Joe Vella graduated in Electrical Engineering design in High Voltage Distribution Systems Protection & Control, HV Voltage Test equipment, transitioning to military aircraft ground and air communications, loom design and ground support equipment prototypes in the Department of Air/ RAAF HQ Support Command. He was a Team Leader in Control Tower equipment projects, PCB design and East Coast radar coverage development in the Radar & Navigation Aids Engineering group of the Department of Civil Aviation, then Project Design Team Leader in an American led Energy Distribution business. He established his own consultancy for suburban underground cabling infrastructure development projects. His interest in aviation developed as a young child immersed in an aviation environment, living in walking distance to the Kalafrana Fleet Air Arm Maintenance Yard in south-eastern Malta where Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm aircraft carriers brought aircraft ashore for repair or replacement, all within the landing circuit of the adjacent RNAS HMS Falcon Hal Far airfield and the movements of new post-war era aircraft, the RAAF's 75 & 76 Squadron Vampires (86 Wing on temporary secondment to NATO) and the frequent majestic visitations of Shorts Sunderland Mk V flying boats of the RAF 201 and 230 Squadrons. That early aviation exposure firmed living close to the commercial aircraft flight path of Essendon Airport (Melbourne), leading to the inevitable aviation photography, article writing, documenting aircraft markings artworks and contributing research to overseas publications. He has been a member of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia from 1969, sometime joint editor of Aviation Heritage and past Chairman and Public Relations Officer of the Moorabbin Air Museum.