In April this year I had a chat with SBS journalist Kim Anh about my life journey, from a refugee to a scientist in Australia. What I could not predict is that the 25-minute conversation (in Vietnamese) has been a “hit” of the SBS’s Second Generation Program!
I came to Australia as a “boat people” on January 26, 1982 — Australian Day. My first job in Australia was a kitchen hand at St Vincent’s Hospital. Approximately 8 years later, I was back to St Vincent’s as a medical researcher of the Garvan Institute of Medical Resarch. And, I have been a member of the “St Vincent’s family” for almost 30 years. Through the interview, I recounted my life journey after I left Vietnam, I talked about my up and down moments during the 3 decades of being a Vietnamese Australian and my experience as an Asian academic in Australia and the States. I also shared my personal experience in higher learning institutions with younger students of Vietnamese background. I do hope that my life story and experience provide some lessons for younger people who aspire to make a positive contribution to this country and the world.