- 30 April is commemorated by the freedom loving Vietnamese community of the world as the Black April Day.
- This day marks the fall of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon on 30 April 1975 to the North Vietnamese Communist Forces. The armed conflict in Vietnam came to an end on this day with the collapse of the independent and Democratic South Vietnamese Government.
- In the Communist Vietnam, however, 30 April is a public holiday and celebrated as the day of reunification of the country.
- Vietnamese who left the country opposing the communist rule and sought refuge in several other neighbouring and Western countries mourn on this day, remembering those who lost their lives fighting for democracy in Vietnam.
- In the years following the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese sought asylum in Australia as refugees and many more have come under the family reunion program.
- Established in 1987, the Vietnamese Community in Australia/WA is a very active, non-profit, cultural, social and welfare community organisation. It is the WA Chapter of a National group of Vietnamese organisations, the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA)
- As a peak organisation with over 20 sub-organisations, its membership encompasses the whole Vietnamese community.
- The organisation’s main roles are settlement and social work services, and preserving Vietnamese language and culture through educational activities to showcase the Vietnamese culture to the wider Western Australian community.
- The Vietnamese Community in Australia/WA has also been active in assisting Vietnamese refugees who have been stateless in the Philippines for over 15 years and those in detention on Christmas Island.
- The community’s main annual events are the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival and the Moon Festival which falls around August.
- According to the 2006 Census, there are 10,489 Vietnam born persons in WA (0.5% of WA population), an increase of 465 people from the 2001 Census. For Australia, there are 159,850 (0.8% of Australian population) Vietnam born persons, an increase of 3,776 people from the 2001 Census.
- The Vietnam born is the eighth (eleventh in 2001) highest birthplace group for the overseas born population in WA. For Australia, it is the sixth (fifth in 2001) highest birthplace group.
- In Western Australia, 11,844 people nominated Vietnamese as their ancestry.
Black April Commemoration 30-04
- Black April marks the day on which Saigon fell to the communist North Vietnamese invaders in 1975 – 35 years ago – and marks the end of an independent and democratic South Vietnam.
- Today’s Commemoration of Black April acknowledges the past sacrifices made by those fighting for fundamental freedoms and rights, and sacrifices and struggles of those who left Vietnam to seek those freedoms and rights.
- Many of those people sought asylum in Australia as refugees, and since then many more have come under family reunion programs.
- Only those who have endured such adversary would understand those sacrifices and we honour them in this commoration.
- By knowing how to overcome significant adversary and through our commitment and hard work the Vietnamese community is a strong vibrant and important part of Western Australia’ multicultural community.
What does Black April means to us ?
The day, 30th of April 1975 is a day that each Vietnamese, no mater where they are, will have a moment of thought and remembrance of what has happened to them and to the Vietnamese people from that day in 1975.
To the free Vietnamese, 30-04 has many meanings. In term of history, 30-04 is a black daỵ It a day where tanks rolled in and trashed the street of Saigon. It’s a day where the helicopter takes off from the tall buildings.
30-04 also is a day of death and sorrow. A day of mother lost father, wife lost husband, homeless kids lost on the street, the cries of children on the boats fleeing in K ost, hunger, worries and hopelessness.
Whatever day this may be labeled as, a National Day of Infamy or a National Day of Disaster
In the minds of the south Vietnamese living in those days, it will always be remember as the time of horror, worries, uncertainty and painfully.
This year mark the 35th year after those painfully days. Each year we gather in front of the Vietnam Memorial Pavilion, Kings Park and statue to remember all those who has scarifies their lives.
The Vietnam Memorial Pavilion and statue is dedicated to the Australian people, the ANZAC spirit, and remembrance of Australian and Vietnamese soldiers who fought for freedom. They are the heroes who have gives their lives fighting for democracy and freedom.
From the arrival of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam in 1962, some 50,000 Australians, including ground troops, air-force and navy personnel have served in Vietnam.
For those here today who have experienced the sorrow of war and now enjoy peace, this statue will strengthen the bonds of our communities.
We also remember those who lost their lives on their journey across the sea in search for freedom.
This is the day where we have the opportunity to say thank you to Australia for welcoming us with open arms and allow us to call Australia our second home
The commemoration is also a day where we can reflects on our self and a day where we can all ask our self, what we had done for our country and where we are in relation to the route of history Each of us lives in a different environment, have a different past, have a different religion, and have different wounds on our bodies, but we all only have one Vietnam.
Nowadays, the people in Vietnam have overcome the fearful feature of the regime’s unjust suppression forces. We have seen Father Ly or Young lawer Le Thi Cong Nhan and more and more others bravely advocating for democracy applying nonviolent methodology to demand human right, justice and democracy to be restored in Vietnam from dictatorship.
We can help by appealing the world to pressure the Vietnamese authority must honor their agreements they had signed to respect human rights and release its people from prison for advocating democracy peacefully.
Black April while an occasion to reflect on the sacrifices of the past, can well be considered a celebration of the resilience of the Vietnamese people and their spirit, and an occasion on which we can take just pride in our success and contribution to our new home, Western Australia.