• Entry type: Resource
  • Entry ID: AWH002254

Van Thi-The Huynh interviewed by Ann-Mari Jordens [sound recording]

  • Repository National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
  • Reference ORAL TRC 5817
  • Date Range 7-Jun-07 - 7-Jun-07
  • Description

    3 sound files (ca. 208 min.) Van Huynh talks about her early life in Vietnam; her family memories of the Japanese occupation; life in Saigon (1951-66); relations with the French and the Viet Minh (1945-54); her education in the 1950s; her first job; the American economic influence on Saigon; working in the Electricity Authority; harsh living conditions; abandoning her law studies; the Saigon social life under Americans; the Tet Offensive in Binh Duong (1968); her father’s death; her marriage; her husband’s background; living with husband’s family; the fall of Saigon (1975); life under the Viet Cong; restrictions on public servants of former regime; reasons for escaping Vietnam; organising escape; leaving family behind; boat journey to Malaysia with her ill sons; encounters with Thai pirates; swimming ashore to a Malaysian island; being rescued by United Nations (UN) after three days; her ill children treated on UN hospital boat. Huynh speaks about choosing a country of refugee; what she knew about Australia; the crowded Pilao Bidong camp in Malaysia, health problems; leaving Pulao Bidong; arrival in Australia; Ainslie Church of Christ; their new home; losing contact with other refugee families; early experiences in Canberra; husband’s employment; her son Thach’s school experiences at Ainslie Primary; support from Department of Social Security; studying at Bruce College; Migrant Resource Centre; her son Kim’s English learning; learning Vietnamese as an adult; working at the Mint; contacting family in Vietnam; her sons’ Thach an actuarial consultant, and Kim an ANU lecturer; Kim’s Ph.D and book on her and his father; preserving family history; Australian citizenship the best thing in their lives.

  • Access Access open for research, personal copies and public use.
  • Finding Aid Timed summary (3 p.) and corrected transcript (typescript, 67 leaves)

Related entries

  • Primary Creator
    • Huynh, Van (1944 - )