The story begins with the landmark decision of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to open Australia’s doors to thousands of refugees at the end of the Vietnam War. It is a moment in history that finally buries the infamous White Australia Policy and transforms a nation. The years that follow are as dramatic as they are turbulent. In this one tiny Sydney suburb, the 1980s and 1990s see the emergence of street gangs, a heroin epidemic and the first political assassination in Australia’s history. The Vietnamese people are vilified and demonised.
Cabramatta it seems represents all that is wrong with Asian immigration. The universal support for multiculturalism a distant memory. But as the century draws to a close there is a remarkable turnaround. The Vietnamese people finally find their voice and claim their rightful, democratic place in their adopted home.
Cabramatta is a community transformed. Australia, a continent changed forever.