Rusty Young is the author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, the true story of an English drug smuggler in Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro Prison. Rusty, then in his 20’s, was backpacking through Bolivia when he first visited the prison on a tour. He ended up living on the inside, by choice, dodging danger and developing unlikely, life-long friendships.
Following the global success of Marching Powder, Rusty settled in Bogotá, Colombia for seven years. He was recruited by the U.S. Government to provide arms and training to Colombian SWAT teams in the fight against drug and child traffickers and other violent criminals who ruled the streets. He has a passion for human rights, particularly child rights, and strong views on how drugs laws should be changed to improve human rights outcomes around the world.
Rusty interviewed special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two terrorist organisations – the FARC and Autodefensas. During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered and decided to incorporate these stories into a novel, Colombiano, which has just been released.
Rusty grew up in Sydney and studied Finance and Law at the University of New South Wales.
Join Rusty and AHRC President, Professor Rosalind Croucher for an hour-long discussion on Tuesday 22 August.
The event is free but numbers are limited. Please register to reserve your place.