Keeping family history alive

Ellen Pearce created Hot Toast Media from her love of listening. Photo: Melinda Jane
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Life moves in an instant and, at any time, our world could change.

The best legacy to leave your family is to let them know who you are, and one passionate local has started her own business to record and recreate life stories in both written word and visual medium as a keepsake for the family.

Hot Toast Media’s Ellen Pearce identified that family history is often lost through our busy lifestyles, and now dedicates her time to ensuring memories can live on.

“There’s just so many beautiful people out there that want to talk but not a lot of people have the time to listen,” Ms Pearce said.

“When my mother died, I decided to follow my heart and work in community services helping older people and doing my part in making their lives happier as Service Coordinator for Meals on Wheels Penrith LGA.”

Now she has expanded her empathetic desire to help people even further, working as a life journalist to capture the heart of each story teller through audio recording, written communication, music and photography.

“In one hour with the right questioning, you can get a lot. Life is a journey and everyone has stories of that journey, but often there isn’t time to go into detail and record this for future generations,” Ms Pearce said.

“Being able to see how happy it makes people, it’s a luxury.

“My goal is to bring out these stories that people themselves often think are ordinary and record them in their best lights, bringing their stories and their characters alive.”

Ms Pearce cites inspiration from her mother as the driving force in her love of listening.

“My mother was a great story teller. As a child I could listen to her for hours and see the story as if watching a movie,” she said.

“The night she passed away, the stories stopped too and that was truly one of the hardest things for me.”

To her luck, Ms Pearce’s mother had recorded some of her stories on casette tapes, allowing her legacy to live on.

“It feels like she is right here with me and it makes me happy,” Ms Pearce said.

“Now I can share those with our younger generations so that they too can experience the wonderful person she was.”

For more information about Hot Toast Media, visit

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