Atem Atem was born in South Sudan. Atem Grew up in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. Atem came to Australia in 2002 through Australia's humanitarian program. Atem attended the University of Canberra and the Australian National University (ANU). Atem is currently writing a PhD thesis exploring the settlement experiences of South Sudanese families in Western Sydney.
Atem understands the importance of community organising. Atem established or took part in establishing several refugee community organisations. He is one of the founding members of the NSW Refugee Communities Advocacy Network (RCAN). Atem is currently the president of RCAN.
Atem worked with the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN) in both the ACT and NSW. He also worked with STARTTS. He currently works for Fairfield City Council in the role of Social Planning and Advocacy Officer.