Defence lawyer and refugee advocate Deng Adut has been named the 2017 NSW Australian of the Year.
NSW Premier Mike Baird congratulated Mr Adut and the other outstanding recipients who were honoured at a ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday 8 November.
“Deng is a role model for all of us and his story inspires us all, particularly the newest members of the community who often arrive in our country seeking safety and access to the basic freedoms we enjoy as Australians,” Mr Baird said.
“He has overcome personal adversity and tragedy to achieve success, and inspires others with his life journey and the opportunities he’s embraced along the way.
“Deng represents the very best of what makes our country great, and has channeled his success into helping hundreds of people in the state’s Sudanese community navigate their way through the Australian legal system.
“I congratulate Deng and all NSW winners and finalists and thank them for their immense contributions to our community.
“Tonight’s four winners represent how individuals can make a positive difference in our society and break through barriers to benefit others, and I wish them the best of luck in the national awards to be held in January.”
The other 2017 NSW recipients are:
- Dr John Knight AM, Doctor and Altruist – NSW Senior Australian of the Year
- Mr Arthur Alla, Reconciliation Champion – NSW Young Australian of the Year
- Mrs Josephine Peter, Volunteer – NSW Local Hero
The NSW Award recipients will join recipients from other states and territories as finalists for the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on 25 January 2017.