Rotary to Feature Carina Hoang – Author of “Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus”

Photo courtesy of Sierra Madre Rotary Club

Press Release posted 7/14/12 (Editor’s note – Rotary sent this to me several days ago, and I was late posting it.  My apologies for the short notice to make your reservations by tomorrow) – This Tuesday, Australian author Ms. Carina Hoang will discuss her book entitled “Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus” which will be a very special presentation. It recently won the Independent International Award in New York. This is a dynamic speaker you will not want to miss. She is only in the US for ten days and has made time to speak at our club. Carina has spoken internationally to many groups and high schools. She will have her book available to purchase and sign and the cost is $40.00. Rotary meets at the Hart House at 222 W Sierra Madre Blvd at 7:00am for breakfast. Breakfast cost is $12.00, please rsvp to Dan Alle at by Sunday, July 15, 2012 so they can work  with the caterer and provide seating.  Also feel free to bring your high school age children as I am sure they may appreciate this special talk.

BIOGRAPHY – Carina Oanh Hoang

In March 2011, Carina Hoang has been honoured as one of Western Australia’s most courageous and inspiring women.

As the world prepared to celebrate the Centenary of International Women’s Day, Carina was one of 100 women to be inducted into Western Australia’s inaugural Hall of Fame by His Excellency Dr Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia.

At the tender age of 16, she demonstrated amazing courage by escaping war-torn Vietnam on a small wooden boat with her two younger siblings and 370 other people.  Carina and her siblings endured violent storms, pirate raids and severely unsanitary conditions to make it to Indonesia, only to find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island for almost three months.

Eventually, those who survived were discovered and provided with the necessary materials to set up a refugee camp. After 10 months, Carina was finally able to begin the next phase of her life in the United States.

Over the next 20 years, Carina earned a Bachelor of Chemistry, Bachelor of Art with Honours in Gender and Cultural Studies, and Masters in Business Administration.  She went on to hold management positions in the semi-conductor, biotechnology, and healthcare industries in the areas of marketing, human resources and administrative management.

She married and became a mother; five years ago she resettled in Perth with her husband and daughter, having made a pledge to raise awareness of ‘boat people’ and their stories.

In 2011, she released her first book, Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996 (  ‘Boat People’ won Silver Medal for Australia & New Zealand Best Non-Fiction in New York in June 2012.

Carina was the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year in the 2011 Belmont Small Business Awards.

Carina was appointed as Special Representative for UNHCR-Australia in June 2012.

Carina is now pursuing a PhD at Murdoch University, which will see her produce an oral history on the Vietnam Exodus.

4 Comments on "Rotary to Feature Carina Hoang – Author of “Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus”"

  1. The book” Boat People” has been facing the strong react against author from the Vietnamese community overseas. last year, 2011, author launched book at the Nguoi Viet’s hall, Little Saigon ( South California), the people threw book and boycott. Reason this book has no accuse the cause of boat people, it is the Vietnam communist regime push people run away. Indeed the book just told about the pirate and the rough sea, the reason leaving Vietnam has been misled to the risky trip, likely in the court room, the judge waves the key suspect, but the witness to be notified as the main case.
    Her book also expects as the communist propaganda that covers up the serious crime opposes against the human rights while the Vietcong crimes have not to be alleged, so author could come back to Vietnam safe and actually doing success business. In US, Australia, Europe, there is the Vietnamese refugees returned safe and did business, but after then, Vietcong castigated the company and arrested, they ran away. However, there is few people as Carina Hoang oanh, Nancy Bui ( US) have not been touched. In the dictatorial regime, whom to be benefited, you must know reason and who they are.
    I am Ex-Lieut of ARVN, imprisoned 6 years in 9 hell reeducation camps, a survivor, I came to Australia since 1983, I have never return Vietnam, although my mother 88 years old being there. I tried to get my mother twice as the visitor visa, but Vietcong government stopped. Why do someone have returned safely to where they escaped to find freedom while the ruthless regime is still powering?.
    My two books published by a global publisher in New York ( US), the price complies the publishing rules, so the book pages and book cover have to marked as criteria: For example, the book” The dark Journey, price is just $ 14, 95 in 246 pages, soft cover”. But a book is in the same size costs $50, the publisher is not professional. I am author, so I know as well as the publishing, my book number three is going to release ( From laborer to author). If you open her website on Google, you would know how the reaction from Vietnamese community overseas against author.
    No body would know as well the refugee than people who fled to find freedom. The western states and UN have made the mistakes the following the others, today, probable the world woken up, so in US, Europe, Australia, the refugee status being reviewed.
    I spent 30 years for a first book, in the period being in prison camp, I promised myself, if survival, I will write the true story to speak out to the world.
    Thank for your reading.
    Hoa Minh Truong.

  2. Julie Alle | July 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

    Met and learned so much from Carina Hoang at Sierra Madre Rotary this week. The story about her exodus and survival from Vietnam were remarkable. I feel honored to have met such an incredible woman, on a mission to help others. I’m looking forward to reading my copy of ‘Boat People’ soon.

  3. Everyone would know a false refugee claimed, please read the article below, it published in the Lawyers Weekly, the most populous online of Australia lawyer.
    Hoa Minh Truong.

    The Geneva convention about refugee on July 28, 1951 confirmed the refugee status: stateless people, couldn’t come back to where they escaped to find a safe place, even couldn’t contact to embassy.
    However the international law about the refugee has been abused, the people who claimed refugee, but after to be granted the resident status, they have came back to its homeland without danger as claimed. So the UN nation and the western states have made the terrible mistake, they couldn’t recognize who are refugee and asylum seeker?. These mistakes have become the opportunity for people smuggling, drug traffic, even terrorist invasion under the human rights door.
    A Vietnamese refugee turned asylum seeker as the evidence mistaken: Mr. Carina Hoang Oanh, a refugee, but after came to US, she came back safe to homeland since 1987 and 1996 has done well business there. She moved to Australia about 8 years. She joined the Vietnam communist business organization and on June 15, 2005, she attended a communist training course for 36 mission overseas ( She told these details on the Vietnam. net, a media of communist Vietnam).
    Unfortunately, recently, on the refugee day of 2012, she was selected the position as the Ambassador for UN refugee in Australia, the SBS Radio interviewed.
    An asylum seeker became the representative for refugee of UNHCR, that opposes against the international law bases on Geneva convention 1951 and defames the UN, also harms the reputation of Human rights.
    I am a boat people, Vietnamese refugee, I know well about refugee than the others, so I raise the problem, that has been controversial between the both sides of Australia parliament house.
    Hoa Minh Truong.
    ( author of The dark journey & Good Evening Vietnam)

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