Who was John Mac?

John Mac was one in a million. Like many boys of his generation, John fought in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army from a young age. But unlike many, John questioned the war he was caught up in. John rescued his younger brother Deng from life as a child soldier, knowing he risked the firing squad by doing so. From refugee camps in Kenya, the brothers and John’s young family were sponsored by an Australian couple, Christine and Bob, to come to Australia. Western Sydney became quickly became home.

Deng Adut and John Mac (centre)

One of the first...

John Mac worked hard and became one of the first Sudanese refugees to graduate from university in Australia with degrees in anthropology and international development. His brother Deng Adut soon followed with a law degree and later became NSW Australian of the Year. Despite his achievements, John could only find factory work in Sydney. With a young family to support and a desire to give back, this wasn’t enough. To undertake the humanitarian work that meant the most to him, John Mac had to return to South Sudan. There, he tragically lost his life in 2014.

john mac graduating and as a baby with his mother

...but certainly not the last.

Established in 2016, the John Mac Foundation aims to remove some of the barriers to education and access to meaningful employment for refugees in Australia that John Mac experienced in his own life. Through our scholarship fund, we assist people from refugee backgrounds make a successful transition from education into meaningful employment. We currently have 13 scholarship recipients – all talented, hard working individuals who would have benefitted greatly from receiving one of our scholarships. You can read more about our work here.

Our Team

All our team members provide their time on a volunteer basis to reduce our running costs and maximise the percentage of donations that go to our scholarship recipients.