Paduol Aterâ€™s inspirational story is unusually similar to that of Deng Thiak Adut, a South-Sudanese former child soldier and refugee who rose above adversityÂ to become a defence lawyer, graduating from the Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Laws degree.
Like his countrymanÂ Ater has endured many challenges. Ater was â€śjust 10 when he fled his village in Sudan to escape a massacre which claimed his parents and three of his four siblings. He spent 11 years in refugee camps before arriving in Australia and settling in Toowoomba,â€ť CQ University Australia reported.
He had to clock long working hours to earn money for flying lessons and, with the help of a sponsor, Ater eventually qualified as a commercial pilot.
However, Aterâ€™s dream is not quite fulfilled. â€śDespite applying for more than 300 pilotsâ€™ jobs since 2011, Paduol Ater, a teetotal Christian with no criminal background, has yet to be granted a single interview,â€ť the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Though some might see thisÂ as a setback, Ater has been utilising his time to further his education and is â€śnow studying CQUniversityâ€™s Associate Degree in Aviation to add to his skills and employability in the industryâ€ť CQ University Australia said.
Aterâ€™s says he has not lost determination, â€śI know that one day my dream will come true,â€ť he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Source: CQ University Australia