* Tuong Quang Luu, AO
Unlike most other NESB or CALD communities, the Vietnamese came to Australia in large numbers within a rather short period of time when the host multicultural society was still in its infancy. Their presence as an Asian visible minority was really a test to the strength of Australia’s political leadership and tolerance of the population at large.
Initially without any intra structure of support, Vietnamese Australians learned to adapt themselves to the new social and cultural environment to become a vibrant community with tangible and intangible contributions to Australia.
In future growth however, Vietnamese Australians appear to face a challenge as today’s new settlers from Vietnam bear little commonality in life experience and outlook with the essentially Vietnamese refugee community of the past few decades.