"I remember early on some of my friends saying, ‘Why are you that colour?’. I went home and I asked my mum why I was a different colour and she said, ‘We left you on St Kilda beach and you got burnt!’, so I went back to school and told everyone."
"My childhood was uncomplicated. Media had yet to play a role in our lives. It was only really after 9/11 that we lost that innocence."
"I'd be surrounded all day by kids from a mainly English ancestry so that sometimes it would even be a kind of surprise to walk past a mirror or collect a school photo, and realise how different I looked to all my peers."
I vividly remember going into bookstores and really yearning to have a book of my own on that bookshelf. I still remember now how much I wanted it...how badly I wanted it for myself.
I think I’ve done a little more processing than my father of what it means to be a minority in Australia.
"Prior to moving here we thought ‘everyone speaks English, this won’t be much of an adjustment’. It was a massive adjustment"
"In Australia I was not an expat, I was an immigrant and that is a different relationship."
"In Malaysia there is a word that they call foreign/caucasian people and that is mat salleh. I would always be considered the mat salleh. They would refer to me as that like it was my name."
Culture is a very complex thing, it’s very hard to critique it as well because it’s the water we swim in.
"I wouldn’t call myself completely Australian, I wouldn’t call myself completely Vietnamese. I straddle the two cultures and combining them actually gives me a greater sense of identity."