I rise to speak on what happens when you give refugee communities time to heal, grow and become strong.
Last week, I stood alongside Cr Cuc Lam, Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong and congratulated 40 new Aussies on their Citizenship.
Last Saturday I joined Councillor Daniel Nguyễn, Mayor of the City of Yarra to raise the Co Vang to mark Vietnam Veterans Day. Cr Nguyễn is also the Executive Officer of Tarwirri, a membership body for Indigenous law students and lawyers. And the youngest councillor at Yarra.
I was so so proud, hearing our young Viet-Aussie MCs acknowledge, in both Australian-English and Australian-Vietnamese, that we sought refuge on land stolen from this country’s First Nations peoples.
It was freezing cold that Saturday morning but we were all there, all in our ao dais designed for the tropics. We on stood on Bridge Rd, under the Co Vang reaffirming our language, our heritage, our story as refugees and as Australians.
This Friday I will be joining the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association for their annual Gala Dinner. We will celebrate 35 years of this fine institution and fundraise to support Rohingya refugees.
I mention the incredible work of Vietnamese-Aussies, not because we are more deserving of compassion and citizenship than anyone else. But as we head into an election, and the usual dog whistling and pandering to xenophobia ramps up, I reiterate to Parliament that the Victorian Greens stand with our diverse multicultural communities against any of us being used as political punching bags.