Collarless brown shirt worn by Cuc Lam in May 1978 during her escape from Vietnam. Cuc wore this shirt with a pair of black pants to disguise herself as a fisherman during her escape. Cuc and her husband escaped from Vietnam on the 19th May 1978. They spent time in a refugee camp in Malaysia before obtaining refugee visas for Australia.

Physical Description

Brown collarless buttoned shirt. There are splits in each side to waist hight and a pocket on the lower left hand side of the shirt.


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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