CHILD OF WAR FINDS PEACE IN PERTH
Having fled war-torn South Sudan as a child, Lueth Garang Guot has seen things in her 23 years that she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy. She arrived in Australia in 2005 deeply traumatised and suffered depression for years before seeking help.
But Guot has managed to turn her situation around, studying education in a bid to mentor and support other youths. And this week she was recognised for her fighting spirit when she was named Miss Africa Perth 2017.
Guot told AAA she knew her difficult past made her the person she is today.
“As a kid you don’t really know what is going on but there was a lot of conflict,” she said of her childhood in Africa.
“I heard gunshots, noises like drums, and there were times when we just had to leave without packing our stuff.
“I was really traumatised when I arrived here and I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
“Then I started seeking counselling and I began to understand that it was because of what I had seen.”
Guot wants to use her new-found profile as Miss Africa Perth as a platform to speak out on issues she is passionate about, which includes sending educational supplies to South Sudanese refugees.
“There is a new refugee camp in Uganda where many people from South Sudan have gone,” she said. “There are so many orphans there. My dad was an orphan and he told me how he struggled with education so I want to start providing educational resources such as books and pens.”
Guot’s passion for education has also led her to study teaching, which she will complete at the end of the year.
“When I was at the camp I used to sit under a tree trying to learn and when I came here I didn’t know English. I wanted to do teaching because I can make these kids aware that they can do anything they want to do.”
‘I can make these kids aware that they can do anything they want to do.’
Lueth Garang Guot is Miss Africa Perth 2017.