TVTS interviews six second generation Vietnamese-Australian candidates running for Vic election

(Photo: Supplied)

MELBOURNE – This year, six second generation Vietnamese-Australian candidates are hoping to make a difference in their local government elections.

TiVi Tuan-san spoke to the young hopefuls via email and asked them to answer the same questions.

Learn more about these bright, young Victorians who are ready to step up in leadership positions. They have a lot to say, ranging from multicultural inclusion to youth opportunities and much more.

Hoping to represent the Yarraville Ward in Maribyrnong City Council as an independent is 29-year-old Jeremie Nguyen.

Yarraville Ward includes the suburbs of Kingsville, Seddon, Yarraville, and the southern part of the Footscray.

Jeremie Nguyen. (Photo: Supplied)



TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

I have always been drawn to working in the community and non-for-profit sector. Being elected to council would allow me the privilege to contribute my own experience and skills to make a positive impact on our community here in Maribyrnong. Maribyrnong needs a council which reflects the diversity in age, ethnicity & gender of the community. I am putting my hand up to provide a diverse voice with a unique perspective to contribute to decision making.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Footscray and attended the local primary school, after finishing high school I completed a Bachelor of Paramedic Science at Victoria University.

At the time, I was also volunteering to work with young people in Youth Justice and Child Protection.

Through my volunteer work, the opportunity arose to become a youth program coordinator, which I took up for three years.

Inspired by the young people I work with, I decided I wanted to do more.

I enrolled into a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University and continued to work.

I volunteered at a community legal centre and learned about how impactful my degree could become in helping those in need. I now work at that community legal centre and assist people with legal information and referrals to help them navigate our legal system.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

COVID will be an ongoing issue and will be a continual consideration in council decisions. A recovery plan from the impacts of COVID would be a high priority for me. I will be advocating to reduce rates for those in financial hardship and maintaining our reputation as a festival city by running COVID safe events, allowing businesses to have more opportunity to trade.

Further, as we know, COVID is more likely to be spread indoors. Recent health advice suggests the start of recovery is with outdoor events and gatherings. I would be working to protect our parks and green space so that we can continue to socialise as a community in a safe and clean environment.

TVTS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Campaigning this year has been particularly unusual and difficult. I encourage all readers to make sure that their vote counts and learn about all candidates who are running in their electorates. There was a 72% turnout of voters in the 2016 elections. Electing your local council is important and I urge everyone to make sure their voice is heard.

Judy Do Hang is 21-years old. She is also running as an independent candidate in Maribyrnong City Council.

Judy Do Hang. (Photo: Supplied)


TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

I decided to run because I believe young, multicultural youths should be represented in places of decision making. As young people, we will be mostly affected by decisions being made about our future. Especially post the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to ensure that no one is being left behind and that everyone is equally entitled to access resources and services.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am currently in my final year studying a Bachelor of Arts (Politics/International Studies and Criminology). I’ve always grown up to always value family and community. With Vietnamese migrant parents, they’ve taught me the values of determination, gratitude, sacrifice and resilience. These are values that I carry with me through every aspect of my life.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

Post Covid-19 recovery is a main issue that I will prioritise. I want to invest in the local community, invest in public health – including a focus on mental health, invest in local businesses and invest in young people.

Anthony Tran will be representing Maribyrnong City Council as well. The 21-year-old will run as an indepent.

Anthong Tran. (Photo: Supplied)



TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

I decided to run for council this year because I felt that it was time for me to give back to the community. I have lived ßin this community since birth and I have witnessed the changes implemented towards Maribyrnong over the years and now I want to bring in changes that support the multicultural community, whether it be supporting multicultural families, individuals or even businesses.

Maribyrnong needs someone who will prioritise our diverse community. Hopefully that person will be me.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been living in the Maribyrnong area since I was born. I grew up here and went to primary school and highschool in the Maribyrnong area. Currently I am in my fourth year at LaTrobe University, where I am studying law and commerce.

Through my time in university I was introduced to the Dual Identity Leadership Program (DILP). This program did not just show me how to be a leader, but it also educated me in my Vietnamese heritage. It showed me how to reconnect with my heritage and community and how to engage with the first generation of Vietnamese that settled in Victoria.

Ever since I completed the program in 2017, I have been volunteering with the Vietnames Community in Australia – Victoria Chapter (VCA-VIC). As I had previously organized the flag raising ceremonies for the Fall of Saigon and helped with other flag raising ceremonies.

During COVID-19 I, alongside my friends and other members of DILP had been distributing food and resources to those in the Vietnamese community affected by COVID-19.

All the things I’ve experienced have molded the values that I stand by. I want to support those in need wherever I can and listen to the voices of the people.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

Firstly, I would address those who have been heavily affected by COVID-19. These people are those who are unable to properly support themselves financially and emotionally. In order to do this, I would like to lower the council rates in order to ease the financial burden placed on families, individuals and businesses that COVID-19 has heavily affected.

I also want to invest more of the council’s money into livening and improving the facilities that Maribyrnong has to offer, whether it be by introducing live music and festivals, or by improving healthcare services and park lands. The people of Maribyrnong deserve better, and I promise to improve The City of  Maribyrnong.


This is 27-year-old Claudia Nguyen. She is running as an independent in City of Yarra’s Melba ward which includes the Richmond, Burnley, and Cremorne regions.

Claudia Nguyen. (Photo: Supplied)

TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who arrived and called the Richmond public housing home, I am immensely grateful to Yarra for taking my family in. My family instilled the importance of giving back so for the past 10 years, I have contributed by taking on many volunteering leadership roles such as an Executive Member of the Vietnamese Community in Australia – Victorian Chapter, Chair of the Dual Identity Leadership Program, Secretary of Melbourne University Women’s Football Club, and Student Ambassador at Melbourne University.

