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Shirt worn on the HONG HAI voyage

Date: c 1978
Dimensions:
Overall: 740 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Synthetic material
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Truong Van Soi
Object Name: Shirt
Object No: 00008740

User Terms

    Description
    Escaping with only the clothes on his back, Captain Truong Van Soi wore this shirt during his voyage on HONG HAI in 1978. HONG HAI was a Vietnamese fishing vessel which carried 38 refugees from Vietnam to Australia after the Vietnam War.
    SignificanceThis shirt is a rare example of clothing worn by a refugee during the perilous voyage from Vietnam to Australia on HONG HAI in 1978.
    HistoryThe Vietnam War ended on 30 April 1975 with the fall of Saigon to Communist forces and the reunification of North and South Vietnam. In the late 1970s thousands of Vietnamese fled the new Communist regime, escaping the country in small boats to places such as the USA, Canada and Australia.

    The first Vietnamese 'boat people' arrived in Darwin in 1976. By the end of 1979, 2,011 people had undertaken the perilous sea voyage from Vietnam to Australia. Many more died trying.

    The first wave of boat people arrived at a time of dramatic social upheaval in Australia, with spirited debate about our involvement in the Vietnam War, the new concept of multiculturalism, the breaking of many of Australia's traditional ties to Britain and the forging of new links with Asia. Despite some opposition from the wider community, the relaxation of immigration restrictions meant that most were allowed to stay.

    HONG HAI was a Vietnamese fishing vessel that carried 38 refugees from Vietnam to Australia in 1978. It departed Kien Giang, Vietnam, on 24 September 1978, and stopped at 12 points, including Malaysia and Indonesia, during its 51 day voyage. HONG HAI was escorted into Darwin, Northern Territory, by a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat on 13 November 1978.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: WHITE LONG SLEEVED SHIRT WITH COLLAR AND FRONT LEFT CHEST POCKET, SHIRT WAS WORN BY CAPTIAN TRUONG VAN SOI DURING THE VOYAGE OF THE "HONG HAI" TO DARWIN WHICH ENDED 13 NOVEMBER 1978

    Web title: Shirt worn on the HONG HAI voyage

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