Abang Anade Othow

Educator, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur and National Refugee Ambassador

Abang is a true survivor. Born in Sudan she fled to Ethiopia and then Kenya before arriving alone in Australia at the age of 17. Despite gaps in her learning due to forced relocation and the need to learn new languages, Abang has attained a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Teaching.

Abang was born during civil unrest and spent her early years escaping war, living in refugee camps and being separated from her family.

During the 1990s, Abang was sent to Kenya and enjoyed a brief period of relative calm. Attending primary school with supportive teachers she grabbed every opportunity, excelling academically and becoming head girl. Abang decided that education and personal discipline would be the key to her recovery.

At the age of 17, Abang was granted refugee status and arrived in Sydney with one pair of jeans, one top and a piece of traditional African fabric. With no family, Abang was living in a women’s shelter. It was during this time she caught the eye of a talent scout who suggested she become a model. This led her to model internationally and Abang used this opportunity to raise awareness and financial support for charities, becoming the ambassador for Red Cross Australia and New Zealand and ambassador for Oasis Africa.

With a desire to do more, Abang enrolled in TAFE and then University and completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Teaching.  For the past 10 years she has taught diverse Australian students including, migrant, refugee, and indigenous students in suburban and regional schools. Abang continues to use her experiences to shape the minds of young people as the teachers of Kenya had shaped her.

A young girl’s experience of war, displacement and family separation, and her determination and ability to succeed and utilise her experiences to help others.

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