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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET LESLEY ZARB

Friday, August 05, 2016
The pleasant face of The Jolly Roger and behind the scenes in Lesley’s day to day world, no two days are the same. In the late 2015 with her loving husband Matt, children Flynn and Marli, Lesley packed her suitcase, boxed up belongings and made the sea-change others only dream of doing. It takes a certain character to plunge into the unknown, however with the support of each other, their drive and experience they pulled together as a team and as a strong family.  This is their first time running and operating a restaurant ‘The Jolly Roger’ and are absolutely loving it, with the locals and every tourist coming to Norfolk The Jolly Roger has crept it way to the top of ‘Things to do on Norfolk Island’ list. 

The Zarb Family love living here in paradise, they feel very grateful that the community has accepted the whole family and are supporting the new business as well. They have now formed life-long friendships as well as an appreciation for the little life they’ve now created here. The kids have settled into school amazingly. Lesley says “Flynn is achieving things in his school and personal life he has never achieved before. Flynn has a great circle of friends and loves going to school. He works very hard in our family business and we could not do without him. Marli has come a long way since the beginning of this year, he was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years old and it has been a rough ride for him however he is achieving things we would have never thought possible and that is a direct credit to the staff at our amazing school here on Norfolk Island.”

Over the past six months they have learnt so much, this being the first time they have operated a restaurant, stepping into it not really knowing what to expect when they first opened the doors, “on our first night we spent a lot of time looking at each other thinking ‘what are doing?’ Matt has over 25 years experience in playing gigs at pub, clubs, restaurants, island resorts and I had some background in hospitality so with our combined experience and a little imagination we came up with The Jolly Roger. Landing here was not by chance our friends Justine and Cam from The Hilli Restaurant invited us here and we are very thankful to them both for bring us to this magical place. It is a crazy amount of work that goes into setting up and organising things and we are very grateful that our older son Cale came to the rescue and is now living here and working very hard as our Restaurant Manager.”

Lesley is also working full time for People Plus Australia as a Business Manager for the Jobactive Program contracted to the Government to provide Employment services to the people of Norfolk Island, so during the day this keeps her occupied Monday to Friday and then at night she turns into a Pirate Queen. 

In 2009 Matt and Lesley married, the 25th of July will be their Wedding Anniversary and together they have travelled extensively together, living in Europe, Kentucky USA, travelled extensively throughout the world with music, in several states and places in Australia and have lived on several Islands such as Dunk, Herron and Brampton. Norfolk is the biggest island they have lived on it also has the most infrastructure and the most amazing culture. Music has taken the duo all over the world and they are very lucky to have landed here on Norfolk Island.

“At the end of the day I gotta tell you that without my amazing hard working Husband none of this would be possible. He is not only the best Father and Gardener I know but also the most dedicated hard-working man I know and he isn't too bad on that old guitar either.”

Most of the family can and do sing on stage and play an instrument, last week Cale played the ukulele and sung a few songs on stage for us in the crowd. Lesley is the Queen of the microphone at karaoke bars, she believes the saying ‘everyone is good at something’ she handles the paper work and organsing, leaving the singing to the expert, husband Matt. 

If you aren’t met Lesley yet, call into The Jolly Roger on Taylors road to introduce yourself, she is a remarkable hard working mother, wife and business woman and has been a great introduction to Norfolk’s community along with the ‘Zarb Family’. 



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