Interview with Mr Deng Adut


© Moshtari Hilal

Mr Adut, it’s an honour and a privilege to speak with you. The first time we heard about you was on Western Sidney University’s video! What an amazing story! What an incredible source of inspiration! Video, which we invite you to rediscover, before our interview:

What are your first impressions? Do you feel proud, happy, sad or embarrassed by such attention?

I feel proud about the video – it’s a masterpiece! They are very talented at UWS.

How did the Western Sidney University identify you? I mean, how did a University notice amongst its 40 000 students one particular story of life?

I was a good student. I never missed a single class. And I worked full time. I volunteered for two years giving back to the community.

The Western Sidney University made a video of two other successful former students, Mr Jay Manley and Mrs Melissa Chiu. Do you personally know them?

No, I don’t know them.

You can see below the videos of Mr Jay Manley and Mrs Melissa Chiu:

How do you feel about international institutions, which are sometimes criticized, like the United Nations?

They should do more; have more resources, be given more support.

Can we say that the city of Western Sidney took care of you? Do you feel at home there?

Yes, it’s my home.

To move from a country at war to a country at peace must have been disturbing? Did you dream of a place like this?

It means that you appreciate peace more.

By the bye, what did you want to become when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a fisherman.

We have the feeling that even in Sidney; life was still hard for you?

Very hard.

Did you meet other children like you in Sidney?

No, I never met anyone like me, but some of them came after me.

Did you really learn to read by yourself?

I read the Bible, and I was taught by my friend, a former policeman. He mentored me.

Do you understand and explain, why other people, with the same history, would not have succeeded? What sets you apart?

Because I’m hungry to learn. I never turned down an opportunity. I tried to gain back all the lost opportunities in life. I’m open for new ones too that are coming, and I will never let them pass me by.

Does justice mean something to you. Is this why you wanted to become a lawyer?

No, I wanted to become a lawyer because my brother suggested it. Justice became part of it after I learned about law, and after I learned what had happened to me.

How do you see your future?

A life without regret, that’s my future. Living without a single regret – what I do, what I say.

What would be your advice to students in Law?

Don’t get into law because you want to make money. Get into law because of justice and fairness. If you think that something is bad and you don’t want it to happen to you, it’s your duty to stop it happening to others. How do you want to be treated? You don’t belong in law if you don’t care about how people are treated.

Do you dream of returning to your country of origin?

I dream of going back to Sudan, to correct wrongs and to do something for my fellow South Sudanese. But not to move there permanently, because Sydney is also my home now.

*Interview carried out with the help of Mrs Caroline Ayling and Mr Ryan H.

*During the interview many questions related to more personal matters and sometimes intimate were asked. Understandably Mr Adut kindly indicated that he wished to keep some of his life secrets to himself. However, we thank him for sharing some of the strong moments of his admirable story with us.

Stéphanie, Diana and Elie Khoury

La Gerap+

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