I want to continue serving my community and I am running for local government because it’s the level closest to the people and I want to ensure that everyone has a voice.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Richmond, went to school, and volunteered in Yarra my whole life. I graduated from Melbourne University with a Masters in Engineering and have worked on large scale infrastructure projects to benefit our community. I’ve raised over $250,000 for local hospitals and refugee programs, served hot meals with the Vinnies Soup Van in Yarra, and was deployed in the recovery during the Victorian Bushfire Seasons.

During COVID, I’ve managed volunteers to deliver thousands of food parcels to those isolated, supported Richmond Public Housing residents by providing essentials, and served as an advisor to the Yarra Public Housing Covid Working group.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

1)  INVEST IN LOCAL BUSINESS: When safe to do so, I want to bring back life to our streets with a series of pop up festivals, live performances and art installations to support our local businesses;

2)  INVEST IN JOBS: Create jobs for locals by building more parks, libraries and community centres;

3) INVEST IN COMMUNITY: Transform our infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, address parking issues, take climate action, promote community safety and sustainable planning.

4) INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH: Focus on mental health support and community health services to ensure it is culturally appropriate and accessible for all.

TVTS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I want to represent our community with integrity, optimism, and compassion. As the only candidate in their 20’s I’ll ensure that no voice is left behind. A vote for me is a vote for a fresh, independent, and motivated voice for Yarra Council.

Like the others, 23-year-old Jasmine Nguyen is also running as independent.

She hopes to represent Brimbank City Council’s Harvester ward, which covers the areas of Albion, Ardeer, Derrimut, Sunshine, Sunshine North, Sunshine West and the Brimbank City Council part of Brooklyn.

Jasmine Nguyen. (Photo: Supplied)

TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

2020 has been a challenging year for us all. I want to help our community in Brimbank bounce back from the pandemic. I’m running for council because I want Brimbank to be the best it can be.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Commerce and Economics double degree. As a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I’m immensely grateful that my family was welcomed and able to call Brimbank our home for over 20 years. I think it’s important to give back to the community and help others in need. I also believe our leaders need to be honest, diverse and transparent when representing us.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

I want to help our community rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the vibrant and prosperous future of Brimbank. We need to invest in our future and I believe that involves engaging our youth.

TVTS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

If you want to see change, vote for a voice who’s going to be honest, dedicated and bring fresh progressive perspectives to move our community forward. A voice that represents our young vibrant multicultural community. Vote 1 Jasmine Nguyen and let’s #BounceBrimbankBack!

Last of all is 23-year-old Long Nguyen. He is running as an independent for Brimbank City Council.

Vu Long Tran. (Photo: Supplied)



TVTS: Why have you decided to run this year?

I have always done a lot of front line community work and I saw this as a great opportunity to step up and make my impact on the wider community.

I think there is always more to do in Council as we adapt to the changing needs of our community. Especially now with COVID-19, it will be important to have a strong diversity within the council and some youthful energy to ensure that we really lead the charge on rebuilding Brimbank. We need to be considerate of our entire community and their unique needs.

There are definitely pockets of people that are unaware of the help they can ask for from the Council. I think councillors can often fall into the trap of listening to the most vocal minority and the quiet majority don’t receive the support they need.

It is why I believe it is very important that we have more open minded and energetic people step up into the role.

TVTS: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in St Albans to Vietnamese refugee parents. I’ve been an avid community volunteer for the last five years, working both within the Brimbank community as well as the wider

Western suburbs. My focus has been on empowering young people through education and mentorship, supporting them with the necessary tools and skills in order to fulfil their passions.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, starting my career in investment banking and the aviation industry. I’ve recently transitioned into the community Not-for- profit sector in order to continue to chase my passions. I’ve worked across organisations like The Australian Red Cross, Western Chances, the Vietnamese Community of Australia – Victorian Chapter, Skyline Foundation, Trinity College and Doxa.

I am dedicated to the growth of Brimbank and continuing to advocate for a community that embraces its multiculturalism by supporting local businesses, local community groups and the everyday family.

TVTS: What issues are most important to you?

A big focus for me will be supporting the community recover from COVID-19. We know that Brimbank is extremely vulnerable, we’re constantly ranked within the top 3 councils that have the highest occurrence of COVID cases.

We have an abundance of people who have lost their jobs, local businesses owners who have been unable to operate to full capacity and those who are working, subjecting themselves to increased risks of the disease. It’s a perilous trio that the community face. This just compounds the issues we already face in the West around education and health outcomes.

I want to ensure that we take a holistic and driven approach to rebuilding our community and bounce Brimbank back. My parents were Vietnamese refugees who made the Brimbank our home. Supporting and representing the council is one of the ways I can show how grateful I am for how we’ve been welcomed into the community here.

TVTS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to add that during this period, it’s really important that we not only listen to the most vocal in our community but reach out those who are quiet and encourage them to speak about their needs.

TiVi Tuan-san understands that there are other young Vietnamese-Australian candidates running in this election. They include Michael Husky Nguyen (Brimbank Council’s Harvester Ward) and Bao Long Quach (Monash City Council’s Mulgrave Ward).

This year is the first year all Victorian council elections will be conducted by postal ballot.

More than 4.5 million Victorians should have received their voting forms in the mail. If you have not received your ballot packs by now, please contact your election office to request a replacement. More information can be found on the Victorian Electoral Commion website at

All councils will have elections except Casey City Council, South Gippsland Shire Council and Whittlesea City Council.

Make sure you follow the instructions on the ballot pack and return your completed vote before 6 pm on Friday 23 October for your vote to count.