Paduol Ater: African Refugee Becomes A Commercial Pilot In Australia


Being a refugee is not one of the best experiences in life. But like we say, what does not kill you can only make you stronger. Such is the success story of this South Sudanese refugee turned pilot, Paduol Ater.

At the age of 10, Paduol Ater lost his entire family in a raid. He found asylum in Australia. Prior to that, he had spent 11-years living in refugee camps. Arriving Australia, Paduol worked extremely hard to earn a living. With his savings and the help of a supporter, he enrolled for flying lessons and finally became a certified commercial pilot in Australia.

Paduol Ater is a rare die-hard character. In the face of seeming failure and setbacks, the African son, is just not giving up. He is adding to the list of once troubled Africans who have grown far above their past adversities. Such personalities as Fadumo Dayib, Aluel Bol Aluenge, and Deng Thiak Adut.

See Also: Jessica Cox: The World’s First Armless Pilot

Fadumo Dayib is a refugee turned presidential candidate in Somalia. Just like Paduol, she made it to Finland and seized every given opportunity to become literate, graduated, became a nurse and worked with the United Nations.

Similarly we also have Africa female pilot, Aluel Bol Aluenge. She is the first female South Sudanese commercial pilot, currently working with Ethiopian Airlines and Fly Dubai. As a refugee, she also fled with her family to the United States where she tried out a number of options before becoming a qualified pilot.

Deng Thiak Adut was not just a South-Sudanese refugee but also a former child soldier. Today the resilient African is a defense lawyer in Australia.

All these personalities have one thing in common- tenacity. In that spirit, Paduol Ater, whose hundreds of pilot applications were not replied, still saw no reason to give up on himself and his dream. Keeping the faith alive he said,

“I know that one day my dream will come true,”

See Also: Amazing African Female Pilots