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AVEPA Fundraising dinner, 20 November 2015

Melbourne suddenly rained continuously in the afternoon this Friday.

(UE) Melbourne suddenly rained continuously in the afternoon this Friday. Yet the damp and chilly weather did not prevent about 190 guests from joining the dinner at Happy Reception to support AVEPA 2015 fundraising event. It was a three hour night that took place in a cozy atmosphere with lasting impressions.

Three out of four scholarship recipients (Hien Thanh Vu, Tran Ngoc Huyen Nguyen & Matthew Chu).

The event was started with the speech from AVEPA’s chairman, Emeritus Professor David Beanland, who summarized important initial milestones of AVEPA. After its establishment with DGR policy in 2013, AVEPA was officially launched in 2014. In 2015, with the generous support from members and donors, AVEPA was able to award four scholarships ($5000 AUD each) to four outstanding students from Victoria and New South Wales.

The founders and directors of AVEPA are well aware that, with the current financial capacity, the scholarship amount of $5000 AUD for each talented student has been anything but significant. Yet, at this fundraising night celebrating the 40th year of the Vietnamese community in Australia, the great and invaluable thing that AVEPA achieved was the sharing of thoughts from three out of four scholarship recipients (Hien Thanh Vu, Tran Ngoc Huyen Nguyen & Matthew Chu).

Hien Thanh Vu, who is now pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Global Challenges at Monash University, said:

“AVEPA represents a confidence and belief in our youth to do great things. This is the belief that AVEPA’s founders and donors hold. The same belief that my parents hold when they push me to work hard. It’s a belief that says “You have the ability and the responsibility to do what is best and what is right. And we are there to support you.”

For Tran Ngoc Huyen Nguyen, a student of dentistry at La Trobe University, the AVEPA scholarship “is particularly meaningful as it is a recognition by the Vietnamese Australian community and it allows me to continue to grow as a member and participant of that community”.

And finally, Matthew Chu, a student of Medical Science at the University of New South Wales, revealed that AVEPA’s vision has had some personal bearing on his own worldview:

“AVEPA’s philosophy of building an academia of Australian-Vietnamese heritage, capable of contributing actively to wider society struck me as deeply noble. The image it promotes of a class of professionals pushing boundaries on both intellectual and societal frontiers, exemplifying the fruits of multicultural integration is one that has shifted my personal worldview”.

The cozy and happy atmosphere at AVEPA’s fundraising night was brought about by the significant contributions of the organisers who are young volunteers, by MC Thao Nguyen and Ngo Chuong’s band, and by amazing singers (Ta Phuong Dung, Vy Linh and Dinh Huong). Specially, the night was filled with laughters thanks to the wonderful performance of Diana Nguyen, a young talented comedian who is also an active development worker in the Vietnamese-Australian community.

The time of the event seemed to have passed by so fast. The fundraising night ended at 10 pm, yet the echo of the collective song after the opening speech was still somewhere in our memory.