I came to Australia because of the unstable situation in Laos. In 1976 I escaped to a refugee camp in Thailand with three of my siblings. We stayed there for about eight months until my brother, who was living in Canberra, sponsored me to join him.
Siobhan Hegarty

23 Jan 2014 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 21 Feb 2014 - 4:30 PM

When I arrived in Australia I worked during the day and studied English at night. I became a clerical assistant, then a high school bilingual vocational support officer and later worked in a bank. I volunteer at the Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram Lao Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg, cooking for the monks and helping people who don’t speak English. Taste Tours (multicultural food tours run by the Benevolent Society) started coming to the temple, and I began running their Lao cooking classes in 2012.I learnt to cook from my mum. She is a very good cook and my father was, too. Tum mahk hoong is a famous Lao recipe. Everyone likes it. Normally, if you go to a Lao household for breakfast, lunch or dinner, one of the dishes will be pawpaw salad.

– Manivone ‘Teo’ Phimphisane (pictured)



Pawpaw salad (tum mahk hoong)