11 Mar 2024


Our People Make The Difference

Based in Sydney with growing interstate representation, The P.A. People have built a team with broad-based skills over its more than 50 years of continuous operation.

Chris Dodds

MD, Chris Dodds said of his crew: “Tasks, systems, equipment, and locations change over time, but our people have always made the difference. It’s significant to hear from our clients and suppliers that we are considered a ‘partner’ in their business – that’s simply not possible without consistently good people.”


Peter Grisard

Peter Grisard

Venue Engineering

Peter Grisard heads Venue Engineering: “We have a reasonable amount of grey hair in my Venue Engineering team,” laughs Peter. “We are a unique combination of young talented designers with new ideas, working with highly experienced senior staff to deliver the largest staging projects in Australia and New Zealand. Part of my role is understanding the client needs and bringing these back to the team to determine what’s possible, what isn’t, and what the options are.


“Safety is always of paramount concern in our job and we’re always constantly reminding both ourselves and our clients that in this field of work, we lift, suspend and move objects over audiences and performers.” The grey hair in the Venue Engineering team extends to Andrew Mathieson, and Jim Parmley, two of the country’s most experienced theatre equipment engineers.

Brett Steele

Brett Steele

Installed Systems

“With audio, AV, lighting, stage control, foyer systems, theatre machinery and the relevant design, fabrication – metal, timber, fabric – and sewing room all in-house, The P.A. People has the ability to control the entire process in one location,” said Brett Steele, head of Installed Systems. “This adds to the confidence of our whole team and better informs the solutions we can bring to a client’s task.”

“Our team members have a keen interest in what they’re doing; it’s not just a job,” said Brett. “For them, it’s about understanding the client’s functional requirement and unpacking that to bring an appropriate solution to their task.” In a recent project, all these collective team skills were involved across three projects for Sutherland Shire Council in NSW:

Pavilion Entertainment Centre, Memorial Hall and Council Chambers; from a sensitive heritage project to an entire ‘new build’ performing arts facility.

The Installed Systems team also includes AV Design Manager Ian Laird, Drapery Manager Nayana Ratnawardana, and a significant team of more than 20 project managers, control system engineers, fabricators and installers.

Nicky Dodds

The Comms Team

Event Communications

The P.A. People Event Communications team is headed up by Nicky Dodds. Nicky returned to the business during COVID but is no stranger to the rental side of the business, having worked as part of the team on many of our projects since the late ’80s.

“While we’re known internationally as a key supplier of large-scale communication systems for Olympic-scale events, our local work also involves a significant audio component,” says Nicky. “With clients that include the Australian F1 Grand Prix, the Vivid Festival for Destination NSW, New Year’s Eve Fireworks for the City of Sydney, Tennis Australia and the Sydney Kings, we can provide audio and communications systems for almost any event,” she added. “From a distributed speaker system for a street parade, to a concert system with multiple Yamaha Rivage consoles and our ShowMatch array systems, through to hundreds of radios, beltpacks and keystations, we have the people and gear to assist any production or event.”

A key ingredient to the Event Comms team’s capability has been the retention of all its key personnel through the pandemic, something that has reaped dividends in recent times. “Communications is all about the people; we were able to increase our in-house training regime during those years and now we have one of the largest, most capable teams in Australia,” Nicky concluded.

Angie Doyle

Angie Doyle


Angie Doyle leads Service and Maintenance for The P.A. People. Angie describes her team’s recent service response for a major transport hub: “Our service team was faced with a critical incident where a major client’s system (installed by others) went down unexpectedly. Our team was urgently mobilised to assess the issue; identified the root cause and implemented a solution in record time – minimising disruption to the client’s operations. Performance under pressure is part of what we do, and this instance highlighted our team’s ability and commitment to service delivery,” said Angie.

Ably supported by Tim Pike and Cheryl Gunders in the Gold Coast office, The P.A. People service team’s diverse skills are comprehensive, enabling it to handle multiple audio visual and venue engineering systems simultaneously for a single customer – a large performing arts venue, or a comprehensive site-wide systems audit for an education facility – right through to a basic single-issue equipment service call. Asked to sum up her department’s credential, Angie responds: “A diverse skill set and experience. Our youngest employee is 19 and the eldest is 78. The team is mixed with senior experience in both AV and Venue Engineering fields, and we’re continually training, developing and upskilling our technicians. We have technicians operating across all Australian states (and New Zealand). We stay at the forefront of industry advancements with tools, diagnostic equipment, software systems etc and we offer flexible scheduling to accommodate customers. We offer a range of services: routine maintenance, troubleshooting, in-house/onsite repairs and installations, and 24/7 support availability (by maintenance agreement).

At their new 3600m2 Head Office location in Greenacre NSW, The P.A. People houses all its design through to manufacture under one roof. But it’s the team’s collective skills that make all the difference. “I am proud of our team and the way they are motivated to continually step up,” concludes Chris Dodds.

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