Happy Citizenship Day

We had this kangaroo in our high school sitting on the window Puppet. Toy. Stuffed toy. And people used to say, ‘Ah that’s the animal from Australia’. I arrived when I was, just two weeks after my eighteenth birthday. The only thing that I brought with me was my mother’s earrings. My ring, wedding ring. Then a couple of photos, negative film. And I thought because if I die at least that’s something with me that’s forever. And the Immigration Officer said to me, looked at my passport and said ‘Is it your first entry?’. And I went ‘Yes’. And he went ‘You’re arriving as a Permanent Resident’ And I said ‘Yes’ He said ‘Welcome to Australia, I hope you make it’. And I went ‘Yes I will’. In Australia I say ‘Good morning, good afternoon, good evening’. People always say ‘G’day mate’. It’s really…really… In a way, it’s really confusing, but it looks simple. I was able to learn English very very quickly and was able to help Mum and Dad. Even until now I think Australia is a lucky country, still a lucky country, but you have to be prepared to work hard for it. I would like to give back to Australia and the Australian people who opened their arms to support me and accept me and my family as a refugee settled in Australia and I’m very proud to be an Australian, background Vietnamese.

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