What year did you enrol in university, which course did you study, and at which campus were you based?
I came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam. I enrolled at Footscray Technical College in 1979 in the English as a Second Language course with the Migrant Education Department. Jackie Woodroffe started the first course at in 1978 and I enrolled 1979 - our course was the second course.
What do you remember most about your time at VU as a student?
Our first class room was in the store room because Jackie started the course with very little facilities! And later on, the majority of us finished the course and went on to do the business accounting course. Jackie came back from overseas and she saw the need of English as a Second Language to prepare the refugees to continue with their further studies, so that was why she started the course. We all love her and still have contact with her now and we try to have lunch with her every year. But due to the pandemic we haven’t had lunch since 2019!
Why do you still feel connected to VU?
I feel connected to VU because I spent 29 years working here and a few years studying here. So VU is a part of my life. Every time we drive past I say “I use to work at this campus” or when a friend comes to visit from overseas I bring them here – I am proud of Nicholson Campus!
If you had to describe VU to someone, what would you say?
VU is a very multicultural environment that I studied and work at, and the majority of students are from another background. When I studied English as a Second Language I was thinking that my ideal job would be to help the new migrants, and I was lucky I was able to work in that job for 29 years.
A few years ago, you decided to donate to help students in need – why did you do that? What does it mean to you to?
I decided to become a donor for VU when I finished working here. As a Student Welfare Officer I know that if you can help someone who needs a little bit of assistance then they will be able to overcome that barrier and then they can succeed. And the aim of Victoria University is whoever comes in to study will qualify after they finished the course.
I would love to encourage the community to assist VU, because by assisting VU we are assisting the students to try and complete their course, and once they complete their course they can then serve our society.
If you were the Vice-Chancellor for a day and there were no limitations on your ideas, what changes would you implement?
My idea would be to have a good customer-service approach and have posters in other languages, because that makes people feel welcome. During the time I was working (in student services) we did have a multi-cultural poster project, and those posters were outside the student engagement area. It meant when you walked in the room you saw something that was familiar to you, and you felt welcome without any words. And, if possible, I think bilingual courses are a very good idea – the students would still have to sit for the test in English, but during the lecture student can understand easier in their own language.
We are incredibly grateful to Que and all our loyal donors for their dedication and ongoing commitment to our students. Your gifts make a big difference to their chance of success, and inject incredible talent back into our community.
When you give to VU you shape the future of our community! Donate now.