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Docklander - September 2018

30 Aug 2018

Docklander - September 2018 Image

Your new life starts now

Although a recent arrival, Lisa Oatham has loved Docklands from a distance for a long time now.

The District Docklands tourism manager moved here in January after her marriage broke down.

“I’ve always wanted to live in Docklands,” she said. “The plan for the past four years had been to develop our Abbotsford property and buy here in Docklands.”

That didn’t work out as planned, but Lisa and her teenage daughter are loving their rental in NewQuay – high above the harbour with water views and extensive views beyond to the city and suburbs.

And, now, she not only lives here, she works here too. At the time, she worked with Skybus but reassessing a lot of things in her life at the time, she determined to throw her fate to the universe – resigning at the end of May.

The universe, indeed, provided and the following week she met an AsheMorgan recruiter, proceeded through three interviews and started her new dream job in July.

Very much a “people-person”, Lisa doesn’t mind the transience of residential living in NewQuay.

“I’m sitting on the fence when it comes to short-term rentals,” she explained. “It does need some regulating, but the visitation is good as the area needs a little bit of help.”

“I feel like I’m living in an Airbnb living in my own home,” she said – concluding that life in Docklands is a bit like being on holidays.

“I come home and sit on my balcony and feel like I’m living the experience of a tourist,” she said.

Ms Oatham said she hadn’t lived in an apartment before and “loves everything about it”.

She loves the security, the views, the gym and the pool, the free tram, proximity to just about everything and the absence of creepy-crawling insects.

If there is anything she misses, it’s having a vegie garden – but that’s expected from a daughter of Italian migrants.

And being a resident in love with Docklands makes her job engaging with the tourism industry to promote The District Docklands as a destination very easy indeed.

With the nightlife, supermarket, Asian market, cinemas, etc on their way for the precinct, Lisa says local residents are the biggest winners from the huge investment revitalising the area.

“It’s becoming an urban village in its own right and has attractive elements which are unique in Melbourne – and unique in Australia for that matter,” she said. “It’s a destination in its own right.”

Her own first-hand research tells her that Docklands is beginning to be perceived with fondness by the outside world – a radical turnaround from some of the negativity of the past decade.

“It’s shifting fast,” she said. “Particularly over the past six months. People are starting to talk about the fun things that are happening.”

“They really want Docklands to succeed. We are being brought back into the fold because there is something here for everyone.”

Always a contributor, Lisa joined the Docklands Chamber of Commerce executive late last year, with the point of view of a local employee and resident.

She speaks about her life in tourism and hospitality almost as a vocation of servitude.

“It’s like a family with everyone focussed on partnerships and collaboration. You need to like people and love the area you are working in,” she said.

“It takes a positive and humble attitude to make it work – focussing on how you can make the customer have the very best experience. And it brings joy because it’s like giving a gift.”

“If done correctly, working in a role like this actually makes you a better person.”

And now at home in Docklands, she is single and independent for the first time in 22 years. With seeming inexhaustible passion and energy to share, it seems that Docklands is the biggest winner. Welcome Lisa, your new life starts now.


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