JO LEE MAGAZINE AND ITS 21 WORLD VOTING MEMBERS OF ADESTE PRESENT WITH PRIDE THE 9TH ANNUAL ADESTE GOLD MEDAL LAUREATE 2013
Akram Azimi, 26, ADESTE Laureate 2013 with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard commenting on polio eradication
Akram Azimi – ADESTE Laureate 2013
When we look at the world through the eyes of Unsung Heroes we see undreamed of possibilities. More and more we appreciate the incredible number of 2013 nominees submitted from around the world within the five categories of ADESTE: Humanities, Social Justice, Arts, Technology and Medicine. And we are reminded through these nominees of the many wonderful people who are doing amazing things from corner to corner in this chaotic world, for the most important aspect, the heart, of ADESTE, is to discover “the 40 and under” Unsung Heroes who “outperform” in a globe of billions.
Akram Azimi was born in Kabul in 1987 and fled Afghanistan with his family at the height of a bloody civil war. In 1999, in desperate need of a place to call home, Australia found them.
As a young adult today, with a deep connection to his country, Akram has gone on to study a triple major in law, science and arts at the University of Western Australia.
For the last six years, Akram mentored young indigenous West Australians in the remote Kimberley community of Looma, a small town east of Broome. At the beginning of this journey, he had hoped for adventure – what he found was something far more precious.
“What I did not know was that when I met these kids I was going to fall in love with them. I was going to fall in love with that community; I was going to fall in love with that landscape.
“Since then, every time I hear a fact or statistic about indigenous Australians, I cannot help but imagine the face of a small child I’ve met. This has compelled me to take action.”
As such, in 2011, Akram co-founded a student-run initiative, I am the Other, which creates opportunities for meaningful dialogue and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
As 2013’s Young Australian of the Year, Akram used his acceptance speech to thank Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her leadership on polio eradication.
“Because of our international aid,” he said, “polio has been eradicated by 99.9 percent. You have saved so many kids from a lifetime of suffering. Indeed, I am alive today with healthy functioning limbs because Australian taxpayer dollars helped vaccinate children – like me – in war-torn Afghanistan.”
Grateful for receiving a polio vaccine thanks to government aid and Rotary International, Akram has pledged to use his platform to campaign for a polio-free world.
JO LEE Magazine applauds, congratulates and reveres Akram Azimi for his compassion for his countrymen and the world at large.