Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Young Australian of the Year


2020 SA Young Australian of the Year Nominee

Gabriel Erjok Akon

State: South Australia

Poet, activist and mentor

Gabriel Erjok Akon is a poet, recording artist and sonic activist who uses his success to elevate others. Performing as 'DyspOra', he won the 2017 Best Male Artist in South Australia and the 2019 Governor's Multicultural Youth Award.

A former refugee from war-torn Sudan as a child, by age 17, Gabriel founded an independent record label and creative movement, Playback 808, an incubator for overlooked multicultural artists. He also created the City of Verses Festival to showcase local emerging talent and is the ambassador of the Timpir Foundation, an Australian-based NGO that provides education to 1,300 children in South Sudan.

Driven by a desire to nurture talent in others, Gabriel began speaking at universities, high schools and community events – and recently presented at TEDX Youth. His speaking engagements inspire and encourage young people to overcome adversity, find their voice and actively shape their world.

In 2018, Gabriel developed an intercultural music program targeting social inclusion for young people at risk.


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