The authors of two of the year’s most powerful memoirs discuss their art. Deng Adut’s Songs of a War Boy tells his story of being a former child soldier and refugee, overcoming deadly adversity, and becoming a lawyer for the disenfranchised. Graeme Innes’s Finding a Way is about being blind from birth and overcoming obstacles to eventually become the Human Rights Commissioner. Deng and Graeme talk to Madeline Gleeson about their memoirs, and discuss the art of writing perseverance and the legacy of their stories. 

This event will be Auslan interpreted. The National Relay Service is available to assist with phone bookings. Call SWF Box Office on (02) 9256 4200 or email ticketing@swf.org.au to book access tickets. 

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.