Bhutan To Blacktown

Om Dhungel In Conversation With Fran Kelly

12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Manning Clark Hall
Kambri Cultural Centre (ANU)

I lost my possessions, my salary, my status, my career, my country. And in that fall, I gained everything.

Bhutan is known as the land of Gross National Happiness, a Buddhist Shangri-la hidden in the Himalayas. But in the late 1980s, Bhutan waged a brutal ethnic-cleansing campaign against its citizens of Nepali ancestry, including Om Dhungel and his family.

Bhutan to Blacktown tells Om Dhungel’s remarkable story — his journey from a remote village to a senior position in the Bhutanese Civil Service, to life as a human rights activist in Nepal and, eventually, to his work as a community leader in Blacktown, western Sydney. Every step prepared Om for the central role he would play in settling more than 5000 Bhutanese refugees, in one of the most successful refugee initiatives in Australia’s history.

Join Om and Fran Kelly for a conversation you won’t forget.

Presented in conjunction with BAL Lawyers


OM DHUNGEL is a trained telecommunications engineer turned ‘Inner Engineer’. A former refugee from Bhutan and an author of the newly released book: Bhutan to Blacktown – Losing everything and finding Australia, Om Dhungel combines his cross-sectoral professional expertise and rich lived experience to help shift thinking and drive transformational change. A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he serves on different Boards and Committees including the NSW Health Ministry and NSW Police. Amongst many other accomplishments, Om is a recipient of the 2016 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal for Lifetime Achievement.


FRAN KELLY is one of Australia’s leading interviewers and commentators. She has earned a reputation as an intelligent, informed and balanced journalist who has been a key contributor to the nation’s political, social and cultural debates for the past 25 years. In that time she’s been the ABC’s Europe Correspondent based in London, the political editor for The 7.30 Report and the political correspondent for the prestigious AM program. Fran was the host of ABC RN Breakfast, Australia’s leading national current affairs radio show, for 17 years. She also hosted her own Friday night TV chat show, Frankly. She's also co- host of the long running political podcast. The Party Room.