By Charlene Macaulay
Amarachi Okorom is a Nigerian-born aspiring actress. The 21-year-old Truganina resident spends most of her time working across Wyndham’s libraries attending meetings with the eYouth crew and being involved in Western Edge Youth Arts sessions. She sat down with Charlene Macaulay last week.
What’s your connection to the Wyndham area?
I’ve only been in Melbourne for five years. When we first got here, we lived in Tarneit, just down the road from this house. When we came here, I started school at Thomas Carr College.
When we first came here, I didn’t really do very much, because I didn’t know how to branch out. Then I started with Western Edge last year and that was the starting point in getting connected with Wyndham. We put on a show and from there I met other people and got connections and that’s how I met Reece. He works at the council in youth services and now I’m part of the eYouth crew.
I also work at the Wyndham City libraries. I’m a customer service officer, so I help people find books or any library needs. I’m trained to do the children’s program as well, so I’m going to run a Rhyme Time session with 50 toddlers which will be fun because I can use my acting in my job.
You were born in Nigeria, grew up in New Zealand and then came to Australia. Why did the family move here?
We just wanted the opportunity for better jobs. New Zealand’s great, but we weren’t really going far. We already had family who lived in Australia and they were saying how the life here is much better and it’s good for families and you can do well here. I didn’t want to at first, because I really loved my life in New Zealand and I’d made good friends and had a great drama teacher. It took a long time to let go, it took me like a year to properly let go. But after staying here for a bit, I feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and if I’d stayed in New Zealand I would have stayed in that bubble.
You’re an aspiring actress. When did you realise you wanted to be an actress?
Ever since I was really young, I always liked being the centre of attention! Now not so much the centre of attention, but I love acting in the sense that I could just be goofy.
Tell me about your involvement with Western Edge.
I was doing a spoken word poem at my church for the Christmas production, and then Rahima, who works for the council, was in the audience and came up to me after the performance and said ‘that was really good, would you be interested in joining this?’ And I was like, yes! I just fell in love. It’s been the highlight of my life in Melbourne.
Do you have a favourite Wyndham hangout?
My favourite hangout place is Werribee Plaza, it’s much better now. Me and my friends always go to Grill’d. We’ve made this pact to go somewhere different, but we never do it!
If there was something you could change about this area, what would it be?
Probably how things are advertised for young people. I feel like young people don’t know that there is stuff out there for them to do unless someone comes up to them.