AUSTRALIA: Grace Mugabe’s commitment to improving the financial literacy of migrants and culturally diverse people has taken her to one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The Zimbabwean-born Victoria Park resident took part in the Hive Global Leaders Programme at Harvard University in Boston during June.
“I felt very excited about the opportunity to talk about global issues and there were 120 people from 49 countries, who attended the program,” she said.
“There were topics including everyday safety, a genuine concern for some of the participants who came from war-torn countries.
“My topic was about financial literacy and about women understanding finances so they are not trapped in a relationship. Even for women who are trapped, they can be stranded if a partner passes away or leaves them.”
Mugabe said she worked with mining companies, including Rio Tinto, before deciding to create her own business.
“At the same time I was volunteering in the community and I felt like I had two lives, my corporate life and my volunteering life, so I decided to create my own business,” she said.
“I then started working with culturally and linguistically diverse people and started running financial literacy workshops. It’s about teaching them to budget or understanding how to start their own business because the financial side can scare some people.
“It’s a really satisfying thing to do; it makes my heart smile.”
Mugabe moved around as child, attending primary school in the United States before moving back to Zimbabwe in high school.
“I looked liked everyone else but I didn’t sound like them nor did I speak the local language (Shona), so that was a challenge,” she said.
“After high school, I wanted to move somewhere different and I said I wanted to go somewhere with good weather so the migration agent pointed to Perth and Brisbane.
“I chose Perth because it was closer to Zimbabwe and so I moved in 2003 to study accounting at Edith Cowan.”