Charity Fundraising Dinner 2017 for Mental Health

Another year passes and VSA NSW has led another young team to create a Charity Dinner that has sought to change community perceptions – this year focusing on mental health. A night to reignite the movement towards breaking down barriers to talking about mental health, VSA NSW sought to commemorate the event to Victorian campaign Here2Hear which was formed after the tragic suicide of Martin Vo, former Internal Vice President of the Federal Team.

The team was lucky to fly the founders of Here2Hear from Melbourne to Sydney for the 11th of August to speak on the night to reach out to Vietnamese community in Western Sydney that still was foreign to concept of mental health.

Partnering with major sponsors Plus Fitness Cabramatta, Cabra-Vale Diggers and L-Trent Driving School, the 2017 team managed to raise over $9000 from generous donations on the night, raffle draws and ticket sales. With all of these funds going to Beyondblue, we hope the fight against mental health only continues from here, as the team plans to launch a series of seminars and workshops training their executives in how to engage possible scenarios of mental health.

VSA Stepping Stones

This Wednesday, we had the pleasure and honour of having 4 keynote speakers sharing their experiences and advice on self-development, personal branding, resume building and job-searching. We were proud to have such a great and warm reception for our first “Stepping Stones” event.

From Warren Bingham our keynote speaker, our attendees were enlightened with a journey of personal growth and perserverence – a detailed insight into the inner workings of such a well achieved and kind-hearted soul.

This was followed by Ajay Prakash who dedicated his workshop on the art of giving and how we should focus on giving rather than taking.

The meticulous Michael Li then highlighted key factors that recruiters point out when reviewing resumes and how applicants should be competitive through consistency and keeping to their core values.

Finally, the night ended with an in depth and interactive seminar by Jessica Pham who left our attendees with a feeling of hope and determination by exploring her view of the grit theory in the process of job searching.

We hope that as pioneering and innovative young students of the future, our members can feel supported and confident in their transition to the modern workforce.


VSA at The Children’s Festival

Community lies at the heart of VSA. That’s why we have endeavored to engage the local community and youth to support harmony and diversity. The Children’s Festival has been running for their 20th year and has since its very beginning adovcated for multiculturalism and cooperation amongst the youth.

On the 13th of May, VSA NSW partnered with the Children’s Festival, holding games for children and their family. Located in the heart of the Sydney CBD, the team felt heartened to see the many smiling faces and sounds of laughter.


State Dinner 2016

Guys can I just say… what a night.

What a glorious night spent with a total of 231 VSA committee members, both new and old. Special shout out to the Canberra and Melbourne committees for trekking it all the way to Sydney to share such a spectacular night.


Our awesome MCs on the night – Justin & Vy

Never have I seen so many Barney Stinsons suited up looking sharp alongside the gorgeous Charlie Angel bombs in glamorous dresses – truly red carpet royalty for the VSA community. Everyone’s outfits matched perfectly with the next level, creatively hand-crafted theme props that transported everyone into the Casino Royale world. How sick were the dice??

The bonding games had everyone in tears as participants were filled with the competitive drive to release their inner Beyonce. The treats were another massive hit, with the candy bar and cake devoured within seconds. As the night progressed, everyone let loose (some too much) to the awesome DJ-ing of Andrew Chea. It is safe to say that the VSA family got a lot closer as the music shut off and everyone collectively exhaled to the bittersweet ending of the night.


Getting tangled into the games!

A massive thank you to the organising team for the VSA State Dinner 2016! I can’t wait to see what next year’s State Dinner holds.

This post was written by Stephanie Lao.

HSC & Beyond 2015

Year 12 is a time of great uncertainty, curiosity and discovery. As year 12 students approach the final chapters of their high school life they must decide what career path they want to pursue. As university students, we understand these difficulties as we have been in those exact shoes. This is where the HSC and Beyond program comes in.

VSA NSW held its inaugural HSC and Beyond program on the 1st of July –  a one day peer mentoring program where students could ask the questions about university and the HSC they were most curious about. In turn, we offered advice that we wish we were given back when we were in high school. Throughout the day there were HSC Tips-and-Tricks Workshops where mentors who were successful in the HSC passed on their handy study tips. Mentors offered their honest and personal insights into what life was like after high school through the Q&A Careers Panel.


Careers Discussion

The day gave high school students a rare opportunity for them to interact with university students and also to network and meet people from different high schools.

Thank you to everyone who attended the HSC and Beyond program!

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Team Photo

This post was written by Amanda Ly.

VSA attends Carers’ Support Group

Last Tuesday on the 14th of June, Vy Doan and I attended a Carers’ Support Group Meeting for the Multicultural Foster Care Services (MFCS) run by Settlement Services International (SSI) organisation as VSA representatives of the Fundraiser Dinner Committee. The event took place at Cabravale Leisure Centre at 10am and ran until approximately 12pm. The reason for our attendance was to fulfill one of our goals this year which was to create a bond with the service users we are raising funds for and to be able to expose and immerse ourselves in what the MFCS is all about. We wanted to see first hand where our donations would be going to towards.

