We spend a great deal of time discussing asylum seekers’ journeys to our shores. But what happens when they finally get here? Guest curator Rebecca Huntley has drawn together some of the leading voices in the asylum seeker debate for a candid discussion about the challenges refugees face in settling down – and what they really think of Australians. Join former Sudanese child soldier turned lawyer Deng Adut, Tim Costello, award-winning author A.S. Patrić and The Social Outfit’s Ruck Sar.
Curated by Rebecca Huntley.
Deng Adut (Australian)
Deng Adut is a writer and lawyer and the NSW Australian of the Year for 2017. A former child soldier in Sudan, he came to Australia as a refugee aged 14. Having never been to school, he taught himself to read, write and speak English, and went on to win a scholarship to study law in 2005. He now has his own law practice with offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern, and he spends much of his free time working with disenfranchised youth and refugees. Deng gave the 2016 Australia Day Address, and was painted for the 2016 Archibald Prize by Nick Stathopoulos (whose portrait of Deng won the PeopleÕs Choice award). DengÕs memoir Songs of a War Boy was written with Ben Mckelvey.
Tim Costello (Australian)
Tim Costello is one of Australia's best known community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics. For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was chief executive of World Vision Australia, placing the challenges of global poverty on the national agenda. In his current role as chief advocate, Tim continues to use his public profile to affect change. In earlier roles Tim was national resident of the Baptist Union of Australia and mayor of St Kilda. He has been Baptist Minister at St Kilda Baptist and Collins Street Baptist in Melbourne, as well as Executive Director of Urban Seed. In these roles he spearheaded public debate on problem gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse. Initially Tim studied law and education at Monash University, followed by theology at the International Baptist Seminary in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. He also received a Masters Degree in Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity. In 2004, Tim was named Victorian of the Year; in June 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); and in 2006 was named Victoria's Australian of the Year. His latest book is Faith.
Ruk Sar (Australian)
Ruck Sar works as a retail assistant at The Social Outfit in Newtown. A 'fashion label with a difference', this organisation provides employment and training opportunities to people from the refugee and new migrant community in fashion, manufacturing, retail and design. Staff and community build skills in a supported, creative environment. Ruck came to Australia from Burma with her family. She has also recently began studying at TAFE, and is keen to grow her skills and experiences here in Sydney, Australia.