Deng Adut is a South Sudanese child solder-turned-Blacktown lawyer. He moved hearts with his 2016 Australia Day address. But 33-year-old Deng first won national attention in late 2015 when a short video about his life went viral. The clip, which has attracted more than two million views to date, was produced by Deng’s alma mater, Western Sydney University. Deng, who was conscripted at six years old, had never been to school. He came to Australia as a refugee aged 14, taught himself to read, write and speak English, and won a scholarship to study law in 2005. He now has his own private law practice in Western Sydney and spends much of his free time working with disenfranchised youth and refugees. Deng is NSW Australian of the Year for 2017. Deng’s book, Songs of a War Boy, written with Ben Mckelvey, was published by Hachette Australia in November 2016.