Thank You!

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 former refugees 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 invite me to join in the conversation. You affirmed to me that together we can work for healing and conciliation. 

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 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 strangersthat 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 



"And I wish you all the best for your future lives in this country, yourselves and your children, that in Australia your best hopes and aspiration for the future will be realised." MALCOLM FRASER, PRIME MINISTER 1975-1983:

"If we listen closely enough to the stories of others, an alternative story will emerge which will allow for the transformation to take place." Brueggemann?

"…nobody can change stories unless an alternative story is made richly available with great artistry, love, and boldness." Brueggemann?