The Vietnam War started in the 1950s, at around 1954, when, during the Cold War, the U.S. aimed to put a stop to communism from spreading across the entire world by the means of confinement and containment. The Vietnam War initially took place in South Vietnam, and as it further expanded, it reached the communist North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, who were sharing their eastern border with Vietnam. Consequently, in other words, the Vietnam War, which started in 1954, ended in 1975 and occurred after the World War II, was an armed conflict between anti-communist South Vietnamese troops, a largely British-Indian and French task force, and Japanese troops from southern army versus the North Vietnamese communist movement, along with its allies, for control of the country.
Therefore, the reason why the Vietnam War occurred was because of the utmost fear of communism spreading from North Vietnam to Vietnam throughout and to other countries as well.When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, Vietnam finally regained their independence after 116 entire years of horrible, continuous conflict.
When the communist government had control and took over the capital of Vietnam, an approximate of 800,000 people were forced to flee by boats and ended up coming to Australia. Upon their arrival to Australia, they faced many difficulties starting from escaping their country under the rule of a communist government, surviving the horrible journey in boats to struggling with language barriers, discrimination and employment disadvantages. When the Vietnamese migrants first arrived, many of them spoke or understood very little English and the work load they took to earn a living prevented many from going to school.
Another challenge the Vietnamese migrants had to face was discrimination and intolerance from a minority of the local Australian community and these were usually discrimination because of their culture, linguistic skill etc. Securing employment became the next challenge the Vietnamese migrants had to overcome and many of these migrants began to save money in order to sponsor their family members back in Vietnam. However, it was difficult to save money because they often had to work in low-paid jobs and very few could find jobs in their own professions in Australia and they were forced to accept whatever jobs were available. Upon the arrival of the Vietnamese migrants to Australia, many Australians were very welcoming, supportive and sympathetic towards these people and willing to help them conform to the Australian way of life. The orphan infants, rescued by Operation Babylift, were the very first Vietnamese migrants/ refugees to reach Australia. The Australian government, especially the media, was very supportive of this operation. For example, in April 1975, the Australian Women’s Weekly, an Australian magazine, ran a two-page article which was about the impact of the war on Vietnamese children. This got the attention of local Australians and they conveyed feelings of affection towards the Vietnamese migrants. However, some Australians harnessed negative views towards the mass intake of Vietnamese migrants. Settlement into Australia had been a very difficult journey for the Vietnamese migrants. Despite how much these Vietnamese migrants had endured, some Australians accused these people of carefully planning their stories to attract sympathy and viewed them in a negative perspective. The growth and success of today’s Vietnamese communities is a proof of their victory over the hardships they encountered during their settlement in Australia. Gootscray and Richmond in Melbourne, Cabramatta in Sydney and Croydon Park in Adelaide, where the Vietnamese migrant population were concentrated, are some example of suburbs where many Vietnamese vibrant restaurants, retail centres, grocery stores etc are situated. These had a huge impact on Australia’s cultural and economic development. There has also been a growth of popularity of Buddhism in Australia since the early 1970s as a result of the Vietnamese migration and Buddhism values are now considered an important part of Australian culture. There has also been an introduction to a new cuisine upon the settlement of the Vietnamese migrants such as rice, spices, a diverse variety of vegetables and tropical fruits etc. which has ever since contributed to the multicultural diversity in the Australian diet. Furthermore, this migrant group, being the first non-European migrant to be accepted into Australia, formally, after the White Australia Policy ended in 1974, caused the start of Australia’s journey to be developing into one of the world’s most multicultural nations, also increasing tourism and migration rates. Many Vietnamese migrants also made an impact on Australia’s economic and social development by providing their knowledge of overseas business networks and practices, cultural and linguistic skills etc. Therefore, adding to the economic and social development of Australia.