Vy and I presented a vietnamese speech to a group of carers of about 20 people. We introduced ourselves, VSA and what the annual fundraiser dinner was about. After the speech, the Support Group’s official meeting agenda started, which covered a Q and A session on the various complexities of caring for a foster child. This included topics such as appropriate approaches to take in resolving conflicts with children in their adolescence.I felt that it was very relatable as the social issues that they spoke of from the perspective of a concerned carer were issues that all of us have faced as we grew up.

I walked away being touched by what they do. They’re such a friendly bunch with huge hearts. We are so fortunate and thankful for their support. They loved the idea of youths helping out in the community via voluntary means. It was my first time going to such an event and it’s safe to say that I’ll be interested in attending another session if there is an opportunity to do so.The session concluding with light refreshments and photos being taken.

This post was written by Nikki Nguyen.


Introducing VSA 2015

Welcome to VSA’s completely revamped website. It’s a brand new year and although it might be a tiny bit late (only 4 months), the VSA NSW Marketing Team is proud to finally launch our brand new look. We are not the only ones ready to usher in a new year though. The State Team and each of the six university branches (including our new baby from Cumbo) were all too eager to welcome everyone to 2015:

State Team

The 2015 VSA NSW State Team is incredibly eager to bring you a whole heap of exciting events this year. In fact, we’ve already drowned ourselves when organising VSA State Dinner and have revived ourselves just so we could submerge ourselves in preparation again for our philanthropic Annual Charity Dinner. But if you think that all we have are reruns of old but beloved dinners, you’re wrong! Many keen beans on the team have begun planning new initiatives that go beyond fancy tea parties. To hint at just a few, we’ve got our much anticipated Moonlight Cinema, Peer Mentoring Program and Social Entrepreneurship Competition.

Remember that our aims do not only include enriching the community but also include developing our own leadership skills. So, if you’re not already part a VSA Committee, become involved by joining our volunteer database where you can lend (wo)manpower while building that resume.

Don’t forget to keep in touch with what’s going on via our revamped website and social media channels too!

University of Sydney

The 2015 VSA USYD Committee is comprised of many dynamic personalities who are united by a common purpose of providing a fulfilling uni life through societies and celebrating Vietnamese culture. This year, we hope to steer away from BBQs and give students a taste of authentic Vietnamese food, such as desserts and other cultural meals. VSA USYD aims to create unity in the team through this common interest, and provide members with an unforgettable experience of sharing a culture with others while also learning about it themselves. Membership is open to all ethnicities, as we aspire to embrace and promote a cultural exchange through a friendly environment.

University of Sydney (Cumberland)

VSA has finally arrived at Cumbo! With a fresh team and fresh new faces (along with some old ones!), we’re ready to breathe some life back into Cumbo (pun intended – we are opposite the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere after all).

What is there to expect in 2015? VSA Cumbo is going to have our very own major event and share some awesome food, such as our famous VSA BBQs! What specifically? You’ll have to stay put and find out!

By the end of 2015, VSA hopes to develop our team to be better and stronger team players and leaders. We hope to make our first year a huge success, make our mark on Cumbo and continue this for the many years to come.

University of New South Wales

VSA UNSW, named UNSW’s Best Regular Club of the Year in 2014, is home to a tight knit family. With an extremely high retention rate from the 2014 team, VSA UNSW encompasses an enhanced and pristine vision that embodies the Vietnamese culture whilst enriching the university students’ experience and enjoyment. With a close knit team of 19, we have planned and organised an impeccable year with not only a variety of events but also focusing on the personal development of both team cohesion and synergy.

This year we have expanded upon our popular free food events catered to our university students, with an additional social, sporting and very proudly a philanthropic emphasis on charitable volunteering.

We highly encourage all students, both Vietnamese and Non-Vietnamese, to gather together and embrace the Vietnamese culture whilst sharing an unforgettable experience to enamour cultural unity!

University of Western Sydney

VSA UWS’ focus for 2015 is to enrich, empower and cultivate the younger generation. The team will strive to:

Enrich the cultural nature of Vietnamese history and integrate those elements in the youth of today. Namely, our Public Relations officers will understand the scope and be able to define what it means to be Vietnamese Australian.

Empower our UWS team with the right attitude to tackle and essentially be ready for whatever may come – whether that may be at the workforce, self-employment or voluntary positions. We aim to improve our people to see them be successful in whatever they pursue.

Cultivate the combination of education, passion and commitment to solidify our bond. As our leaders have passed down responsibilities, we shall also pass on our teaching and experience. Thus, the executive team will be outsourcing all available funds to nurture the younger generations.

