New Testament bible, written in Nuer language, one of Sudan's principal languages, and including illustrations. Published by the Bible Society of the Sudan, Khartoum, 1993. It was distributed in Nyabana's refugee camp in Kenya while she was awaiting acceptance to migrate to Australia and she brought it with her in 1996. She used it at her Nuer church services in Cheltenham and Dandenong.

Nyabana Riek was born in 1977 in southern Sudan. In 1986, when she was only nine years old, she was sent with her older sister Mary to Ethiopia to escape the war. After seven years of living in refugee camps, Nyabana and Mary made the trek from Ethiopia to Kenya. It took three painfully slow years for Australian officials to process their visa applications. Finally, nine years after she began her journey Nyabana arrived in Australia in 1995.

Between 1997 and 2007 more than 20,000 settlers born in Sudan immigrated to Australia. During this period there were also approximately 2, 200 ethnic Sudanese, born to Sudanese parents in refugee camps in Egypt or Kenya, who also immigrated to Australia.

Physical Description

Black cloth covered bible with gold tooling on front cover and spine. Black and blue pen annotations on inside front fly leaf. black and white illustrations throughout.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a rare opportunity to document the refugee experience through material culture. Nyabana Riek migrated to Australia in 1995 after years of dislocation and separation from family as she moved from Sudan to Ethiopia to Kenya - often under dangerous and life-threatening conditions. Her objects represent the modest personal belongings which can be transported under such conditions, her cultural conenctions to homeland and faith, and the challenges of re-settling in a new country.

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