The Organising Committee for the Vietnam Australia Friendship Dinner, that was held in Vung Tau on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August 2016, is delighted to announce that Ms Thanh is the very proud recipient of a scholarship that will fund her university degree here in Vietnam.

The so-called Scholarship of Destiny is valued at USD5,100 and will cover four years of tuition fees at her University in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ms Thanh who will study several topics including:

  • High level mathematics
  • Introduction to law
  • Micro economics and
  • Military history.

In addition, Ms Thanh was presented with a brand new tablet/laptop that will give her the freedom to study anywhere, anytime, without having to travel to her local internet café.

Glenn Nolan, Secretary of the Organising Committee, said that the Friendship Dinner’s main objective was to bring people of different nationalities together to collectively look forward to the future with optimism.

Australia and Vietnam’s bilateral relationship is already very strong. For example, with 25,000 Vietnamese studying in Australia this year, there is great confidence in the future. “But”, said Mr Nolan, “symbolically it was important for the Organising Committee that we offer the hand of friendship to a local person and help her reach her destiny”.

That local person is Ms Thanh who is just 18 years old and lives near Vung Tau. Four years ago, Ms Thanh underwent triple bypass surgery. Recently, her mother was diagnosed with liver cancer.

“Here’s a family, that’s doing it tough financially and emotionally”, said Mr Nolan. “But this kid, she’s a fighter. This Scholarship is going to make a difference for Thanh and her family when it matters most”, added Mr Nolan.

On 28 September, the Organising Committee presented Ms Thanh with the tablet /laptop in HCMC.

Wiping away tears, Ms Thanh simply said, “Thank you to all the people who I never knew cared so much.”


  • Ms Thanh has already commenced her studies at University in Ho Chi Minh City and is doing very well.
  • The Organising Committee also presented the Vietnam Veterans and Friends Charity with USD200 who do a lot of great work

The Organising Committee sincerely thanks:

  • The Vietnamese Government and local authorities for generously allowing the Vietnam Australia Friendship Dinner to proceed on such a sensitive occasion.
  • The 680 guests who attended the Friendship Dinner, including a group of 20 Vietnamese from 33 Regiment, North Vietnamese Army.
  • The individuals and organisations who generously donated to the Scholarship of Destiny fund.
  • The management and staff of the Pullman Hotel, Vung Tau, for being so flexible and for providing such an excellent service.

Photo caption

Ms Thanh (pictured centre) is presented with a tablet/laptop in HCMC on 28 September 2016 by the Organising Committee of (from left) Steve Nolan, Rod Harlor (President) and Glenn Nolan (Secretary). Also present was Phil Johns (far right), Executive Director of AusCham Vietnam.