Spotlight | Prudence Melom, E-Raced
erasing racism one story at a time
Prudence Melom started her time in Toowoomba accidentally thanking everyone.
The only thing she knew to say was 'thank you', but thought it meant 'hello'. A little more than a decade later, Prudence has founded E-Raced, a program that connects former refugees with schools, and encourages the exchange of storytelling as an antidote to racism.
We spoke to this incredible woman about how she got here, what’s she working on, and what she’s learned about her new hometown.
Name: prudence melom
Occupation: CEO of E-Raced
Known For: openly sharing important stories
Born: the republic of chad
Local since: 2007
First things first: why Toowoomba?
I was born in a little village in Chad called Bebalem in 1995. At the age of four, my family moved to Benin (a country in West Africa) where we lived as refugees for seven years. Through the humanitarian program we were accepted to migrate to Australia in 2007. We did not have much say in choosing Toowoomba but glad that this is where we were relocated.
What is e-raced?
So, E-Raced is a non for profit organisation that focuses on story telling.We train young migrants and refugees to share their stories with school children and their broader communities to help create an inclusive Australia free from racism.
What we do differently is that we humanise refugees and migrants by bringing face to face interactions amongst young people. We work with schools to deliver high quality 60 minute programs where young refugees and new migrants share with our fellow young Australians.
What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba?
I have learnt that it’s all about networking and connecting with the community. It’s definitely not easy but when you have people supporting your business it progresses. The majority of business owners here are friendly and open to doing business in a mutually profitable and beneficial way.
What does an average day look like for you?
An average day for me is waking up at 7am. Attend my first meeting at 8:30, return to the office by 11am and work until 5pm. In between all that I'm probably reading and doing assignments.
What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?
My ideal Toowoomba weekend would consist of a lot of shopping at Grand Central and Clifford Gardens, and travelling around the city and outskirts, visiting Japanese Gardens and Queens Park and topping it off with dinner made by my mother.
Only a Toowoomba local would know…
Sleepless City Roasters make incredible coffee.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
PERK UP: Kloud9ine
RELAX: Japanese Gardens
EAT: Thai food & African food
SHOP: Grand Central
CATCH UP: The Cube Hotel
BE INSPIRED: Toowoomba City Library or the Cobb & Co Museum
Find out more about E-Raced here.