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Adopted Vietnamese Australians – VIC (1 July 2001)

Organiser: Jennifer Szetho, Director, Adopted Vietnamese Australians (AVA), a branch of Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI)


Jennifer Szetho (AVA) and Indigo Williams (AVI) introduced their own history and perspectives on adoption and why they are involved with community activities that support networking for adopted Vietnamese people.

Ty Andre, a Vietnamese orphan with polio who lived in the Sancta Maria orphanage in Gia Dinh from 1954 to 1975 until he left for Australia with the Operation Babylift children. Author of “On My Brother’s Shoulder”, featuring a forward written by Australian actor Jack Thompson, a long time friend of Mr Andre’s. Mr Andre is also directed the 55 minute VHS documentary “Return to the Mekong” in 1997.

Nola Wunderle, mother of two adopted daughters and author of “Katya’s Story”. Mrs Wunderle successfully helped her Taiwanese and Vietnamese daughters find birth relatives in their birth countries under remarkable circumstances.

Sarah Armstrong, director of the Post Adoptive Resource Centre in Sydney, NSW. Discussing a new book called “The Colour of Difference”, a collection of over thirty inter-country adopted individuals common experiences was illustrated by some readings of people who have been adopted from Vietnam to Caucasian families.


Identity maps of paper clippings to illustrate adoptee self images was one of the highlights with volunteers winning “Colloquial Vietnamese Language Guides” by The Lonely Planet Group. Parents and partners were able to discuss their own experiences with social workers specialising in adoption in a separate session.


Over fifty people attended the event that included adopted Vietnamese from South Australia, NSW and VIC, parents and social workers.