Listen to Mary Bior:
MARY BIOR comes from Bor in southern Sudan. She fled with family when the civil war came to her area in 1983. Mary, with her sister and brother, survived in the bush between Sudan and Ethiopia for two years. They lived off the land, sometimes obtaining spare meat from the rebel forces. They then fled to Ethiopia in 1986 where they stayed until 1991 when war forced them and many others back to Sudan. She eventually reached Kenya where she lived as a refugee for many years.
Mary came to Australia in 2003 with some of her family. She has found life in Australia different to what she expected. She has faced many challenges, but her faith in God has helped her.
A lot of people died [in Sudan] because of hunger, the kids … because of disease.
I thank God for having me here. I thank God because my child did not pass away through bad things. I thank God because my children are healthy.
A lot of our food is Sudanese food, but nowadays we disagree with the kids … they like the Australian food, McDonalds, junk food, sandwiches.
Interview by Shar Jones, Blacktown City Council Museum Advisor
Photograph by Marian Abboud