Nyibol Deng

Nyibol Deng
A Pot of Courage Inc and A Tuk Business Owner
Tell us a little about your story.
I am a mother of five children. I came to Australia as a refugee 17 years ago. I am South Sudanese-Ethiopian. When I first came here I didn’t speak English. Now I am running my own business
called A Tuk.
And your purpose
My purpose is to be an honest and truthful role model to my own children, as well as to other women and children in my community. I am passionate about supporting and encouraging other women wherever I can.  My purpose is also to help the women in my life to realise their talents and strengths. I believe in them, and want them to know that they can do anything.
Who are the women that have made the biggest impact on you and your journey so far? And what you have learned from them?
One woman who encouraged me with my education has now become part of my family. I have learned from her that friendship can be more. You can actually become ‘family'.  Women in my community have had an amazing impact on me, and helped me in my journey. I have learned from them how to be strong in everything that I have faced in life. I don’t live my life as a victim, but as an “overcomer”.  I now look at myself and think “how can I be the best role model for other women and our children?”
I have also learned respect and unconditional love form the women I go to church with and have been supported in my business by the “A Pot of Courage” women, Stepping Stones and the Ballarat Welcome Centre.  I have learned from all of them that I can do anything as a woman.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I am a woman who can help make the world a better place, where all women are heard, respected and celebrated.
What is your hope for women and girls in the future?
My hope is to see women and girls know who they are, and understand their potential.  They are not to be treated as anyone’s “property”, but rather as a human being who can change the world through supporting and standing strong for each other.
If you could have told your younger self anything, what would it have been?
I would say to my younger self;
“You have so much potential Nyibol.  Don’t waste it”.