Vietnamese In Australia

Australians of Vietnamese origin form one of the largest and most visible migrant communities in Sydney. Vietnamese is the fifth most commonly spoken community language in Sydney other than English, and ranks above Italian. Arriving as refugees and family reunion migrants in the wake of the fall of Saigon to advancing communist forces in 1975, the Vietnamese were the first large group of Asian immigrants to settle in Australia after the end of the White Australia policy, and the first significant group to arrive after the advent of official multiculturalism.

In 1976 the first boat arrived in Australia carrying refugees who had by-passed formal immigration procedures. Desperate to find a new home, they were accepted as immigrants on humanitarian grounds. Within three years a further 53 refugee boats had arrived.

In 1982, the Australian and Vietnamese governments agreed on an orderly migration program, emphasising family reunion, and two-thirds of arrivals over the next few years were women.

Many Vietnamese set up their own businesses, often working hard to put their children through school and university. Vietnamese small businesses gradually transformed streetscapes in many suburbs E.g. Cabramatta.

Sydney is now host to Australia’s largest Vietnamese community. The 2006 census showed 72,615 Vietnamese speakers residing in Sydney, or 1.8 per cent of the city’s population (out of a national population of 173,663 people of Vietnamese ancestry). The local government areas with the highest numbers of Vietnamese speakers resident include Fairfield, Bankstown, Liverpool and Canterbury.

Sydney local government areas with highest numbers of Vietnamese Australians, 2006 Census

Local Gov AreaVietnamese AncestrySpeak Vietnamese At Home% Speakers of all Languages in area

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 census tables for ‘Ancestry’ [full classification list] by Sex, Sydney Statistical Division; 2006 census tables for ‘Language Spoken at Home’ [full classification list] by Sex)

Vietnamese At OLMC

The first Vietnamese Chaplain at OLMC was Fr Joseph Vu Minh Nguyen in 2001. The first Mass celebrated in Vietnamese was held on the 3rd Jun 2001.

Vietnamese Chaplains Associated With OLMC

NameStart DateEnd Date
Fr Joseph Vu Minh Nguyen 20012002
Fr Dominic Nguyen Van Doi 20022004
Fr Peter Nguyen Khoa Toan 20042006
Fr Paul Chu Van Chi   20062018
Fr Francis Xavier Tuyet Van Nguyen2019