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Vietnamese Refugees: Perspectives and Perceptions

Dr Nathalie Nguyen

Tuesday 23 September 2008
5.30 pm
Conference Room, free

The Vietnamese diaspora that followed the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 was one of the largest and most visible mass migrations of the late twentieth century. More than two million Vietnamese fled their homeland over a period of more than 15 years and made new lives for themselves overseas, primarily in the United States, Australia, Canada and France.

For the Australian component of this migration, the number of Vietnamese grew from only 1000 in 1975 to approximately 200 000 now, or one per cent of the Australian population. This paper will explore the oral narratives of Vietnamese refugees , and Australian perspectives of Vietnamese refugees, held in the Library’s Oral History and Manuscripts collections.

Dr Nathalie Nguyen holds an ARC Australian Research Fellowship at the Australian Centre, the University of Melbourne. Her 2005 Voyage of Hope: Vietnamese Australian Women’s Narratives was shortlisted for the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. She is currently completing her third book, Memory is Another Country: Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora.