Friday, June 5, 2015

'The riveting story of fleeing war-torn Vietnam for the safety of Australia, winner of the Audience Award in the Australian Shorts section at the Human Rights Arts Film Festival. Marleena Forward is a Melbourne-based filmmaker, photographer and writer. She is currently completing a master's degree in documentary filmmaking and she also runs a blog called The Melbourne Local. Her film Then I Came by Boat was made in collaboration with the Victorian College of the Arts.' The Guardian 11th
July 2015

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presenting Boat at Parliament House

Monday, October 27, 2014

At Parliament House Theatre 
Finally, thanks to Heather Kirkpatrick and Andrew Wilkie, we had the opportunity to take the boat to Parliament and present the boat as a gift - for now to the offices of MPs to use as a symbol of hospitality (coffee table) and hopefully be exhibit as a gift to Parliament.  

Sarah Hanson-Young, Daniel, Linda, Tri, Andrew Wilkie
 Over 100 people attended the screening of documentary film 'Mary Meets Mohammad' by Heather Kirkpatrick. Only a few MPs were able to attend due to a few other events happening at Parliament House.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells at her office and enjoyed our brief conversation. On my way there with Andrew Wilkie and his Chief of Staff Dr Peter Tucker, we met MP Anthony Albanese in the corridor and had a good laugh talking about the boat making its way around the corridor of Parliament House.
Tri - presenting the boat
Back at Andrew Wilkie office, I had an experience like I was in a West Wing episode. Lots of activities and people walking in and out of the office with lost to do. But in the busyness, everyone showed Heather and I gracious hospitality.

It was a wonderful occasion to share a bit of my story and to say thank you to Australia once again and to present the boat as a gift, for now, to Andrew Wilkie, who is committed to looking into the process of presenting it to Parliament.

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Meeting Malcolm Fraser

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting the former Prime Minister of Australia Mr Malcolm Fraser. I was able to say thank you and to share with Mr Fraser what a wonderful gift that he and his government gave to me and my family and generations of Vietnamese refugees. I was inspired in hearing from Mr Fraser some of the work he did in responding to the news that thousands of Vietnamese refugees were drowned at sea, due to the Malaysian government pushing refugees back out at sea. I hope I can be as active and engaging as Mr Fraser when I get to 80 something. 
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Friday, April 25, 2014

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Thank You!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thank you Australia!
Thank you for the gift of refuge that you have given me and my family. 
Thank you for giving this gift of refuge to generations of migrants who have sought asylum in this land. 
While I was a stranger, you welcomed me. 
While I was a boat person seeking asylum, you responded with compassionate hospitality. 
While I was vulnerable and without hope, you cared for me and welcomed me into a safe community where healing could begin. 

Thank you to all the elders, past and present, the traditional custodians of this land 
For your gracious welcome of all people seeking refuge in this land.  
In your vulnerability you call me your brother. In your suffering you call me your sister. You affirmed to me that together we are God's family. 

Thank you Malcolm Fraser, it was your Government, which sought a bipartisan approach, working in collaboration with other countries, that responded to a generation of Vietnamese refugees. We are forever grateful. 

Thank you Australian Parliament for continuing to seek ways to respond to the great need of people in the world  fleeing war, persecution, oppression, marginalisation … seeking asylum.  
For many, Australia is their last hope. 

Thank you to my wonderful friends: Linda, Majid and Daniel for walking with me from Melbourne to Canberra, sharing in the laughter, tears, the pain and the joy in our common humanity receiving welcome and hospitality. You are an inspiration! 

I too have a dream!  
That in thirty two years time, your children will walk from towns and cities to Canberra to thank the Australian people and the Australian parliament for giving their parents the gift of refuge. 

I too have a dream,  
that Australia will continue to be a nation that welcomes the strangers, that cares for the vulnerable and gives a fair go to all who are seeking refuge. 
That's the Australia to be proud of. 

Thank you Australia!  
Tri Nguyen 

Images: Stephen Dau

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We walked (dance) our way to Reconciliation place near the old Parliament House with many walking with us (including Cate's grandmother who is 100yrs, flew down from Sydney, to walk into Canberra with us). Few Vietnamese met us on the road to thank Tri for representing them in thanking the Australian People. We then dance with the music as we are welcome by the crowd, cheering our arrival. 
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Day 32: Wee Jasper

