A year ago we lost a great man from this world. The Honourable Malcolm Fraser. He was my saviour – the saviour of my family and a hero for many of you and your families here today. And for that reason we have gathered here today on his 1st year anniversary of his passing, to remember his life and honour legacy.
Mr Fraser is the reason why many of us here have this life that we are living today, because he was compassionate and believed in giving refugees a second chance at life. He was the voice for fairness, mutual respect, justice – he saw people as people and not just economic actors, a truly great quality we haven’t seen in our leaders for a long time. Mr Fraser had the courage and morality to speak out about the injustices of those who didn’t have a voice – for Indigenous Australians, for the refugees and for the asylum seekers. While others looked away, he wasn’t afraid to speak out and stand up for us and welcome us with open arms. Without Mr Fraser the Vietnamese community in Australia, especially the second generation of Vietnamese Australians, wouldn’t have an opportunity to access free education, health, security and especially we wouldn’t have our human rights and dignity respected – which living under the brutal communist regime in Viet Nam couldn’t provide to us.
I am forever in debt to Mr Fraser for allowing me to have the opportunities that I have before me today. I always wished that I had the opportunity to thank him in person. Some of you were lucky enough to have met him and thank him in person – for giving your family and Vietnamese refugees a chance at a new life… But I wasn’t lucky enough to have thanked him in person. But that doesn’t mean I still am not thankful. I promise that my gratitude to him doesn’t stop there. I want to thank him still, every year on this same day and will always remember him in my heart. I vow to make his legacy proud and will continue to give back to the community and assist those in less fortunate circumstances – much like he did for my family and the Vietnamese community.
Mr Fraser wasn’t just a great leader, but he was truly a great man and every one of us today is richer for his life and poorer for his passing.
Long live Malcolm Fraser.