DESA Australia is a privately owned national business focused on providing outstanding customer service by providing value through its great team of friendly, efficient and technically capable trades people.

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Our People

The DESA Team

At DESA we value our staff and we are proud of the fact that several members of our team have now completed in excess of fifteen years service with the company. We believe that our employees are our most valuable asset and this is reflected in their enthusiasm and professionalism - it is our aim to ensure that every contact you have with a member of the DESA team will be a pleasant one.


Gerard Whitely - Managing Director

Gerard joined DESA as Chief Financial Officer in September 2007 following a 19 year career with the BP Group. Gerard held senior positions with the BP group in Finance, Business Management, Sales and Strategic Planning roles both in Australia and the United Kingdom. Gerard brings to DESA the necessary experience in Corporate Governance & Processes required to underpin the position DESA has grown to as a leading contracting company.

Gerard holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia, is a Certified Practicing Accountant and in 2006 completed the Senior Executive Program at the London Business School. He has significant experience in guiding businesses through a transformation phase.

Gerard assumed the position of acting Chief Executive Officer in July 2009 and was confirmed in this position twelve months later when he was also appointed to the Board of Directors.

Robert Baird - Director Operations

Robert has worked with DESA since 1999 spending the last 8 years in the role of Director Operations. His role is to work with the DESA General Managers helping them build the business across DESA’s network of national offices. He is a qualified A grade electrician while also holding industry qualifications with the Building Industry Consulting Service International such as the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and LAN Specialist (NTS).

Roberts experience has predominantly been within the computer support industry with over 30 years of experience while specialising in providing quality cabling and data centre solutions for some of Australia`s largest organisations. These organisations include corporate office fit outs, service and maintenance of the Finance, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Retail and Government sectors of the business market. Having worked through the industry on local and overseas projects, Robert and his team are able to offer a diverse range of data/voice, electrical and design methodologies in line with the latest world standards.

Rocky Sama - General Manager, Queensland

Rocky has been involved in the electrical industry for over 25 years and joined DESA’s Queensland Office in 2005 as a Project Manager, shortly after assuming the GM role.

Rocky has been involved in all facets of electrical and communications cabling including the design, supervision and installation of power and lighting, network cabling, telephone cabling, intercom systems, UPS units, generator systems, AV and security systems.

Rocky has supervised many major projects including the cabling infrastructure for various sites across Australia. These include construction and refurbishment of airport terminals, office buildings, universities, resorts and apartment complexes for organisations such as Woolworths, Qantas, Boral, MLC, Outrigger, Queensland Government, Brisbane Hilton and Pfizer.

Daryl Clapton - General Manager, SA

Daryl has been with DESA since 1997 and has over 30 years experience in the electrical and communications industry ranging from heavy industrial electrical to service related electrical and communications installations.  

Daryl started at Desa as a senior project manager and is now the General Manager of one of our Victorian based work groups and our South Australian office.

Having project managed many high profile projects in both the electrical and communications sectors Daryl has ensured DESA continues to prove that we are regarded throughout the industry as a professional and innovative company. Through winning a NECA award and several special commendations it is testament to the quality of the work DESA will provide.

Daryl has been involved in projects ranging from general office fit outs, Wind Turbine Farms, National CCTV rollouts and CBUS Automation projects. These projects have been completed for National Corporate clients, Government, Retail, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical sectors.

John Turner - General Manager, NSW

John joined DESA in 2011 as General Manager NSW after 14 years with Alcatel-Lucent and 3 years in private practice consulting.  John was previously a member of Alcatel’s senior leadership team in Australia/New Zealand and held regional vice-president roles in both engineering and business management across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and the Pacific Islands.

John has been involved with broadband communications infrastructure since its inception in Australia, leading the research, development and project teams which ultimately designed and delivered approximately three million lines of broadband xDSL across Australia.  His design-level experience includes broadband access technologies, optical transmission interfaces, PON technologies, uninterruptible electrical and mechanical power systems, IP, Ethernet and ATM networking. John has led major infrastructure projects for Telstra, AAPT/Powertel, Telecom NZ, TransACT, and others, and has undertaken confidential technical consulting engagements for a number of high profile Australian and international companies.

John holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons) and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.  John enjoys participation in several professional bodies and undertakes occasional speaking engagements at universities and industry associations.  John has also been involved with standardisation, serving on the Network Reference Panel of the Communications Alliance (formerly ACIF) which oversees and develops Australian communication codes on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). 

David Higginson - General Manager, WA

David has over 20 years experience within the Electrical and Telecommunications industry including 4 years working in the IT sector, gaining knowledge in PBX systems, VoIP and Network Engineering/Design.  He has been with DESA since 2011 when the business decided it was time to open the Perth office.

David has been involved with many WA based projects including new regional Police Stations, Schools, Shopping Centres, Fuel Terminals, Car Parks and Office Buildings.  He has also spent significant time assisting the Oil & Gas and Mining sectors with Electrical and Communications solutions.  David’s involvement in completing both large and small scale projects across WA has allowed him to gain the experience required to represent DESA in the best possible way.

His knowledge of the industry, including electrical, communications (both copper & fibre), AV, MATV, UPS and Parking Guidance Systems enable him to provide valuable advice and confidence to clients.  His key drive is customer satisfaction, ensuring his team provides the end result our customers expect from DESA.

Michael Richardson - General Manager, Vic/ACT & Data Centres

Michael started his career in 1988 with an Industrial Electrician installing and maintaining machinery and equipment throughout many of Victoria’s largest factories and plants.

Michael has gone on to work for two of Australia’s largest Electrical and Communications companies overseeing the delivery of multiple large infrastructure projects, has been with DESA Australia since late 1999, and is currently General Manager responsible for 2 x Victorian Work Groups, National Data Centre Business, and our ACT office.

Michael is also a certified designer for data communications vendors and has demonstrated his skills in the management of the design, estimating, installation, termination and commissioning of electrical and data projects throughout Australia.

Project Group Managers & Project Staff


DESA’s Project Group Managers, Project Managers and Supervisors are Licensed Electricians, selected for their experience within the communications industry. They are registered to complete Open Communications Cabling as accredited by one of the Australian Communications Authority registered bodies and either have, or are working towards, their BICSI RCDD accreditation (DESA currently has 13 BICSI RCDD qualified staff). Our project management staff are highly skilled and considered to be experts in their field, with one attribute in common - providing exceptional customer service. This emphasis on customer service allows us to work on the most demanding projects, consistently providing new challenges and experiences.

Team in Black Polos  PM Conf 2017