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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 1921

Mr WATTS (Gellibrand) (13:54): I rise to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the Australian Vietnamese Women's Association. The AVWA aims to help create a harmonious society in which everyone, irrespective of age, gender, skills, abilities, ethnicity and religion, feels valued and is motivated and empowered to contribute to Australian society.

The AVWA was founded by Mrs Cam Nguyen, the current CEO, when she invited 16 women to attend the inaugural meeting on 15 January 1983. The current President of the AVWA, Thanh-Kham Tran-Dang, has also been deeply involved with the organisation since its foundation. The Australian Vietnamese Women's Association assists with the settlement of Vietnamese-speaking refugees and migrants in Victoria and provides material aid, practical assistance, emotional support and counselling.

On 1 March this year, I was able to attend the 30th AGM of this group. Over 250 people were able to attend the event and were treated to a special singing performance from members of the group. As we all know, a 30th wedding anniversary is known as a pearl anniversary. After 30 years of hard work, Cam and Kham are surely pearls of the Victorian Vietnamese community. They are a model for us all and great contributors to my electorate of Gellibrand and the state of Victoria.