On 10 August 2023, in the city of Melbourne, located in the state of Victoria, Australia, the Vietnamese Australian Scholars and Experts Association (VASEA) was formally introduced to the public with its official launch ceremony.
The event was well-attended by VASEA members, and distinguished guests including:
- Associate Professor Dr. Bui The Duy, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam;
- Ms. Le Thi Thu Hang, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese;
- Mr. Nguyen Tat Thanh, Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia;
- Mr. Andrew Goledzinowski, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam;
- Mr. Tim Kane, Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Office in Victoria, Australia
- Mr. Nguyen Dang Thang, Consul General of Vietnam to New South Wales (NSW), South Australia, and Tasmania.
- Ms. Fiona Letos, Interim Executive Director of Global Victoria, Victoria Government
- Mr. Edan Corkill, Director Global Markets, Trade and Investment NSW, NSW Government
VASEA was officially registered in Australia on May 12, 2023 (ABN 667 910 992 issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It operates as a not-for-profit organisation, formed through the amalgamation of Vietnamese intellectual clubs from various Australian states and territories. These clubs were established in 2018 following the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement between Australia and Vietnam, but have not been officially registered. The momentous occasion of the official launch ceremony signifies a significant milestone for VASEA, and serves as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Australia.
During the inaugural speech of the ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Tat Thanh, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia, expressed his sincere appreciation for the invaluable contributions made by the Vietnamese community of intellectuals, experts and scientists residing in Australia to Vietnam’s development endeavours in the past. He believes that the Association will play a key role in uniting and establishing connections with the Vietnamese community of intellectuals and experts in Australia. He emphasised its important role in orchestrating its activities related to scientific collaboration, research initiatives and technology transfer between the two countries.
In a warm video message to extend a hearty welcome to VASEA, Madam Le Thi Thu Hang, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, conveyed her profound appreciation for the contributions made by Vietnamese scholars and experts in Australia towards strengthening the biliteral relationship between the two nations. Vietnamese government highly appreciated and commended on the contributions of Vietnamese scholars, scientists and experts who are currently residing in Australia to the homeland.
During his online address, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui The Duy, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Australian Government and various organisations for their instrumental role in providing VASEA members with opportunities to make significant contributions not only to Australia, but also to their homeland, Vietnam. Among the remarkable initiatives pioneered by VASEA members, Dr Duy highlighted the utilisation internet and smart sensors to monitor coastal seawater quality for aquaculture in Xuan Dai Bay, Phu Yen Province; the development of a cutting-edge “magic eye” technology to monitor and bolster the growth of sugar cane. The deployment of remote sensors to assist in flood response efforts and the pivotal support provided to Vietnamese businesses in their digital transformation journey were also acknowledged as noteworthy accomplishments. These impactful projects and technology advancements have been invested and supported by various ministries, including the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
Mr. Andrew Goledzinowski, the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, joined the ceremony virtually from Hanoi. He conveyed his delight in witnessing the growth of VASEA, as well as the broader Vietnamese community in Australia. “Australia is proud to be a multicultural country,” he remarked, emphasising that fluency in multiple languages and a steadfast commitment to respect and preserve cultural heritage stand as Australia’s strengths on the global stage.
At the ceremony, Professor Nghiem Duc Long express gratitude for the invaluable support extended to the Australian and Vietnamese Governments, with a special acknowledgment to the Victorian Government and the sponsors. Using the metaphor of a boomerang, Professor Nghiem symbolised it as VASEA members’ gratitude to both Australia and their roots of Vietnam, reflecting the enduring connection to one’s origin. The VASEA Executive Board of Directors also showcased their portfolios during the launching event, and unveiled forthcoming activities in the next 6 months. A series of monthly webinars spanning various fields are set to take place. They include tax and superannuation, carbon reporting and carbon reduction in building materials, digital transformation, climate change and water security, emissions reduction, smart city, future vision of learning and teaching models, and carbon market.