One has no control over the environment they are born into. But what they do with it totally depends on them. There are people who were born into some of the most luxurious lives one can only imagine, but some end up ruining their own lives. There also a few who were born in some of the worst living conditions, but that helped them turn their lives around and leave a legacy behind. These people didn’t give up in the face of the horrors of the world. Instead, they stood tall against any situation life threw at them. Here is one such person who didn’t succumb to the hardships of life.Deng Adut was a child soldier who became a refugee in Australia after his escape from Sudan, his homeland. He is now a criminal lawyer and has been crowned New South Wales Australian of the Year. The journey from a child soldier to a criminal lawyer was not an easy one. But that didn’t stop him from moving forward.
Deng has been recognized for his contributions towards reducing discrimination, helping juvenile offenders and promoting inclusiveness. Earlier this month, he received the top honor from Premier Mike Baird of NSW in Sydney.
Deng was forced to fight as a child soldier in Sudan when was just six years old. He was later smuggled out of the country and brought to Australia. The 33-year-old who now regards Australia as his home stated, “You are not Australian because you are born in Australia. You are Australian because Australia is born in you”.
One can judge his dedication and resolve from the fact that he taught himself to read English at the age of 15. He then studied law and now runs the AC Law Group in Sydney. He has taken up fighting for members of the Sudanese community from his home in Blacktown in Sydney’s western region.
When asked about the award, he said he had never imagined that he would be recognized for his efforts in the legal field on such a large scale. “I never dreamed of anything, even (being) a fisherman.” It was during an advertising campaign for Western Sydney University that his astounding achievements caught the eye of the public.
The 2017 NSW Australian of the Year award winner said that he was torn from his family and was forced to enlist in Sudan’s People Liberation Army. During his time as a soldier, he witnessed many terrible atrocities. His strong will made him not follow orders on many occasions, which resulted in him being tortured by his superiors. He was even shot in the back.
He said, “Yes I was scarred in the army, I suffered a lot of injuries, physical and mental but it doesn’t mean that I have to give up my life”. He was determined to turn his life around and didn’t waver once he got the chance to get an education in Australia. “I look at it as a positive image rather than use it to brag about it, complain about it, or make it anything that diminishes my ability to do things”, he stated.
“I’d like to be working with kids in jail to help them transition into the workforce” he said. Further he added, “One day I’ll be able to visit every single school in Australia and be able to tell my story”. We really hope people will be inspired by his life story and will remember that no matter what happens, they can always turn things around with their willpower.
**Here is the advertising campaign where his achievements caught the eye of the public.**