Precious Rametsana: Improving lives through financial empowerment

    As a young child growing up in Botswana, Precious Rametsana (TCFS 2013 and TC 2014) always had an interest in the impact financial empowerment can have on transforming people’s lives. Precious, who was recently awarded the Melbourne Business School’s Deputy Dean Award caught up with us to discuss social entrepreneurship, financial empowerment, her time at Trinity and what’s next after university.

    Precious is in her final year of a Master of Management at the Melbourne Business School, after completing a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Melbourne in 2016. She also volunteers as the Personal Development Coordinator for the Incubate Foundation, where the team this year organised the first ever African Australian Socialpreneurship Hackathon held at Docklands on 21-22 April.
     
    The event highlighted the many creative ideas African Australian youth have in tackling problems facing modern day society.
     
    “We thought it was necessary to get young African Australians talking about solutions to the problems we face in the community, not just in the African-Australian community, but also in the wider Australian community. These issues included youth engagement, youth unemployment, culture and migration,” says Precious.
     
    There were 50 participants for the two-day event, with former Trinity Senior Student, Iffy Donnellan’s (TC 2015) team winning first place. Iffy and her team developed a pitch about using hip hop yoga to promote mindfulness and improve self-esteem and confidence, in order to encourage youth engagement.
     
    “It [the hackathon] was intense, but I think it was more intense for the participants than it was for the organisers. We definitely did a lot of work in the lead up, but by the time it started it was really just facilitating on the day, and watching the magic happen.”
     
    Precious remains modest despite receiving an ever-increasing number of accolades. She credits her success to following her passions, working hard and being a part of a community of supportive and inspiring people.
     
    Time at Trinity
     
    When Precious, moved to Australia at just 18 years of age, she knew of only one person who had ever lived in Australia. Laone Moswetsi (TCFS 2011) attended the same high school as Precious and encouraged her to come study at Trinity.
     
    “He [Laone] said, you have to go through this program called Foundation Studies, so I thought I should be applying to do Foundation Studies,” explains Precious.
     
    The decision turned out to be an inspired one with Precious quickly moving into Edith Head Hall and studying in the Foundation Studies Extended program.
     
    Precious remembers studying mathematics at Trinity and having supportive teachers such as Andrew Oppenheim who created an environment where students felt comfortable asking questions.
     
    The friends Precious made at Edith Head Hall remain close and she has great memories of walking back from drama class together and celebrating each other’s birthdays.
     
    “I still have a video of the girls, they knew that I really loved to dance. So, on my birthday they organised a surprise dance for me… It was reflective of the culture of sisterhood, which made transitioning not a challenge for me at all.”
     
    After enjoying her year in Foundation Studies, one year later, Precious made her way to the Residential College and was chosen for the Fresher Dance Off.
     
    “I still remember one of our songs was Whip My Hair [Willow Smith], which was my solo part, because I have big hair… My closest friends in Australia are [still] my friends from the College, it was a great time.” 
     
    While living in residence, Precious also spent time as a mentor in the Murrup Barak Summer School program, where she mentored Alexandra Hohoi (TC 2015) and Nelson Ambar (TC 2015) among other students.
     
    “I still remember Alex [Hohoi] coming up to me and saying, ‘you’re the reason I ended up applying for Trinity’, which was unexpected but really great.” 
     
    The next year, Precious found herself mentoring in the Young Leaders Program, and making lasting memories with young leaders between 14-17 years of age. Precious formed a bond with many of the students, as most mentors did. 
     
    “We became really close, and I remember some of the program participants crying at the end of the program. I think the best part was that you become really close with this group of people.”
     
    Future Plans
     
    After graduating, Precious plans on pursuing a number of passion projects including looking at growth and sustainability within charities and the not-for-profit sector, and a financial empowerment project delivered through financial technology (fintech).
     
    “I’m thinking about how charities can become more financially sustainable. For those that have the scale, financial sustainability means that they can then reinvest in the growth of the organisation and eventually grow their impact. If you’re continuously scaling, then you can start solving the big problems the world is grappling with. That’s something I’m still exploring.”
     
    Precious plans to return to Africa for some time to further pursue her passion projects as well as learn more about Botswana and the surrounding African countries. She still considers Australia her second home.

    Photo credit: Faculty of Business and Economics
    04/06/2018

    Category: