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Prudence Melom Travels from Brisbane, QLD

Topics

  • Inspirational
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Resilience


Prudence Melom was born in a little village called Bebalem in Chad. As a young child she thought her life was perfect. But at the age of 4 she was forced to wave goodbye to her childhood. War broke out and her father was taken away by police and never returned. Prudence, her mother and siblings were forced to make the long journey to a refugee camp.

The refugee camp was full so they slept on cardboard boxes outside the UNHCR office in Benin. They had no spare clothes, had to sleep in the rain and waited five months before getting accepted in to the camp.

One morning a refugee officer came asking for her mum. A man was looking for them. It was her father! He'd escaped, been shot, but was still alive. The family was reunited. Seven years after they entered the camp they received a letter to say they had been accepted to Australia. They had no clue where Australia was but they knew it would be somewhere peaceful.

In 2007 they arrived in Toowoomba. They are proud to say they are now Australia Citizens. Prudence's father works with the City Council and her mum is qualified in aged care.

Since arriving to Australia, Prudence has completed primary and secondary education and now studying to become a lawyer. Despite having English as her second language, Prudence's journey has made her believe that nothing is impossible.

After winning the ABC Heywire competition in 2013 (where she shared her story), she co-created a project called E-Raced. E-raced is all about erasing racism through the power of storytelling. It is a project aimed at educating young people on issues of refugees and migrants and bring awareness to the fact that Australia is a multicultural country. With the ten thousand dollars grant money she received from FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal) and the help of Trams and other volunteers Prudence and the E-Raced team now travel to schools in rural areas around QLD and NSW and erase racism one story at a time. 

Prudence was also listed under Triple JJJ’s "25 Under 25 Nailing It List" in 2015 and shorted listed for the 2015 Young Human Rights Award.

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