In the early 1980’s, the Vietnamese Community in South Australia was a young community with its organisation, construction and relationships still in their premature stages. At this point in time, the number of Vietnamese refugees who made their living as farmers could be counted on your fingers. Vietnamese people were living in remote areas that weren’t exposed to many other cultures and in living so rurally, it brought in the necessity of closeness, emotional and communal support, and the sharing of agricultural knowledge. It was because of this that the Vietnamese Farmers Associations of South Australia was established in 1985. At the beginning, our aims were to:
Thirty years have passed since our establishment and our Farmers Association has achieved its enduring success thanks to the leadership of the following Presidents:
The present Executive Committee with Term of Office 2014-2015 is consisted of following officers:
Throughout these thirty years, thanks to the devotion of previous Presidents and the positive contribution of its members, the Vietnamese Farmers Association of South Australia has consolidated with every step and has been successful in satisfying the members’ needs and trust. We also believe we have fulfilled our initial aims that were set up: helping the farmers to overcome the difficulties of living in an unfamiliar country and tackle any future problems that they have to face because of this. Currently, The Vietnamese Farmers Association of South Australia has become an important part of the Australian economy, South Australia in particular. The number of members is increasing exponentially and we are proud of the legacy we have put forth. Furthermore, the development of the Virginia area opens up a bright and promising future for farmers in this vicinity.
To adapt to current and future social and economic changes, the association now extends its role to more practical responsibilities. The association is prepared for a new era of knowledge and change particularly in solidifying a stronger bridge between the government and farmers. This will hopefully call on more efficient protocols in solving various issues. With support in environmental and technical problems and in increasing qualitative productivity, Virginia will definitely become a prime place for agriculture. As a result of this the farmers’ lives will improve, the environment will flourish and thus increase qualitative productivity. This is additionally one of the fundamental objectives of the farmers and the association. This is a summary of our guidelines:
From our humble beginnings as a small group to now, we have had the privilege of including members from a diverse range of ethnicities. This includes Cambodian, Laos and Chinese just to name a few. Among these ethnic groups, Vietnamese members take up the majority and Chinese second. Time has passed with many changes in the economical, social and political aspects and we’ve had many members who have left or passed away. In saying this, we have just conducted a survey to account for the total number of members. The numbers added up to approximately 200 families with all their details related to:
At present, the Association is operated by young office bearers full of energy and ideas. Mr. Dang Van Lam diligently devotes his time and energy to the association’s activities, along with ample contribution from Mr. Le Luan Ly, Ms Felicia Nguyen, Ms Nguyen Linh Thuy Van, Ms Tuyet Trinh and many other younger members. In addition to that, we have been fortunate enough to receive unconditional advice and aid from successful farmers such as Mr. Do Tan Hoa, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Huong, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Van, Mr. Nguyen Van Tan, Mr. Nguyen Nhi, Mr. Vu Dinh Thi, Mr. Pham Ngoc Thanh, Mr. Luong Trung Chinh, Mr. Duong Thanh Nhan. Members are assured that they can rely on the administrative team to listen to their concerns and ideas. By strengthening a sense of trust within the organisation, we hope to underpin the significance of the association, thus sustaining our constant growth in members and contribution to Australia.
This association is a non-profit organisation in which all financial expenditure is dependent on contribution from our members. All officers are working on a voluntary basis. There is a monthly meeting where the committee’s financial report is discussed as well as an annual financial report from a chartered accountant. This is one of our main focal points to assure that through the many ups and downs we may experience, we are still stable and strong as an organization. With the generosity of kind-hearted people and the tireless contribution from Vietnamese farmers in Virginia, a Vietnamese Cultural Centre in South Australia was established. The Association currently is in the works to further the cooperation from farmers as well as construct a better Cultural Centre to let our rich Vietnamese culture and heritage thrive and live on through the next generation. The Cultural Centre also serves as a location for farmers to get together and interact whether it be for festivals, meetings or social events. The Association is also working on establishing training courses in agriculture with the Vietnamese Cultural Centre. In the near future the Association will also aim to organise online tutorials and classes for agricultural study.
We left our country with empty hands, left behind our homeland and all of our beloved things - all for freedom. We settled in a foreign country with foreign customs, cultures and an unfamiliar language. But we pushed ourselves to put aside our suffering and encouraged one another to stand up and overcome our difficulties. Now, we are becoming our own bosses with stable families, comfortable lives, successful children and are taking firm steps towards a brighter future and a better Australia.
More info in Goals & General Plan.