Open Jaw’s Canada Day Series – Nova Tregaskis, Team Leader, Flight Centre

Open Jaw
by Martha Chapman

Here’s someone who traded the beauty of Sydney, Australia for another famously-scenic city – Vancouver – and who feels she’s truly landed on her feet.  Or should that be on her snowboard?

Where were you born? In Sydney, Australia.

When did you come to Canada? I came on my 1st holiday when I was 19, then returned several times during summer holiday when I was at university – which of course meant it was winter here. I eventually moved here 8 years ago.

Why Canada? I really fell in love with it the 1st time I came – the people, the mountains, the landscape.  I love snowboarding and that’s amazing here. I find the lifestyle much more relaxing than Sydney – and there’s much less traffic.

Did you consider other countries? Nope!

What were your 1st impressions? When I 1st landed in Vancouver I felt quite at home. There’s zero culture shock as it’s similar to Sydney in many ways. But then I went to the village of Silver Star Mountain to snowboard and it was like going to the North Pole. A beautiful, colourful village covered in snow with a horse and carriage that goes through the village. Exactly like a Christmas card.

What was your 1st job here? I worked at the lift ticket office at Silver Star. But because I had worked for Flight Centre briefly in Australia and love to travel, 6 years ago I went to work for them at a branch in East Vancouver. I’m now a Team Leader, responsible for 25 offices in Vancouver. I love my job and the people and I’m very fortunate.  

Are you a Canadian yet? I have my permanent residency application being processed and expect to have it by August this year. My life is here now and Canada is my home.

If you could live anywhere in Canada, where would it be? Vancouver, because it’s such a beautiful city – there’s music, culture, restaurants, tons to do. Plus it’s so beautiful with the combination of mountains and ocean. I love that I can snowboard after work and hike on the weekends.

What do you think would make Canada an even better place? There should be a private health care as well as public health care. It just makes sense: those who want to or can pay, can pay for services, freeing up the public system to look after more people. Also I think the price of housing in Vancouver is extremely challenging and there should be higher taxes or regulations for people who own homes here but don’t live here. It’s a massive issue.

How do you traditionally spend Canada day? Usually with friends, this year we’ll be at a cabin on the Sunshine Coast. Drink some tequila, maybe a Caesar!

What do you think you’d be doing if you had remained in Australia? Maybe something in travel, or the arts. I used to be an account manager for a record label, managing sales with 80 retail outlets across Australia, so maybe something in music.

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