With educative admissions aside, we also focus on the more merrier side of VSA. We set in motion a series of games, sporting activities and mind-boggling curriculum to challenge and personify our team.

University of Technology, Sydney

2015 brings to VSA UTS some very exciting times ahead. The 2015 team brings about a whole new level of talent, humour and strengths across all disciplines. This year, we hope to bring out the best of our committee by actively showing our on-campus presence, especially with the introduction of new events!

Thank you to all those members who signed up with VSA UTS, we are working very hard to bring forth a fantastic year full of exhilarating fun for you all! Make sure you like our Facebook page at ‘VSA UTS’ to stay updated on all of our events as well as opportunities that may open throughout the year to work with VSA!

Macquarie University

The new VSA MACQ 2015 is a solid team. We’ve picked the best of the best individuals who have demonstrated unique qualities and personalities. Everyone is chilled, friendly and rowdy. COME BE OUR FRIEND!
We’ll be hosting our usual major events like ‘Dodgeball’ and ‘Amazing Race’ this year, along with two other exciting surprises.
This year, we would like to promote teamwork and synergy throughout the organisation. VSA MACQ also hopes to shine by making everyone aware that we do exist and won’t be leaving – so come say hello!
2015. This is our year. Macquarie’s year.

Canberra Youth Night 2015

Every year the Vietnamese Students’ Association Australia holds an overnight event called Canberra Youth Night. It encompasses a weekend trip down to Canberra, around the 30th of April with a collaboration between VSA in NSW and Victoria to learn about our Vietnamese-Australian cultural identity and heritage as well as network and encourage self-development.

30th April, is a commemorative date in Vietnam because it marks the Fall of Saigon, and consequently when the Vietnam War ended. This year is particularly significant as it marks the 40th year anniversary. Additionally via this camp, we also embraced and celebrated our Australian identity, as we celebrated ANZAC day by electing twelve representatives from both state to participate in the 100th Anniversary National ANZAC Ceremony March at the Australian War Memorial.


VSA team at War Memorial

Compared to previous years, this years’ turnout was spectacular with sixty attendees from both states. We stayed at the Performing Arts Services Hub (PASH), near Canberra Centre. It wasn’t large, but the weekend was all about getting cozy and getting to know lots of new people.

Upon arriving at PASH, there was a short break, then the Canberra Youth Night program commenced, starting off with the Opening Ceremony. Everyone was then divided into randomised groups and icebreakers, games and various activities were carried to get everyone out of their comfort zones. After dinner, we continued with games, allowing everyone to bond further. With the conclusion of several bonding games, we had established individuals from the Vietnamese community to share their wisdom and emotional experiences. They were very informative and interesting but also raised controversial discussion by touching on the issues such as the past and human rights. We ended the long day, by socialising before falling asleep.


Workshops and Discussions

Games Discussion_large

Bonding games!

On our second and last day in Canberra, VSA attended a Vietnamese Veterans Memorial to pay respects for the 40th anniversary commemoration, at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. Our trip ended shortly after where all attendees started their journeys back to Sydney and Melbourne. It was a phenomenal weekend, where VSA learnt more about their identity, heritage and culture. We also had the chance to bond with our VSA brothers and sisters from Victoria. Can’t wait to go next year!


Victoria and NSW VSA teams

This post was written by Nikki Nguyen and Gary Le.

State Dinner 2015

Here’s your friendly neighborhood State Dinner Project Head swinging by to wrap up the night. And boy. What a night!

We had an amazing turn out of VSA committee members of 224 people. Everybody had fun taking photos with our really cute photobooth with little winter theme props. Did I just hear somebody wanted to build a snowman?

The candy bar was a massive hit. By the end of the night, none of the lollies or the cakes were left. And you can’t forget DJ Chea, rocking the house!

Now, something we definitely could have improved on was the program. We did encounter some minor difficulties with it.

However, overall, State Dinner turned out to be such a fun night for everyone who came. Looking forward to State Dinner again in 2016.

This post was written by Danny Lam.

State Dinner 2015 teaser

State Dinner is less than a week away guys!

So what’s State Dinner all about? It’s a chance for everyone from VSA committees to meet up with other committee members and see the fun and family of VSA.

And it looks like all of you are getting excited too! We’ve already gotten 200 people signed up and ready for a fun night of games and bonding.

So, what’s going to happen? We’ve got a program full of games all lined up (and prizes to be won) and a segment to showcase VSA in 2014.

We will also be commemorating the accomplishments of some very committed individuals in 2014.

If you like what you’re hearing, it’s not too late to sign up! If you want to attend, you should speak to your president at your university to get a spot for the dinner.

It’ll be a fun night!

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State Dinner 2014

This post was written by Danny Lam.