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Perth Writers Festival Blog

Songs of a War Boy

Tuesday 15 November 2016

The full program will be revealed on 11 January but, until then, the line-up of attending writers is now live on our website and our weekly blog is back to keep you up-to-date with the latest news.

To get you in the mood for our 2017 season, we would like to introduce you to one of the remarkable people joining us in February.

Deng Adut was a Sudanese child soldier who suffered a childhood filled with war, persecution and trauma, until he was rescued and eventually brought to Australia as a refugee. Adut overcame his past to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney, where he now has his own law practice.

Adut’s incredible story is told in his book with Ben Mckelvey, Songs of a War Boy, which was released last week and is already capturing the hearts and minds of readers across Australia.

This remarkable man was named 2017 NSW Australian of the Year at an awards ceremony earlier this week – an award that recognises the achievements and contributions of leading Australian citizens who ignite discussion and change on issues of national importance.

Adut moved us all with his 2016 Australia Day address, but first won national attention late last year when a short video about his life (above) went viral. He was painted for the 2016 Archibald Prize by Nick Stathopoulos and now celebrates his new title of NSW Australian of the Year.

Adut will join us in 2017 for the Perth Writers Festival Schools Day and our main program – details to be released January 11.


Excited about the 2017 Perth Writers Festival? Revisit some of our 2016 highlights through our Festival podcasts and share your best 2016 Festival moment on Twitter (@PerWritersFest) to go in the running to win a copy of Deng Adut’s book Songs of a War Boy.

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