News

Refugees 'offer lots to Australia'

Johnson Maker-Adeng recently graduated from The Universirt of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Economics. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
Johnson Maker-Adeng recently graduated from The Universirt of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Economics. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

WITH a pair of university degrees under his belt, Sudanese refugee Johnson Majer Maker-Adang is making the most of his freedom in Australia.

He and his family fled war-torn South Sudan 10 years ago and found refuge in Lismore, where he keenly pursued an interest in science and medicine.

After five years studying at University of Queensland in Brisbane, he proudly graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Economics this month.

Mr Maker-Adang, the first member of his immediate family to graduate with a university degree, celebrated during a

 

Johnson Maker-Adeng recently graduated from The Universirt of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Economics. Pictured with his MOther Monica Matoc. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
Johnson Maker-Adeng recently graduated from The Universirt of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Economics. Pictured with his MOther Monica Matoc. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

ceremony with friends and family at Lismore City Hall on Saturday.

 

He said studying for two degrees at the same time was challenging.

"They were both hard degrees, so combining them was just crazy," he said.

Growing up surrounded by war, Mr Maker-Adang's schooling began in an unlikely place.

"I was born in war, grew up in war and my mum and dad were affected by war all their lives, so a lot of our time was spent running and looking for safety," he recalled.

"We eventually came to a UN refugee camp in Kenya and that's where I first learnt my ABCs," Mr Maker-Adang said.

He and his family spent 12 years in the refugee camp, which hosted 90,000 people, before they made their way to Australia.

Knowing first-hand the struggles of refugees, Mr Maker-Adang is saddened by the lack of compassion often seen in the national debate about asylum seekers.

"I feel partly sad because, coming from a refugee background myself, I know a lot of refugees have faced a lot of horrors," he said.

"For them to leave their own home and escape from it, it has to be something of a great deal."

Last week, Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott announced he would cut Australia's refugee intake from 20,000 to 13,750, claiming it would save the country $1.3 billion.

However, Mr Maker-Adang said refugees had much to offer socially and economically.

"Refugees are the ones who want to change their lives.

"That's why they're running in the first place; they want to work."

Topics:  lismore, refugee




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

GALLERY: Highlights from the 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade

TREE STYLE: This elven-like forest man turned heads at the 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade.

Thousands turn out to experience a magnificent parade of colour

WATCH: Lismore Vikings fight it out to the last man

Lismore Viking re-enactment group Rognvald’s Lith members Michael Rowe, Richard Guy, Travis Woods, Warren Thompson and Jim Hammond, will be participating in battle at the winter village at Liismore on June 25th and 26th. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Axes, swords, shields and spears clash in epic, bloody battle.

Jaw-dropping big boy toys at Primex

DIG IT: Northern Rivers JCB dealer Paul Millar, and JCB Excavator national product manager Deon Cope with their 20 tonne excavator.

There were a lot of toys to play with at Primex.

Latest deals and offers

Samba Blisstas drumming crescendo

Percussion collective the Samba Blisstas rip out the beats at the 2016 Lismore...

Lismore Vikings in bloody battle to the death

Watch the skills, thrills and violence of the Lismore Viking Village warriors as...

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

OPINION: Should we give up the great Aussie dream?

Generic housing Rural View.

First home buyers are struggling big time

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.