Australia’s ‘Golden Boy’, Deng Thiak Adut, whose heart-wrenching story went viral and opened a seam of kindness in Australians - has now been chosen to open the prestigious World Summit on Migration Control.
It’s an incredible next step for a man who was snatched from his mother at the age of six, forced to fight as a boy soldier - and is now a leading lawyer fighting for the rights of displaced persons.
The World Summit on Migration Control is taking place in Adelaide, South Australia, on 8-9 March 2016. Its aim is to bring together humanitarians and world leaders in politics, science, business and education, to create innovative solutions to the global migration crisis.
World Summit Executive Director Mark Ryan said: “I am delighted to announce that inspirational refugee lawyer Deng Thiak Adut has agreed to open the World Summit.”
“His story has touched the hearts of millions of people who care about the 60 million refugees in the world today - so he is a very fitting person to open Adelaide’s prestigious World Summit on Migration Control.”
Mr Deng Thiak Adut was kidnapped from the shores of his family’s Sudanese fishing village at the age of six, and forced to become a boy soldier. He was forcibly marched for 33 days across the border into Ethiopia, where he witnessed unspeakable horrors no child should ever see.
At the age of 12, he was shot in the back until being rescued by the United Nations and smuggled to freedom. He found his way to Sydney, where kind Australians took him into their hearts and gave him a new start to life. He is now a leading lawyer fighting for the rights of fellow refugees.
“I am still fighting, but now in a different way - to protect others,” Mr Adut said.
World Summit Executive Director Mr Ryan said: “Deng’s story is tragic - but thankfully it has a happy ending.
“Unfortunately there are 60 million more refugees who need our urgent assistance right now. That is why Adelaide is hosting this World Summit on Migration Control.
Deng Adut’s inspirational story promises to open the World Summit with a bang. His opening speech will touch the hearts of the 300+ global world leaders and experts who will gather in Adelaide in March to try and find a solution to the migration crisis. Mark Ryan is understandably excited with the prospect of having Australia’s ‘Golden Boy’ open the World Summit.
“We are truly honoured to have Deng Adut address all the Australian and international delegates who will attend the Summit. Uncontrolled migration is a global humanitarian crisis, and Deng’s personal story speaks to the very heart of the global challenges that need to be discussed,” he said.
Deng Adut was catapulted to national prominence last year when his incredible story featured in a TV show - and quickly went viral. A million views later – and after amassing 300,000 views in one week – Deng was an instant and massive hit, with his story profoundly resonating with viewers across the nation.
After Deng’s speech in Sydney on Australia Day, including a screening of his now famous video, NSW Premier Mike Baird applauded this astonishing young man as a shining example of a child refugee who - against all the odds - arrived in Australia.
Today Deng is busy repaying the nation which opened its heart and door to him. This humble, courageous and incredibly resilient young lawyer will bring his message to Adelaide on 8-9 March when he opens the World Summit on Migration Control.
“We couldn’t think of a more inspiring, uplifting and shining example of compassion and humanity than Deng, to open such a hugely important World Summit,” Mr Ryan said.
Note to Editors:
- The World Summit on Migration Control is not aligned or affiliated with any ethnic, religious, national or cultural group.
- Its vision is to bring about real change to improve the lives of 60 million homeless refugees and displaced persons around the world
- The aim of this World Summit is to bring together humanitarians and world leaders in politics, science, business and education, to create innovative solutions to the global uncontrolled migration crisis.
- We believe this is the biggest global human crisis since the Second World War. It is not a one country or one continent issue. It is a one world issue. On that we can solve - together.
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For original artwork or a full list of guest speakers at the World Summit, please contact Mr Mark Ryan, Mob: 0411 060 632.
Mr Ryan, Dr John Bruni and Mrs Kinda Snyder (who is of Syrian origin, and has first-hand experience of the Syrian refugee crisis) are available for interview.
Mark Ryan, Executive DirectorM: +61411060632
Dr John Bruni, Director of the SummitM: +61 448581890