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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 520


Mr CLARE (Blaxland) (13:30): The first Chinese migrant arrived in Australia 199 years ago this year, only 40 years after the First Fleet and 12 years before my first convict ancestor. His name was Mak Sai Ying. He was a carpenter, and he married a woman named Sarah Jane Thompson. They had a bunch of kids and he became a publican. He ran a pub called the Lion Inn in Parramatta, not far from my electorate.

Since then, stories like this have been repeated thousands and thousands of times; people from places like China and Vietnam, looking for a better life and in the process making Australia a better place to live—including people like my mother- and father-in-law, who were Vietnamese refugees. Today, one in 10 Australians can claim some Asian ancestry, including my little boy—my little three-month-old boy—Jack.

This time of the year is very important for many Chinese and Vietnamese Australians: it is the lunar new year. So can I wish all Chinese Australians happy new year—Kung hei fat choi! Xin nian kuai le! And can I wish all Vietnamese Australians a happy new year—Chuc mung nam moi!