Hailing from a regional Queensland farming family, Joe graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon and served in the Australian Army for 11 years including overseas deployments to East Timor and Kuwait.

He has worked as network control manager for Queensland Rail and general manager for Right2Drive amongst other corporate positions. An outstanding sportsman, he played semi-professional rugby league for Brisbane Norths and has been named in the Duntroon team of the century for rugby.