As a boy, Robert Jordan loved going to Miranda Fair with his mother and during high school years he hung out there with his friends.
He could never have foreseen he would one day become Westfield Corporation’s managing director in Australia, New Zealand and the US and have a big part in redeveloping the Miranda centre.
“Life is very funny,” said Mr Jordan, of Yowie Bay, after being made a member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
“I think the Miranda centre is an integral part of life in Sutherland Shire and it has always been close to my heart.
“My father was an electrician and worked on the original centre, and I had a relationship with it and came back and redeveloped it a couple of times.”
During his years with Westfield, Mr Jordan found himself still calling the centre Miranda Fair even though the name was changed to Westfield Miranda as part of uniform branding
Mr Jordan’s AM award cited “significant service to business and commerce, particularly through the commercial property industry, and to charitable causes”.
During nearly 30 years with Westfield, he was chief operating officer and then managing director for Australia and New Zealand from 2003 to 2011.
In 2011, he took on the added responsibility for US operations.
Mr Jordan retired just before the opening in late 2014 of the Miranda redevelopment.
His other roles have included founding chairman of Westfield Charities Fund for Disabled Children, chairman of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia and a director of the Property Council of Australia.
He has been a member of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre since 2013 and deputy chairman since 2017. He is also chairman of the Hazelhurst Art Gallery Fund.
Mr Jordan said the honour was “quite humbling”.
”I have been in business for 30 years and worked with some very talented and hard working teams, and this award also recognises them,” he said.
”You learn in business, and life, that to actually achieve things it takes a team effort. I also had some really good mentors.”
Speaking of his charity and community roles, he said, “I have had a pretty amazing journey and I am grateful to have been in a position to make a contribution.”
Mr Jordan attended Miranda North Public School and Endeavour High School and played first grade cricket and soccer for Sutherland Shire.
He gained an honours degree in surveying at the University of NSW, but later branched into property and joined Westfield at the end of 1987.
His first major project was the redevelopment of Westfield Hurstville,which opened in October, 1989, and then came the expansion of the Miranda centre, which was completed in 1992.
Mr Jordan said the Miranda project, which extended the centre across Kiora Road, involved big challenges.
They included relocating the police station and Congregational Church from Kiora Road.
A new police station was built on the corner of Kiora Road and Willock Avenue, and a new church was built in Kiora Road on the other side of Karimbla Road.
Mr Jordan said the expansion required buying 25 separate land holdings as well as railway land.
Mr Jordan said, during the work, remnants of the former Tudor Court, which was fashioned on old England, were unearthed.
"It used to be one of my favourite places,” he said.
Although his responsibilities had broadened by the time the latest Miranda upgrade took place, he said he took a close interest in the plans and progress of the work.
“I think the development has been very good,” he said.
“The restaurants and everything else have really give a sense of life to it and enabled us to introduce new major tenants.”