Deng Thiak Adut is a defence lawyer and refugee advocate in Western Sydney, Australia, and a former child soldier from South Sudan. His story is told in a popular short video by Western Sydney University, where he earned his law degree. He was named the 2017 New South Wales Australian of the Year. A member of the Dinka people, Adut was born near Malek, a small fishing village in South Sudan near White Nile River. One of eight children, he had a happy early childhood spent with his family at their banana farm. In 1987 at the age of 6 or 7 years, Adut was taken from his mother and marched for 33 days to Ethiopia along with 30 other child conscripts and forced to fight for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in the Second Sudanese Civil War. In 1995, Adut’s older half-brother, John Mac, smuggled Adut out of Sudan at night in a truck under sacks of corn. Adut spent 18 months in a refugee camp in Kenya. The United Nations granted both brothers refugee status and, in 1998 when Adut was 14, Australia granted both boys a visa.
Literary Festival and Book Fair
April 10 – 13, 2019
“Musings and Metaphors: Revolution, Evolution and Devolution (READ)”