Alumni Awards

Deng Adut

Deng Adut

Partner, AC Law Group

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, 2011, Bachelor of Laws, 2010

Community Award recipient, Deng is one of the few, if not only, Sudanese born solicitors practising in Western Sydney.Deng has an incredible history. He was forced to be a child soldier in Sudan from the age of just 10 years old. From age 10 to 13 he was seriously wounded 3 times before his brother could smuggle him out of the country. 

Deng arrived in Australia in 1998 and had to learn English. He then finished high school, and then went on to complete a law degree at Western Sydney University.

Today, you will find multilingual Deng spending every second Wednesday assisting members of the Sudanese community at Blacktown Court free of charge. He has a weekly 'think tank' meeting with the local police every week, discussing cultural integration issues and how to assist all involved.

Read more of Deng's story online now. (opens in a new window).

Faten El Dana OAM

Faten El Dana

President, Muslim Women's Welfare of Australia

Master of Arts (TESOL), 2008

Alum Faten El Dana OAM was honoured with a NSW Women of the Year award on the eve of International Women's Day earlier this year. El Dana, president of Muslim Women's Welfare of Australia and an OAM recipient, took out the A.H. Beard Community Hero category for working to improve the lives of migrant women.

El Dana's passion for helping others started when she was just nine years old. Growing up in Beirut, Lebanon, she was deeply affected when a neighbour died while giving birth. 'I remember telling my mum that I wanted to become a midwife to help women give birth safely', she says. This ambition led her to study midwifery at Sydney University. She went on to complete a Master of Arts TESOL(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Western Sydney University, on the Milperra Campus and uses her Arabic interpretation skills to link migrant women to health and support services. El Dana is program director at 2MFM Muslim community radio and volunteers at several community organisations. She has run a range of successful health initiatives, including an on-air campaign to help migrant parents of autistic children access the services they needed.

Read more of Faten's story online in the Spring 2014 edition of the Alumni GradLife magazine (page 5) (opens in a new window).

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Ryan Perera


Deputy CEO, Candor Sri Lanka

Master of Business Administration, 2005

Recently awarded the Australian Alumni Award for Business Leadership for young and emerging leaders in Sri Lanka, Perera is recognised for his commitment to responsible business practices, bringing about positive change in the workplace and inspiring others.

Since completing his Master of Business Administration in 2005, the Sri Lankan national from Colombo has worked his way up from a junior bank teller in Hatton National Bank to a high-net-worth private banker and a corporate leader. Perera's entrepreneurial spirit has constantly pushed him into new challenges, guided by little more than his instinct, MBA education and moral compass. He has revamped and restructured entire divisions across various Sri Lankan banks, interviewed and trained hundreds of staff and stayed positive through more than 25 years of civil war. His outstanding reputation has also seen him zealously pursued by head
hunters throughout his career.

The 41 year-old, a married father of two, was last year appointed as deputy CEO for Candor Group, a Colombo-based financial services firm owned by Eagle Propriety Investments Ltd, based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE.

Read more of Ryan's story online in the Autumn 2015 edition of the Alumni GradLife magazine (page 6) (opens in a new window).

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