By Thokgor Reech
Post-war trauma as a result of the conflict that tore the former African nation of Sudan in two is having a significant impact on the lives of South Sudanese Australians. To address the problems associated with this condition a forum was held at the Melton Anglican Church on 1 September.
South Sudanese in Australia face unmentionable impairments to their lives as a result of the wars in their homeland. As a result of the conflict which caused the deaths of millions, and mass emigration the country has now been split in two – South Sudan and North Sudan.
The South Sudanese in Australia are silently looking at failures both in Australia and South Sudan to progress from post-war-trauma, which is affecting their development, and government systems in South Sudan, while their lives in Australia stagnate. For this reason the forum was created.
“We are in need of more support so that we can achieve at least one thing after the war,” said the forum chairman and organiser Anthony Maluk Dau,
“Australia is a very lucky place for us and could remove many things in our post-war trauma, but the most important is integration into the Australian system to enable us to learn how to get many skills for every mechanism of moving forward and our differences in cultures, such that we can know very well, the Australian lifestyle and all dynamics ways into mainstream Australia” added Dau.
The forum has been moved by many happenings, even the recent SBS documentary “go back to where you came from”, that was shown at the forum, with one emphasis on a young boy from Sri Lanka who said “I need to go to Australia even thought I couldn’t afford now to get to Australia, I will make sure my grandchildren go to Australia.”
“That statement has a lot of influence in my heart although I am in Australia, I feel I am so lucky in the world,” said Rachel Nyadeng.
Nyandeng also adds that she likes Australia because of good security and education.
This wasn’t the statement that has inspired many South Sudanese at the forum. Others came from very influential people such as Martin Luther King, who famously said: “Everybody can be great… anybody can serve…. you don’t have to have a college degree to serve…. you don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve…you only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
It has inspired young South Sudanese and other African people to get up do something good in both Africa and Australia.
“We have many problems, with major post-war trauma, and the overwhelming war is still lingering resulting into scarcity of any progress in anything and so we in Australia are going to continue this forum many times to discuss this topic to help ourselves here to get educated and that way we could help contribute to Australian people and help our people back home,” Dau concluded.