Emeli Paulo


Emeli Paulo was standing on a street corner when she saw a young woman throw herself in front of a car. What happened next changed two lives forever …



Emeli is the founder of Collective Potential, a social enterprise like no other. Her vision to inspire and empower people to improve their own wellbeing started on that fateful day on that street corner.

Emeli had been heading to a meeting with healthcare professionals to find out more about the mental health challenges in regional and rural communities. What were the gaps? How serious was the problem?

Then she heard a scream. Emeli looked up and saw a 25-year-old woman run in front of car to end her life. Thankfully the car stopped, and Emeli ran over to pull her off the road.

As she calmed her and talked to her, Emeli learnt of a woman brought to her knees by domestic violence and emotional abuse. The young woman had no family, friends, money or support.

In the days and weeks that followed, the health and justice system failed the woman. Emeli joined her in interviews with police, gave her somewhere to stay when the hospital would not admit her and accompanied her to court when the system gave custody of her children to a violent man.

Emeli walked with her through this difficult time and to this day the young woman is still in contact. She rings Emeli in moments of doubt. She rings to celebrate. She is thriving.

She believes Emeli’s road trip saved her life and that there are others who need similar help and won’t get it through current systems. She says Emeli needs to make this happen on every corner, every day.

And that’s what Emeli decided to do.


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