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Australia Day award for parts sector champion

Parts champion: Order of Australia recipient Barry Comben was recently re-elected to the board of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers.

Components industry stalwart Barry Comben among 2012 Australia Day Honours list

General News logo27 Jan 2012


LONG-TIME Australian motor industry executive Barry Comben was this week awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the automotive industry.

Receiving the distinguished award as part of the 2012 Australia Day Honours, Mr Comben is currently chairman of the AutoCRC – a post he has held since 2005 – and was recently re-elected to the board of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers (FAPM) for 2012, marking more than 16 years at the peak components industry body, including three years as national president (2000-2003).

Mr Comben also served as acting CEO of FAPM from 2008 to 2009, during which time he oversaw the creation of a new government-funded position specifically dedicated to helping Australian parts-makers access federal and state funding through the various assistance schemes available.

He handed over to current CEO Richard Reilly in July 2009.

Mr Comben has been a member of the Automotive Industry Innovation Council since 2008 and a member of the Deloitte Automotive Advisory Board since 2004.

80 center imageLeft: Order of Australia recipient Barry Comben.

He has worked for several years with New South Wales-based Harrington Industries which manufactures pressed metal products and assemblies, and was vice-president of sales (automotive original equipment) for Robert Bosch Australia from 1986-2004.

The AutoCRC is the Australian car industry’s own dedicated research and technology body and was recently awarded $26 million in federal government funding over the next seven years, securing its operations until mid-2019.

As GoAuto has reported, the funding will enable AutoCRC – and the federal government – to continue its push to strengthen Australian car manufacturing and the supply chain under the Automotive Australia 2020 roadmap, which has vehicle electrification, including hybrid and electric vehicles, as its core tenet.

The other “long-term opportunities” identified in the roadmap cover gaseous fuels, light-weight technology, and data and communications.

Among other motor industry personnel recognised in this year’s Australia Day awards, Tony Metcalf received an OAM for service to motor enthusiast organisations in South Australia, as well as for service to youth and aged welfare.

Mr Metcalf is a founding member and former president of the South Australian branch of the Range Rover Club of Australia and a long-time volunteer 4WD trainer.

He is also a past president of the SA Association of 4WD Clubs and was a delegate on the national council of Four Wheel Drive Australia.

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