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Choo'c moo`n name moi!
What a wonderful celebration of the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of Vietnamese culture - and the glory of Melbourne’s West.
Over the past few weeks, there’s been plenty of things said about Melbourne’s West by people who should know better.
Let me say this: our home, the western suburbs is a wonderful and unique part of this city, this state and this country. There is no other place like it.
Now, a remarkable event such as this doesn’t just happen – it takes an incredible amount of hard work and organisation. To everyone who has brought this vivid and vibrant festival into being – congratulations, and thank you.
Today we look forward to a new year – the Year of the Dog.
I want to acknowledge my state government and opposition colleagues, the marvellous array of local government representatives and leaders.
And I am going to particularly mention him because he has had a bit of a battle in the last year or so but Seb Agricola- you do a great job as president of the St Albans business community.
As well acknowledging all of those organisers, state and local councillors, I would like to conclude by acknowledging the Vietnamese community in Australia and in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
We are so lucky that out of the tragedy of the Vietnam War, so many tens of thousands of Vietnamese people made the tough and dangerous voyage to Australia and chose to join their stories to the Australian story.
I cannot imagine what St Albans would be like, I cannot imagine what Melbourne or Australia would be like without the Vietnamese community.
I cannot imagine a shopping centre without a Vietnamese small business.
I cannot imagine a school prize night without a Vietnamese Australian child doing very well.
I cannot imagine a street in the western suburbs without a hard-working Vietnamese family.
Multicultural Australia is a success - but there is no more better example of the success of multicultural Australia than Vietnamese Australia.
Thank you for being part of Australia, I salute you.
Happy New Year.