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

15/4/14 Wee Jasper Celia

The tent an angle so I kept sliding down all night. I woke up and I was out of bed. How convenient. Then I pretended the sleeping bag was an alien and it ate me up, digested me and I came out the other side. We ate pancakes for breakfast and got ready for hourse riding. But when we got there we couldn't do it because of the stupid booking and school holiday program.  If you may know or not mum and I have shared a big dream. To ride a horse. 
    We went back to our campsite and bought drinks and ice cream. And Noah found 6 bucks lying around the telephone box. Then Noah and I mucked around in the water and found a shallow way from land to the Island Noah got stranded on.  Wish we knew it earlier. We found all sorts of interesting stones. We ate lunch and kept playing in the river. Then Daniel and Noah started to muck around. Soon they were in a battle. Daniel kept dragging Noah in the river and then Majid joined in and he ran away and got ganged up on. He was dipped in the cold water by the boys and Noah got mummy power. and this kept going on for a while and then while he was getting dipped in the water and Noah is screaming "no no!" And mum is saying "you are bullies" with a smile on her face and Linda and I just laughing dad jumps out from nowhere runs into the river and knocks the boys down. Once Noah got dried up he kept saying "daddy is my hero!" Then mum decided to go to visit another campsite where we cold see waterfalls and only mum, Noah, Linda and I went. When we got back to our campsite I set up the fire and ate dinner. Then I made dessert. chocolate banana. And I went to bed and I was writing this whole thing just before I went to bed on 15/4/14. Thank you and goodnight.
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Art Work by Liz Braid:

now that the walk is done

How you can help

with ongoing work of supporting Asylum Seekers

  • Consider partnering with us to creat a place of welcome and support for Asylum Seekers.

  • OMID (Persian word for Hope) is a community of Asylum Seekers who gather each Thursday evenings at Brunswick Baptist Church, from 5 to 9pm. The group engages in an English class and then food an conversations before reading the scriptures together, something Iranians love to do.

    You can come along and participate in English learning and conversations
    You can contribute food or money for food to go to cooking a persian feast each week
  • Provide useful English learning resources

  • We are also looking for large donations to go towards helping asylum seekers with their legal fee. It can cost $7,000 or more to go through the process of applying for their visa, this is tough when they are not allow to work

  • You can also help us set up a community garden for Asylum Seekers and people in the community to interact together

  • Let Tri know if you like to participate in some shape or form

    Ongoing advocacy work

    15th Oct Asylum Seeker Dinner
    Moreland Town Hall

    14th Sep Freedom concert with
    Melbourne Mass Choir

    13th Sep Ashburton Men's

    11th Sept Ivanhoe Gammer

    6th Aug Human Rights Forum
    Brunswick Sec Colloge

    Tri's activities during Refugee Week

    Sharing stories with Arnold Zable
    Thursday 19th, Coburg Library 12pm

    Pilgrimage as an act of prayer
    Friday 20th, Footscray Baptist Church 7:30pm

    Giving a speech (3pm) at the March for Justice
    Sunday 22nd, from City Sq 1:30pm to Queensbridge 3pm

    Sharing stories in Aireys Inlet at the Lightkeepers Inn Motel
    Saturday 28th June, 3pm

    Sharing stories at an Ecumenical Service in Anglesea
    Sunday 29th 10am at Anglesea Uniting Church

    Please sponsor the walkers

    March 16th - April 20th 2014

    Brunswick to Dallas 12.8km 16/03
    to Craigieburn (10.2km) 17/03
    to Wallan (37km)18/03
    to Kilmore (14km) 19/03
    to Broadford (14.2km) 20/03
    to Seymour (29.4km) 21/03
    to Avenel (19.2km) 22/03
    to Longwood (20km) 23/03
    to Euroa (18km) 24/03
    to Violet Town (19.2km) 25/03
    to Benalla (30.3km) 26/03
    in Benalla 27/03
    to Glenrowan (24.2km) 28/03
    to Wangaratta (16.1km) 29/03
    to Springhurst (24km) 30/03
    to Chiltern (14.1km) 31/03
    to Wodonga (27.7km) 1/04

    to Thurgoona (14.9) 2/04
    to Gerogery (27.4km) 3/04
    to Morven (24.2km) (Culcairn)4/03
    to Henty (17.2km) 5/04
    in Henty 6/04
    to Wagga Wagga (32.9km) 7/04 (riding)
    to Oura (20.4km) 8/04 (riding)
    to Wantabadgery (20.8km) 9/04 (riding)
    to Nangus (20.7km) 10/04
    to Gundagai (20.9km) 11/04
    to Jugiong (40km) 12/04 (riding)
    to Yass (60.8) 13/04 (riding)
    (Wee Jasper State Forest)
    Yass 16/04
    to Hall/ Nth Canberra 17/04 (riding)

    to Canberra (14.8km) April 18th
    Friday 1pm - Welcome event

    Sun 20th April: Canberra Easter Celebration!

    Join us in Canberra
    Good Friday, 18th April, 1pm, John Dunmore Lang Place
    (between the Portrait Gallery and Questacon)
    or walk in with us - meet at 11.30am outside ABC 666 Studios, cnr Northbourne Ave & Wakefield Ave, Dickson

    Raising funds for:

    Sanctuary House Providing supported accommodations for people seeking asylum.

    Al funds donated via the link on this website or facebook go directly to Baptcare Sanctuary facilities - which provide accommodation to over 70 asylum seekers.
    If you want to contribute financially to the project: to pay project manager (1 day a week), petrol, costs of signage, etc, please use the account below.

    Gift of Refuge

    BSB: 704922

    No: 100014358

    Alternatively, give directly to BaptCare via link (BaptCare logo) above

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