Posted on December 08, 2016
Deng Adut urges gratitude
Yesterday Deng Adut, NSW Australian of the Year for 2017, lawyer, author and social activist visited the senior students @ Pittwater House.
Mr Adut gave a rousing speech to the students about the importance of gratitude, hard work and being true to themselves. He shared his story of life in South Sudan, moving to Australia and overcoming adversity. After his speech, he received a standing ovation and was inundated by students wanting him to sign his book "Songs of a War Boy" and reveal more about his life.
Mr Adut, a refugee from South Sudan, moved to Australia in 1998 and is now a lawyer. His story is well-documented. At six years of age he was taken from his family in South Sudan and forced to become a child soldier. At 10 he was fighting in the Sudanese civil war were he was shot in the back, suffered from cholera, Dysentery and malnutrition. His brother told him that if they didn’t leave Sudan, they would die. In 1998 he arrived in Australia as a refugee at the age 14. He was unable to speak English, read or write – and now he is a criminal lawyer.
Mr Adut said it was important that students work hard at school and are grateful for the efforts of their parents and teachers in educating them.
This sentiments was echoed by Principal, Dr Nancy Hillier, who reminded the students of the School's motto, 'semper diligens', Latin for 'always hardworking'.