“Working for the Ferries is the best job I have ever had. It is possibly the best job in the world,” says Lidija. Her job as Customer Assistance Officer on the Ferries is a long way from the office job Lidija studied for, and even further from the world Lidija’s family come from.
Lidija’s mother is from Velic, a tiny village in Croatia, where she milked cows and washed with a bucket of water outdoors. No bathroom or toilet facilities in the stone cottage where she lived. Even in 2000 when Lidija went to visit, things hadn’t progressed much at all – she had to pump water from a well to drink and wash. Lidija’s father, also from Croatia, grew up in Otok, a farm village of 4500 people. Both parents left Croatia (then Yugoslavia) separately in the 1970s in search of a better life and opportunities to raise a family. It was not an easy choice as they both left brothers, sisters and their parents behind to make the move.
Lidija loves the water. She remembers her first experience of the Harbour at age 15 on a ferry trip to Luna Park with a friend. They took a Rivercat there, a First Fleeter to come home. “I still get excited about going on a vessel, the feel of the water and the wind, the hum of the engines, the movement across the waves,” she says.
A graphic designer by trade, Lidija is a beach lover and keen bodyboarder. She is also practicing to obtain a motorcycle licence. “I’d love to have an Italian road bike such as a Ducati,” she says enthusiastically.
Lidija’s life at the Ferries and beyond is boundless. We think her parents would be proud to see her enjoying the better life they went in search of all those years ago.
I still get excited about going on a vessel, the feel of the water and the wind, the hum of the engines, the movement across the waves