2015.
Drawing on his life experiences as an advocate and mentor in the Indigenous community, Michael has positioned ARA Indigenous Services at the forefront of Indigenous education, support and engagement in the property services industry.