Meet our team ...

  • Shelli Ferreira

During the month of August we pay homage to women of our nation, it is just fitting that this week we feature one of our phenomenal women in our organisation. A woman with a heart of gold and the first female to be allowed to work in the JSE market hall - Shelli Ferreira, AMO Technical Administrator has been with the AMS for three and a half years, here’s a look into her life …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born at the Marymount hospital in Johannesburg.  I attended the Holy Family convent and then Green Oaks Finishing School. After school my parents would not allow me to further my education. They believed girls did not need tertiary education. I was very fortunate to secure employment at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and became the first female to be allowed to work in the JSE market hall. I was 18 and this was a huge privilege.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I married at 22 and had my son two years later and twin daughters 21 months after that (sadly one of my daughters died, but she will always be remembered). After the birth of my son I was very honoured to be able to be a stay at home Mom which I continued to do until they were almost finished with school. It was the best job in the world. I then opened my own small business, selling teenage clothing. I moved to Cape Town 10 years ago and became an Estate Agent before joining Civair.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “The best thing that has happened to me in my time at AMS, is witnessing daily all the amazing work the rescue crew does to save lives and the worst was the loss of a work colleague and his young son.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “As my dream was to go to Hotel school, I would very much like to run a small boutique hotel or a B & B.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Gardening, sewing/quilting and spending time with my family and friends. In the last year I have become the granny to two beautiful babies so they fill a large amount of my time.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I would love to write a book.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “The great team I work with and seeing the amazing work that is done by our organisation.”

What is on your bedside table? “My bedside lamp, clock radio (it gets switched on the minute my eyes open so I can find out what has happened in the world while I was sleeping), candles and a picture of my family.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Famous people and wealth do not impress me, so if I were to have dinner with anyone it would be my late husband who was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known, my two children as they have very interesting and diverse lives, Nelson Mandela for his compassion and caring nature and his immense ability to forgive which is a rare thing and Steve Jobs, not for his knowledge and wealth but for the inspirational lessons he learned just before his death.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I hope the traffic is not heavy today and I get to work safely and on time. Takes me 1 hr 15 min to get to work.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “My wedding day and then the birth of my three children.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?  “A horticulturist. There is nothing more peaceful and rewarding than a beautiful garden.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Travel. Anytime, anywhere.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Besides my children and grandchildren then I would say my two furry children, 2 beautiful black cats.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Listen before you speak and always treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Lion – They protect their cubs no matter what comes their way, they are loving, loyal and affectionate, but don’t mess with the king.”

Any motto you live by? “TIME is the most precious gift you can give to anyone. Once a moment has passed you can never retrieve it, so spend quality time with your loved ones because life is very short.”