Pinetrees is one of Australia’s oldest family businesses. If you’ve spent time with us before you may know we also like to consider ourselves a bit of an extended family. Most of our staff live, work and socialise together, day in day out, all season long.
On closer inspection, if you take a look at the intricate makeup of the Pinetrees family of staff, we look a bit like the family of a celebrity who loves to adopt children from all round the world.
All corners of the globe are represented here, and we reckon that the United Nations could learn a thing or two from us.
Lodge manager Denis hails from a faraway place known as ‘Nuu Zeeland,’ our next door neighbor on Lord Howe Island. He speaks Spanish and understands Portuguese – his partner Lara’s mother tongue. Our other Dennis, whose mother is French, has a grasp of that romantic language and has joined our kitchen this year alongside contingencies from both Europe and South America.
Our head chef, Al Nicolson, is a proud Scotsman, although we’re yet to see him decked out in his kilt, or sneaking haggis onto the menu for that matter. Probably a good thing.
Another one of our chefs, Kev, is our token Pom, but he’s surprisingly upbeat for an Englishmen which might owe to the fact he’s called Australia home for the last 13 years.
The last piece of our chef puzzle is Lara who forms part of the Brazilian contingent we have at Pinetrees, although technically speaking, her mother is English and her father is Italian, so try and work that one out!
Lara is joined by Yasmim, a fellow Brazilian, but whose father is Danish. Yasmin is the first of three Danish speakers you will have the pleasure of meeting at Pinetrees. Ironically, she’s one of two of our staff who have actually worked at the United Nations.
The Danes, known for their travelling and pillaging, are very well represented at Pinetrees.
Christine, one of our floor staff, is Scandinavian in every sense of the word with blonde hair and blue eyes, but not much of an accent. She’s joined by Pia (another one of our ex-United Nations staff), who is half Danish and half Argentinian, and you can often find them all talking away in Danish on one of their balconies.
Pia’s partner, Jim, is one of our gardeners, and although he speaks fluent English and Spanish, the man of many talents comes all the way from France. He’s a genius with the guitar and can crack the rubix cube. On his first day at Pinetrees, Jim had to clean a blocked grease trap and instead of baulking at what must be one of the worst jobs on the planet, he instead said “good, I’ll start with the crap job, and it will all get better from here”. Jim (and Pia) just committed themselves to Pinetrees until May 2019. Do you think we’re happy?
Our family of international staff wouldn’t feel complete without our resident German keeping us on the straight and narrow. Blonde haired and blue eyed Kathi is one of a kind. She’s sharp, accurate and has a dry, bordering on disturbing, sense of humour. She’s the only person at Pinetrees who can cut butter with her mind.
The island has a close connection with the Dutch, through 140 years of the Kentia palm trade, and if we’re brutally honest – we love a good ‘Dutchie’! Their work ethic and peculiar approach to life is right down our alley and Lisa is no exception. We’re delighted that she’s back for a second year, as she brings such vitality and vigour to her role.
From the other side of the Pacific Ocean heralds Kenzie, our maple syrup flavoured Canadian. She’s a wannabe Aussie, and packs a Masters in Microbiology. Kenzie’s mum recently visited from Nova Scotia and introduced us to the luxury concept of “air dried linen”. We thought all linen was air dried, but apparently not in the Northern Hemisphere winter.
Closer to home we have Tamara, our spa therapist, who has parents from each side of the Tasman Sea. And let’s not forget Dave, our resident painter, who comes every year for 3 months during our winter maintenance period. Dave’s is another Spanish speaker with parents from Uruguay.
So there you have it, we’re a family with true international flavor – 13 countries. From Scotland, England, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, we bring you a smorgasbord of languages, personalities, experiences and conversations.