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The monument is a memorial for those who lost their lives fleeing Vietnam on boats after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.
In the last days before the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the communists, attempts were made to evacuate as many people as possible out of the country. Some of the most iconic images from the Vietnam War era are of Vietnamese people trying desperately to get on to the last US helicopters leaving Saigon. The Americans and Australians did try to get as many people as possible out, but many were left behind.
Those who were not lucky enough to have been officially transported out of the country now looked to other ways of escaping the new communist regime. For the next few years Vietnamese people began leaving the country any way they could. In desperation thousands of families climbed aboard flimsy, overcrowded boats and began to make their way to other countries. They became known as the 'boat people'. It sometimes took months for them to reach their destination and many spoke of attacks by pirates in the open ocean. A lot of the boats were not seaworthy and did not make it. It is not known how many of them capsized and were lost at sea.
Over 50 boats managed to make it all the way to Australia's northern shoreline in April 1976 and around 2000 people from those boats claimed refugee status in Australia and asked for asylum.
|Address:||Rosemary & Abelia Streets, Kev Hooper Memorial Park, Inala, 4077|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.590269|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Saturday 14th May, 2011|
The Vietnamese Community in Australia
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VIETNAMESE
BOAT PEOPLE PERISHED AT SEA ON THEIR JOURNEY
SEEKING FREEDOM 1975 - 1995
IN THE HOUR OF THEIR GREATEST NEED
YOU WERE THERE
WE THANK YOU AUSTRALIA
There is no greater sorrow than the loss of one's native land