Fleeing with her family the ravage of war in Chad, Ms Melom sought refuge in Benin for seven years. Her life changed in 2007 for the better when she and her family got accepted into Australia and together they settled into Toowoomba.
From knowing only one word in English ‘thank you', but thought it meant 'hello' Prudence is now a young CEO on a mission to erase racism one story at a time. She is the founder of a non-for-profit organisation based in Queensland with the goal to eliminate racism in Australia. The company harnesses the power of narrative to inform and engage by using a team of storytellers who share their personal experiences as refugees or migrants with students at school. The program enables students to meet people from other cultures and countries and hear their stories about coming to Australia as a refugee or immigrant. Storytellers share their experiences and provide a face for events which students may have only previously seen on television. A direct retelling of stories enables greater comprehension of another’s experiences and encourages the development of empathy. Positive direct contact and descriptions of personal experiences challenge preconceptions.
Prudence’s tireless work to prioritise refugees’ voices promotes empathy and understanding of their humanity and experiences, challenging pre-conceived stereotypes and racism. She is a prominent human rights activist that was named 9th most influential person in the 2018 Toowoomba power 100 list. Ms. Melom has been widely recognised in awards such as the 2018 Toowoomba Australia Day Young Citizen of The Year, 2018 Queensland Young Achiever Awards BB Print Regional Achiever Award winner for her work, National African Australian award winner, Triple J 25 under 25 nailing it list, Australian Young Human rights awards, ABC Heywire winner, a finalist in the 2018 Cosmopolitan Humanitarian of the year awards and finalist in the Human Rights Awards.