It was a proud moment for many to see Galou Mabior standing tall in his mortarboard and gown today, not least the graduate himself.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “I’m very excited for myself. Today is a big day. I’m so happy to start a new life… All throughout I’ve had some very big challenges, so it was not easy for me.”
No doubt Galou will remember today as yet another defining one in his life. There have been several, starting with one day in October, 1987, when he was 11 years old and living in Sudan.
Government and rebel fighting erupted in his village. “Shooting, burning our homes, killing. We were running randomly at night. In the morning we find everything is lost. There is no food, no shelter, no luggage, and there is no way to go back.”
Galou had become separated from his parents and four siblings, so joined the estimated 20,000 Sudanese boys left to fend for themselves. “We were given the name The Lost Boys. We were kids without our parents,” he says.
You can read his full story here.
The majority of The Lost Boys who survived the years on the road are still in refugee camps, while Galou arrived in Australia on a humanitarian Visa in 2003. He worked in several different jobs before choosing to pursue accounting at La Trobe.
“I’m happy to be in Bendigo,” he says. “I have to acknowledge my lecturer Kate, she’s amazing. She taught me in most subjects.”
Alongside Accounting academic Dr Kate Ashman Galou also credits former lecturer Earl Jobling.
“I can’t forget them. They made me who I am today and without their commitment I couldn’t have done it,” he says.
While studying, Galou undertook an internship as a financial analysist. He has since completed short accountancy contracts in Bendigo, but is yet to secure a permanent role.
In other news since graduating, Galou and his partner Grace have welcomed a baby daughter, Ayak, giving him even more reason to sink down roots with a great career in Bendigo.
Any local firms in need of a talented, dedicated accountant? Contact us to get in touch with Galou.