Nyadol Nyuon, Melbourne lawyer, human rights advocate and a former refugee will be the new chair of Australia’s migrant and refugee women’s coalition, Harmony Alliance. She will replace current chair Maria Dimopoulos next month. 

The Harmony Alliance is one of six National Women’s Alliances working to promote the views of all Australian women. The organisation ensures that women’s voices are heard in decision-making processes.

Nyadol shared the news on Twitter, writing that “These are big shoes to fill, but will be working with a great team and leaning on the amazing talent and resilience of migrant women.”

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Nyadol Nyuon will be focusing on improving digital literacy among migrant women, an issue that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported by SBS News.

Nyadol Nyuon on racism

Nyuon has previously spoken up about racism that targeted Australians of Asian appearance amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Reportedly, a 19-year-old Vietnamese-Australian woman in Sydney said a perpetrator threatened her with a knife because she is Asian. She said, “I was told to stay away from them because I’m Asian so I have coronavirus. I was told that it was my people who brought the virus over here.” 

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In this context, Nyuon said, “I’m not surprised by it (the racism) at all. Racism has been the pandemic that has always been there.” 

About three years ago Nyuon started speaking publicly on race and human rights issues, including media coverage of African gangs, and more recently on COVID-19 law-breakers. 

As she will be appointed as the chairperson of Harmony Alliance, she intends to focus on racism faced by women during the pandemic. As per a report by ABC Network, people have witnessed racially charged incidents in supermarkets, streets, and in their cars throughout the lockdown.

Nyuon told SBS News that she is excited to see young Australians of African origin responding by “fighting back” against racism in her state. 

About Nyadol Nyuon

Nyadol Nyuon is an Australian lawyer and human rights advocate. She also works as a commercial litigator in Melbourne and is a regular media commentator.

She was born in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Her family was forced to leave the camp due to conflict in Ethiopia. She was then separated from her mother at a young age. After the separation, she was raised by her extended family iat the Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya.

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Nyuon attended primary and secondary school at the very camp. When she saw UNHCR lawyers at work during that time, she decided to become a lawyer too. She then studied at Victoria University to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree. After which she was accepted into the Melbourne Law School. 

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In 2011 and 2014, she was named as one of the hundred most influential African Australians. In 2016, she is also a recipient of the Future Justice Prize. In 2018 she was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission’s ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award.

Picture Credit: SBS

Sagrika Giri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

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