Identity card given to Tran Thi Cuc (Cuc Lam) at Pulau Tengah refugee camp in Malaysia. It was given to her by the UN High Commission for whom she worked briefly as a volunteer teaching small English classes at the English School and assisting with translations. Cuc Lam escaped from Vietnam with her husband in May 1978. They spent several weeks in a refugee camp in Malaysia before obtaining refugee visas for Australia.

Physical Description

Yellow paper card, covered in plastic with border and word 'Secretary' hand written in black texta. Insignia features sail boat and title 'Pulau Tengah English School.'


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection demonstrates the risk and desperation involved in the refugee experience. It is extremely rare to acquire objects from refugees, as by the very nature of the experience, people carry little if anything with them, and what they do is usually lost or thrown away. It helps tell the story of Vietnamese immigration, which has played a significant part in the history of immigration to Australia, and assists in representing the period post 1975, when Australia's new political and social policies of multiculturalism were being implemented. This collection also provides further insights into life in one of Melbourne's principal migrant hostels - Midway in Maribyrnong. Finally the collection traces a life beyond the immediate refugee and settlement experience to demonstrate how migrants find their way in a new country, establish lives and assume leadership roles in their local communities.

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