After 46 years with OTC & Telstra Noel Sutherland has accepted a redundancy and will be leaving Telstra on Thursday 6th June 2019.
42 of his 46 years with OTC & Telstra has been in the Maritime Radio and Land Mobile Radio areas progressing from valve based HF transmitters & receivers through the microprocessor era and into digital TMR technology. He looks back on an amazing journey with many career highlights, major network builds and technology changes.
His career would not have been as rewarding as it has been without the many friendships he has made along the way with great work colleagues, suppliers and customers.
He started with OTC in the Technical Officer in Training Class of ’73 and after graduation moved into OTC’s HF Radio Services later renamed OTC Maritime then Telstra Maritime before this amazing team was split apart and destroyed by Telstra.
There have been many highlights that he has had over the years and here are only a few of them:
- VHF Auto-Seaphone Network
- Fleetcoms National Trunked Mobile Radio Network
- Victorian State Mobile Radio Network (VicSMR)
- Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Radio Network
- South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN)
- SANTOS P24 Trunked Radio Network
- Queensland Government Wireless Network (QGWN)
He considers that he has hiked, flown by helicopter or battled his way via 4WD to the top of most of the mountain ranges in Australia to maintain, install or find new radio sites for OTC/Telstra. He thinks that it is time he actually slowed down and had a better look at the scenery.
He still remembers the words from the Senior Technical Officer in the OTC Paddington Telex Exchange given to him when he decided to move into HF Radio “Radio is a dead end job, Telex is the future”. He soon had to eat those words.
He is not sure if he will slip quietly into retirement. He has plans in place for the next 6 – 9 month with trips to the UK & Europe, down to Tassie and to WA in his caravan but he may consider returning to the industry in the future just to keep his mind active.
He wishes you and your families all the best for the future.
He will to try to keep in touch but if anyone is coming near Bribie Island they are always welcome to drop in and say hello.
Noel was my last boss in Maritime when I retired in 2003. He was then based all over Adelaide while I was in Sydney. Then in November 2007 I joined up with the Telstra techs to climb Mount Imlay, west of Eden, once more with them. The previous evening Noel came up from Melbourne & took us out to dinner at the Eden RSL Club. Here is my picture of Noel the next day hard at work on the Mount Imlay solar panels.