Funky Shirt Friday with Dawson Electric

Funky Shirt Friday with Dawson Electric

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It’s 7am on Brisbane’s foggiest morning of the year when we get to Dawson Electric’s toolbox talk. They’re in Woolloongabba in the river city’s inner south and they’re surrounded by coffee shops. Today, like every Friday, they’re kitted to the nines in conversation starters.

Dylan and Christine, Dawson Electrical’s husband and wife owner-operators, implemented Funky Shirt Friday a few years ago. Dylan’s in Spun Out and Christine’s in a throwback 2020 party shirt called The Vice. Dan’s got a Bin Chicken on as he chats to them in the workshop.

“One of our tradies struggled with his mental health a few years ago,” Christine tells Dan, “and we didn’t even know until he left. We knew after that we had to do something to encourage people to open up.”

“One of the stats I heard recently is the every two days someone in the trade industry commits suicide,” Christine continues. “When you normalise mental health and talk about it in your companies and each other it opens up a conversation.”

“What would you say about other businesses getting on board with Funky Shirt Fridays?”

“It’s a no brainer. People want to feel a part of something.”

And the team agree.

Their team of sparkies and apprentices are in a pretty wide range of conversation starters. Their resident golf pro is in Amoeba from back in 2022, there’s a Pharaoh Dinkum short sleeve on the bloke from Geelong even in the Brisbane “winter”, another Spun Out, and Keeley the third year apprentice has an old school Ringmaster on.

“Do you reckon that excellent choice of shirt means you should get signed off early?” Dan asks Keeley.

“Yea!” she says.

Dylan’s not promising anything but he’ll consider it.

The Dawson team’s itching to get to work though two of the blokes are putting off heading back out to site to dig a trench through some mud. There are a few spare high vis conversation starters in their trays so they don’t wreck the good ones.

“Is the vibe way up now that you do Funky Shirt Friday every Friday?” Dan prods with a cheeky grin.

“Of course,” Dylan says.

“Last one: do you reckon Funky Shirt Friday is the reason you have so many five star reviews on Google?” Dan asks.

“Absolutely. They don’t write it into the review but it’s there.”

Join Dawson Electric. Get involved in Funky Shirt Friday this Friday to start conversations about mental health at work.

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