Deng Adut, Lawyer, Refugee Advocate and 2017 NSW Australian of the Year
In 1987, six-year old Deng was taken away from his family's banana farm in South Sudan and conscripted into the Army. Between the ages of 10 to 13 he was seriously wounded three times before being smuggled out of the country with the help of his brother. The boys spent time in a United Nations Compound in Kenya where they befriended an Australian couple who sponsored them and brought them to Australia.
Deng and his brother arrived in 1998 and settled in Blacktown NSW. Deng worked at a local service station to learn English, enrolled at TAFE and completed his Advanced Diploma in Accounting before deciding to study law. In 2005 he enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws at Western Sydney University and became the first person in his family to graduate with a law degree. He went on to complete a Masters of Law (Criminal Prosecutions) at the University of Wollongong in 2011 and is currently studying a Masters of Criminal Law at the University of New South Wales.