GLS and Form1 join forces for NSW venture


In September 2017 Form1 joined forces with Justin O’Malley, from GLS Electrical in Canberra, to launch GLS NSW.

GLS Electrical is a Canberra-based electrical contractor specialising in commercial/ industrial electrical maintenance and installation. While the partnership between Form1 and GLS was born in 2017, the mateship between CEOs Steve Shirlaw (Form1) and Justin O’Malley (GLS), has a much longer history.

“Steve and I met when I was part of another business,” explains Justin. “We were trying to find a way to work together because I knew we had similar beliefs when it came to business. Unfortunately that particular project didn’t work out.”

“Something didn’t fit for me with that first venture,” adds Steve. “But as soon as I met Justin I knew I wanted to work with him. We think the same and we’ve got the same cultural fit. We’re 100% focused on looking after our clients, providing the best service and education and taking care of our staff.  Twelve months after that Justin called me and said, ‘How are you going? I’m in Sydney, want to catch up?’ So I met up with him for a coffee.”

After that coffee the two businesses found a way to work together by starting Form1 Fire (Canberra) and Justin invited Steve to join him on the famous motoring challenge, Variety Bash.  

“I said, ‘Nothing will sort us out like driving a car across Australia for 11 days in trying conditions,” laughs Justin. This was when the two business partners launched Form1 Fire (Canberra) together. 

A Client’s Dream  

Working with GLS helped Steve and Justin build Form1 in Canberra and now Form1 will help GLS expand their presence in Sydney.

“We’ve got very similar personalities when it comes to business,” says Justin, proudly. “We care as much about our clients as we do about the work. We’ve created a change in expectations in the fire industry in Canberra, which has resulted in a higher level of accountability for everyone. It’s inspiring to raise the bar in an industry. We really do bounce off the back of each other – we’re a client’s dream.”

GLS will operate out of the offices in Sydney. George (Zervos) will run it on a daily basis, Justin (O’Malley) will support, with his knowledge on the systems, and Steve (Shirlaw) will oversee it on a day-to-day basis. In the long run both partners are clear about how they want the future to unfold.

“It’s not all about making money,” says Steve. “If we do everything right by our people – our partners, clients and staff – the money part will look after itself.”

“It sounds weird but we’re looking forward to growing and enjoying our businesses together,” adds Justin. “I’d like us to be in a pub in ten years time saying, ‘Do you remember when…?’ I want to look back and know we had the best time ever.”

To learn more about GLS click here. If you have any questions, give us a call.