Updated: Sep 29
No matter where in the local area he lives, Cato Zietsman still finds himself in Glenferrie Hawthorn practically every day of the week. "At one point I was working three jobs in Glenferrie, a massive Hawthorn supporter, I basically lived here... I DID live here!" he laughed.
The 23-year-old grew up with his two brothers in Melbourne’s Surrey Hills and went to school in Camberwell. At 18, Cato moved in with his older brother in Hawthorn East, living there for four years until recently moving in with friends in Richmond.
While Cato began a degree in eco-finance at RMIT after high school, he is “taking it slow” to pursue a range of other personal ventures. Cato has travelled throughout Europe, Central America, and all over Asia, as well as New York, Los Angeles, and Vegas. Cato takes one university class at a time and spends the rest of the week working in communications and marketing at Glenferrie tech company Moduware, across the road from Rococo.
When he is not working at Moduware, you can find Cato at the local butcher which fostered his ongoing connection with Glenferrie. Cato began working at Glenferrie Gourmet Meats at the age of 16 and he is still there now, six years later. Cato spends his lunch breaks hanging out with owner Josh and the Glenferrie Gourmet Meats team and his weekends working behind the counter. Cato also spent a year serving burgers at Nevermind Bar on Burwood Road. "I went to Nevs so often that they eventually gave me a job," he joked.
Cato sees the welcoming, friendly atmosphere of the butcher shop to be reflective of wider Glenferrie. “Everyone knows each other, they’re interested in each other’s lives, and willing to have a chat,” he said. “It’s what you want from a small, local community.”
He believes Glenferrie has some of the most beautiful green spaces on offer in Glenferrie Oval and Central Gardens for people to exercise, hang out, and walk their dogs. Cato would often sneak up to the Hawthorn Football Club memorabilia store underneath the stadium before it closed for business in 2018.
As a “massive sports guy”, Cato has a passion for the AFL as well as spending his free time playing social basketball. “It’s lovely to get the fitness in and get to see my friends,” he said. Over the last ten years, Cato has refereed student basketball at local schools MLC and Xavier, which he finds is a great way to earn money in the community doing something you love without feeling like you are actually working.
When he is not hanging out at the butcher shop, you can find Cato trawling the multiple Glenferrie 7-Elevens for sports cards, eating his favourite Malaysian at Cafe Lagenda, and visiting Lido Cinemas with friends “literally all of the time” - particularly on cheap Tuesdays. He has a great relationship with Graedon and the team at Red White and Amber, buying all of his alcohol there for nights he says often end up at the Hawthorn Grillhouse eating kebabs.
Cato sees Glenferrie as a great mix of younger university students as well as older people with families, which works perfectly because everyone gets along so well.
“You meet everyone in the local area just by working there and going into all the stores,” said Cato. “Every little job I have to do in life, I do here... It has everything I need.”