How we are brought up, the influences we have and the people around us all help to shape who we grow to be, and the story of Jamie Vlatko is a beautiful example of a strong family bond, shared values, grace and resilience.
We spoke with Jamie about what he's learned from his beloved father and grandfather, what he hopes to pass on to his own son and we find out more about about the story his new Guardian Chain will hold.
How would you describe the relationship between yourself, your son and grandfather?
I have such a special bond with my son, and I owe that to the relationship I have with not only my Dad but my grandfather (Dida) too. I feel so lucky to still have Dida in my life, especially as I navigate being a father myself and I owe a lot of our special bond to the immense amount of love I have always felt from the males in my life. Seeing the role model Dida has been for my Dad, and then my Dad to me definitely drives me to continue their legacy with my son Louie today and in the future.
What similarities do you share and what are the most obvious differences?
We have a great sense of family and what’s important. We all love our sport (a lot!) and work hard in all we do. I think the biggest difference between us has to be how we grew up. Dida has lived a life, and then some. He is always sharing stories of how he didn’t meet his own father until he was 25 as he had to leave Croatia to make money for his family back home. Dida has lived through the dark times of war and searching for a better life by immigrating to Australia (4 months after sending his pregnant wife on a boat alone) and then the brighter times of bringing up his 4 children in Australia and seeing his family grow and extend to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. These are challenges that I will never fully understand or experience, and I am forever grateful to Dida for going through these tough times to give my Dad and now my family today the opportunities and immense sense of family we have today. I can see in Dida, even as he gets older, how these experiences have made him so resilient in a way I will never know.
What are some traditions that have been passed down through your family generations?
Over the top dinners and celebrations with too much food and lots of fun. It’s an experience for sure and you have to be there to know what I mean - there is nothing like our family dinners.
What is the most cherished memory you have as a family?
My wedding day to my beautiful wife Jess. We had so much family there and now that some family members are no longer with us, it just makes the memory extra special.
At NMJ, we believe jewellery should be a considered purchase and create our pieces so that they can be passed down through generations, telling the stories of family who have worn them before. What story will your Guardian Chain hold?
Whenever I think of a piece of jewellery, I think of it long term. My wedding band, my watch and now the Guardian chain, I want to be able to pass them on and hold greater value for the history. Most importantly the memory and what it represents for me now, my son, my family and my heritage.
Watch "a part of you" here.
Captured by ~ The Noun Collective