Akuol Garang - Human Rights First
Akuol Garang is a Sudanese-Australian woman living in Melbourne, studying a Masters in Human Rights Law and advocating for her community, multiculturalism and for people seeking asylum in Australia.
Akuol is passionate about human rights law, especially the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. As a person with lived experience, Akuol believes that it is important to have people from refugee backgrounds lead in advocacy. This has become the driving force in the work that she does, and it is what led her to apply for an intern position with Human Right First, an organization that has been tirelessly fighting and defending the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
Akuol has appeared as a keynote speaker at more than fifteen events, including for ANZ Bank, Department of Human Services, the Refugee Council of Australia and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Akuol also featured in an SBS World News story on volunteerism in multicultural communities and was interviewed by Star Weekly Newspaper ahead of her ‘ Learning on the Edge’ event, an initiative of Victoria University in collaboration with Maribyrnong city council and other community partners in Footscray. Akuol is also a contributing author of "We Refugees - Pact Press anthology" It is the third anthology in a series designed to spark conversation, promote awareness, and amplify the voices of the marginalised.
To further develop her advocacy work, Akuol participated in a leadership program called the Advocacy and Power Program (APP). The APP is a program run by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which provides networks, support, and mentorship for people from refugee backgrounds who wish to empower people to contribute to public and cultural conversations, providing insight into their lived experience to shift community attitudes towards people seeking asylum.
She volunteers with a number of different organisations, including AMES and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Where she provides English language support, link to the community and access to legal services for migrants and refugees from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Akuol feels honored and privileged to have been selected to intern at Human Rights First. She looks forward to learning more about the refugee laws and policies of the US comparing them to the Australian approach.