Congratulations Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, 2017 Australian of the Year
AC Law Group co-founder Deng Adut, refugee and lawyer, narrowly missed out on Australian of the year but the firm would like to extend its congratulations to winner Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim.
We would also like to thank those who supported not only Deng, but also this firm, since its inception.
Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is an inspirational scientist and international leader in stem cell research, he has given hope to thousands of Australians with spinal cord injuries. In 2014, Alan’s research helped play a central role in the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man.
As for Deng: From child soldier to refugee, from criminal lawyer to NSW Australian of the Year, the team at AC Law Group are honoured to have been a part of his journey. We hope some of the pain from his past is eased by his shared memory with the Australian people tonight and his experiences as NSW Australian of the Year.
Having come to Australia as a refugee, following life as a child soldier in Sudan, Deng put himself through law school. His life story featured in an advertisement for Western Sydney University, which went viral on the internet accruing more than 2.5 million views. The Western Sydney University advertisement can be viewed here.
Deng from his humble roots in a war-torn country has become one of Australia’s best known lawyers. He was invited by NSW Premier Mike Baird to give the 2016 Australia Day Address, which can be read here.
In 2016, Deng also published a critically acclaimed memoir, Songs of a War Boy, and was the subject of a portrait that won the People’s Choice at the Archibald Prize. He started a charity, the John Mac Foundation for education and justice in Australia and South Sudan.
Late last year, Deng opened new criminal law offices in Redfern and Parramatta in addition to his existing practice in his hometown of Blacktown. He further expanded the firm into the areas of immigration and care and protection. Deng has been an inspiration to his colleagues at AC Law Group past and present, and we have seen him similarly inspire others in the community.
We look forward to continuing to assist Deng in his pursuit for justice and ensuring that AC Law Group lives up to his vision of being a law firm offering affordable, high quality legal representation as well as maintaining a substantial pro bono practice.