Keyvan Abak

Reading is Important

Keyvan believes that: "Reading is so important in life - it really opens up the world. Education has given me the power to be a voice for the voiceless. Reading is the key to knowledge and knowledge is power."

Fact File

The best thing about my job

My favourite food

My dream car

My worst injury

My favourite colours

My favourite movie

The funniest thing that's ever happened to me

My hero and why

My favourite possessions

If I wasn't doing my current job I would be

The most important thing in life

My Ambassador reading tip:

More information about Dr Keyvan Abak

In 2000 Keyvan arrived in Australia from Ahvaz in Southern Iran. He is a Mandaean, a small and ancient cultural group who are severely persecuted in the Middle East. Keyvan's heritage is very important to him.

He was an asylum seeker and was held at Woomera Detention Centre, where he had very little command of English and felt powerless.  He could write some English and understand it, but realised that reading was very important to help him to respond to people.

There wasn't much to do in the compound, and because Keyvan realised how important it is to read, he taught himself for 5 - 6 hours a day.

Keyvan became more determined to learn to read, when his teacher at the language centre told him that he wouldn't be able to do it!  He challenged himself and completed Years 11 & 12 in 18 months at Mt Carmel College.

Since then he has completed a Bachelor degree, his masters in Mediation & Conflict Management and Doctor of Philosophy at Flinders University!

Keyvan has been awarded:

He is a former SA Bantamweight boxing champion.