Defence lawyer and refugee advocate Deng Adut is the favourite to be named Australian of the Year, according to online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au.
Sportsbet has the 33-year-old Sudanese refugee as a stand-out $2.00 favourite to win the prestigious annual honour of being named the Australian of the Year.
Adut, who has already been named as NSW Australian of the Year, is in front of West Australian mining magnate and anti-slavery advocate Andrew Forrest ($4.00).
Adut, a child soldier-turned Sydney criminal lawyer, spoke of his yearning for a sense of belonging during the NSW Australian of the Year awards last month.
"I was denied the right to become an initiated member of my tribe," he said. "The mark of 'inclusiveness' was denied to me.
"I had to wait until I became an Australian citizen to know that I belonged."
Next in line is Indigenous leader Andrea Mason ($7.00) and speech pathologist Rosalie Martin ($7.50). Former NRL player Alan Tongue is a $21 outsider.
“In our book they all should be favourite for the honour. However, Deng’s story is a remarkable one going from a child soldier to criminal lawyer, helping people in Western Sydney,’’ said sportsbet.com.au’s Will Byrne.