Local driver a finalist in QLD Bus Driver of the Year awards

Published 6:00am 5 March 2024

Local driver a finalist in QLD Bus Driver of the Year awards
Words by Nadia Chapman

A Clontarf bus driver is a finalist in the South East Queensland Bus Driver of the Year category in the Queensland Bus Driver of the Year awards.

Luluu Berns is a familiar face in the community, as she drives the 696 route in Clontarf and surrounds.

Hailing from Samoa and never without a flower in her hair, Luluu gives her passengers the best public transport experience possible.

Driving for more than 18 years, Luluu is passionate about her job and says her passengers make it special.

“I get to meet people from all over the place, mostly children and the elderly, and I have a passion for driving buses and taking them to their destination,” Luluu says.

“That’s why I find my job very special, and I love my passengers because they’re all nice to me.”

Luluu loves driving the 696 route along the waterfront, as it reminds her of her home country.

“I love the beaches so much and there’s a lot of beaches around here. The 696 route goes around there, and it just reminds me of Samoa, where I originally come from…” Luluu explains.

She has been driving in Moreton Bay since 2017, sharing memorable experiences with her passengers, including one lost young boy she came across in Strathpine, who was originally from Scarborough.

Luluu drove him home to Scarborough for free because he didn’t have money or a Go Card.

“It just melted my heart because I don’t have children of my own, but I adopted two of my sister’s boys and I care a lot for them and this kid really melted my heart,” Luluu says.

“When I got to Scarborough, I gave him $15 that was in my wallet and said ‘look, I want you to go to that café there and buy something to eat and a drink…

“…I think I achieved something personally that day to help this little kid, and I think he was only 10 years old – so I’ll never forget that to this day.”

When asked how it feels to be nominated for such a prestigious award, Luluu says: “It means a lot; it means the world to me. This goes to show me that there are people out there who care, especially my passengers who nominated me and it means a lot. It’s an honour.

“It just makes me happy, and it gives me confidence to keep on doing the best I can to help the public and my community and everybody I love.

"(I love) all my passengers because I attach to them very easily and I care a lot about them, so it means the world to me.

“And to me, coming from the small island of Samoa, I’m putting my little island on top as well as my work here at Hornibrook and Translink.

"And for my passengers to nominate me, it means the world and because it’s never happened to me in my whole life.”

Voting closes on March 14 and the winners will be announced on the Translink website on April 8.

Vote for Luluu Berns as South East Queensland Driver of the Year here.

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