A decade of working together

Joe (left) has worked at Armada for 18 years; son, Jason (right) came on board 10 years ago. 291987. Picture: JONTY RALPHSMITH.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Joe and Jason Galea are the sort of people that are comfortable working under the radar.

The father and son duo are men of few words, and have worked at Armada Dandenong Plaza for 18 and 10 years respectively.

In that period, they have had a tremendous impact on the prosperity of the shopping centre.

Shivana Shanka from the marketing team calls them the eyes and ears of centre management.

“They’re highly regarded in the centre management team,” she said.

“Our day to day task is behind a computer – it’s these guys that are out on the floor making it all happen.

“We run events every single month and each of these events requires a physical element to run – it is these guys making it happen.”

“Whenever we have an event, such as Christmas decorations, their role in that event is to create the entire setup.”

At the moment the pair have already started preparing for Christmas festivities.

Joe is building gift-wrapping tables, with his long-time woodwork hobby complementing his employment well across the years.

“We dream ideas for him and ask him to make it,” Fiona Carmichael from the centre management team said, laughing.

In 2017 for the World’s Greatest Shave, the shopping centre needed a lectern for the event the following day.

Delivery would not arrive in time so Joe went home and put something together that night.

Joe and Jason are the only two men that make up the maintenance team and to ensure there is someone at the shops as often as possible, their shifts do not overlap regularly.

However, both see each other as hard reliable workers, which gives centre management the scope for creativity.

As for their relationship with each other?

“I got the job because Dad gave me a call offering me the job,” Jason said.

“The job’s brought us closer.

“We get along well so it is quite easy but we have our time apart as well, and we don’t see each other too much at work because we’re doing our own thing.

Alongside strong relationships with each other and colleagues, regular customers have grown to know the pair engendering a community feel when they go to work.

“We have customers that know us by name which is nice. People will always come up when they see me working.

“When I’m working in the car park, ‘a million’ people will beep their horns to say hello as they pass.”