Vietnamese Australian: Wikis


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Vietnamese Australian
Khoa Do Image B.jpg
Notable Vietnamese Australian:
Khoa Do
Total population

159,848 (Vietnam-born)
173,663 (Vietnamese ancestry)
Regions with significant populations
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane

Australian English, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Teochew


Mahayana Buddhism, Roman Catholic

A Vietnamese Australian is an Australian either born in Vietnam or is an Australian descendant of the former. Communities of Overseas Vietnamese are referred to as Việt Kiều or người Việt hải ngoại.


History in Australia

Up until 1975 there were fewer than 2,000 Vietnam-born people in Australia.[1] Following the takeover of South Vietnam by the North Vietnamese communist government in April 1975, Australia, being a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees agreed to resettle its share of Vietnam-born refugees under a refugee resettlement plan between 1975 and 1985. After the initial intake of refugees in the late 1970s, there was a second immigration peak in 1983-84, most likely a result of the 1982 agreement between the Australian and Vietnamese governments (the Orderly Departure Program) which allowed relatives of Vietnamese Australians to leave Viet Nam and migrate to Australia. A third immigration peak in the late 1980s seems to have been mainly due to Australia's family reunion scheme.[2] Over 90,000 refugees were processed and entered Australia during this time.

By the 1990s, the number of Vietnam-born migrating to Australia had surpassed the number entering as refugees. From 1991-93, the percentage of Vietnam-born migrants had reached 77 per cent of the total intake of Vietnam-born arriving in Australia, and by 2000, the percentage of Vietnam-born migrants had climbed to 98 per cent. In 2001-2002, 1,919 Vietnam-born migrants and 44 humanitarian entrants settled in Australia.

Vietnamese Australians in Australian society

Vietnamese Australians vary in income and social class levels.

Australian raised and born Vietnamese Australians are highly represented in Australian universities and many professions (particularly as information technology workers, engineers, doctors and pharmacists), while other members in the community are subject to high unemployment rates.

Vietnamese Australians have an exceptionally low rate of return migration to Vietnam. In December 2001, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimated that there were 3,950 Australian citizens resident in Vietnam. It is not clear what proportion of this number are returned emigrants with Australian citizenship or their Vietnamese Australian children, and what number is simply other Australians in Vietnam for business or other reasons. The greater proportion (3,000) were recorded in the south of the country.




One dot denotes 100 Vietnam born Sydney residents
One dot denotes 100 Vietnam born Melbourne residents

About 0.8% of the Australian resident population was born in Vietnam; in terms of birthplace Vietnam has been the fifth largest source of immigration to Australia, behind United Kingdom (Mainly from England and Scotland), New Zealand, China and Italy.[3], and only Cambodia, the United States and France have larger Viet Kieu communities. According to results of the 2006 Census, 159,848 Australian residents declared that they were born in Vietnam[4]

In the 2001 census the 155,000 people of Vietnamese ancestry were first or second generation Australians; first generation Australians of Vietnamese ancestry outnumbered second generation Australians with Vietnamese ancestry (74% : 26%) Relatively few people of Vietnamese ancestry stated another ancestry (6%). Among the leading ancestries, the proportion of people who spoke a language other than English at home was highest for those of Vietnamese (96%).[5]

At the 2006 Census 173,663 Australian residents declared themselves to be of Vietnamese ancestry. A further 2,190 declared themselves as having Hmong ancestry. Respondants could nominate up to two ancestries.[6]. There may additionally be persons of Vietnamese descent born in Australia, or of arguably non-Vietnamese ancestries (such as Cantonese) born in Vietnam, who elected not to nominate their ancestry as Vietnamese.

Over three quarters of people born in Vietnam live in New South Wales (63,786, or 39.9%) and Victoria (58,878, or 36.8 per cent).[6] In Melbourne the suburbs of Richmond, Footscray, Springvale and St Albans have a significant proportion of Vietnamese-Australians, while in Sydney they are concentrated in Bankstown, Cabramatta and Fairfield.


Phap Hoa Temple, a Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Adelaide.

According to census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004, Vietnamese Australians are, by religion, 30.3 per cent Catholic, 0.4 per cent Anglican, 3.1 Other Christian, 55.2 per cent Other Religions (mainly Buddhist with Taoism and Ancestor Worship as one), and 11.0 per cent No Religion.


In 2001, the Vietnamese language was spoken at home by 174,236 people in Australia. Vietnamese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the country after English, the Chinese languages, Italian, Greek and Arabic.


During October 2003, government owned SBS TV began airing a Vietnamese news program called Thoi Su ('News'). The purpose was to provide a news service to cater for Australia's Vietnamese population. This was received poorly by the significant portion of the Vietnamese community as many had previously fled Vietnam and thus harbour resentment to the Vietnamese government and its institutions, including the state-run media. Thoi Su was regarded as a mouthpiece for the Vietnamese government and the Vietnamese Communist Party, and uncritically endorsed government policy and practices while failing to report issues objectively including political arrests or religious oppression in Vietnam. A large protest was convened outside SBS's offices.[7] SBS decided to drop Thoi Su (which was being provided at no cost to SBS through a satellite connection). SBS subsequently began broadcasting riders before each foreign news program stating it does not endorse their contents.

Notable Vietnamese Australians


  1. ^ Note however, that before 1976 Viet Nam was not separately recorded as a country of birth for settlers so the Australian Bureau of Statistics is unable to provide an exact picture of settler intake prior to this time.
  2. ^ "4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1994 : Population Growth: Birthplaces of Australia's settlers". Australian Bureau of Statistics.!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-03-14.  
  3. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics
  4. ^ 20680-Australian Bureau of Statistics Country of Birth of Person by Sex - Australia
  5. ^ "4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2003 : Population characteristics: Ancestry of Australia's population". Australian Bureau of Statistics.!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-03-14. "In the 2001 census almost all people of Vietnamese ancestry were first or second generation Australians, consistent with the timing of Vietnamese immigration, which essentially began in the mid-1970s and increased over the 1980s."  
  6. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics 20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia
  7. ^ Gibbs, Stephen (2 December 2003). "Crunch time for SBS over Vietnamese news bulletin". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-14. "Thousands of members of Sydney's Vietnamese community will today protest against SBS's continued broadcast of a Hanoi news service that former refugees say contains offensive and distressing communist propaganda."  
  8. ^ [1]

External links


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