Frequently asked questions


Why do we need a Museum?

When people talk about the Vietnamese Diaspora, there are always mixed reactions. For many, we were just the aftermath of a war – an unavoidable consequence of conflict. ​ But for over one hundred thousand Vietnamese Australian refugees that settled in Australia in the 70s and 80s, this was just the beginning of their perilous journey in search of freedom.  Yet, this story of struggle and hope is slowly fading away. No records are kept, no artefacts are collected, and no stories are told. Sadly, when the light of the first-generation refugees is extinguished, there will be nothing left to remember our legacy. ​ By collecting, recording, and preserving our rich history, the Vietnamese Museum Australia will intertwine history and storytelling into a multi-purpose community hub. ​ It will be the one place where you will be able to remember our past, see our present and be a part of shaping our future.

Why do you need to establish the Vietnamese Museum Australia Ltd  (VMA) when the project is an initiative of the Vietnamese Community in Australia – Victoria Chapter (VCA-Vic)?

VCA-Vic is not authorised by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a deductible gift recipient (DGR). As well as ensuring continuity and consistency of the project, VCA would be best placed to undertake the project by setting up a new legal entity VMA to receive donations, grants and gifts to fund the development of the project and collect artifacts. Importantly, the new Museum entity would be granted DGR status as well as income tax exemption from the ATO.

What is the Vietnamese Museum Australia Ltd (VMA)?

Registered as a non-profit company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) since 18/09/2019. ACN 635 162 088 ABN 87635162088 VMA is responsible for coordinating development and construction of the museum as well as ongoing operation once constructed.

Who are the members of VMA?

VMA is registered with two members:

  • Vietnamese Community in Australia VCA, and
  • Vietnamese Community in Australia- Victoria Chapter VCA-Vic

Explain the Organisation Structure of VMA?

Our Museum Team includes a Board of seven directors with a wealth of experience and expertise, and a committee of dedicated volunteers in different disciplines such as Fundraising, Design and Construction, IT, Education, Marketing, Content and collection etc.

How is the VMA operation committee formed? Are they paid staff?

VMA project operation team members are all volunteers. The Operation Manager, appointed by the Board, heads a program management office with leads from different disciplines.

Who are the members of the VMA Board?

The VMA Board includes 7 members, with 2 representing VCA and VCA-Vic. - Toan Nguyen - Kevin Tran The other 5 VMA Board members include: - Phong Nguyen - Kingsley Mundey - Kim Bui-Quang - Bruce Mildenhall - Tuanh Nguyen

For more information, please refer to "Our Team" page.

Why do you also need The Vietnamese Museum Public Ancillary Fund (PAF) and The Vietnamese Museum Holding Ltd (VMH), to run the project?

To be eligible for Deductible Gift Receipient (DGR) status, VMA would need to be in operation. In the meantime, the Public Ancillary Fund (PAF) is set up to obtain DGR status. All donations to the PAF are to pay for construction costs of the museum only. When the museum is open, the PAF will transfer all fund to VMA and will cease to operate.

What is the Vietnamese Museum Holding Ltd (VMH)?

VMH is a trustee for the Vietnamese Museum Public Ancillary Fund (ABN 36 291 049 381), a registered charity authorized by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient (DGR). · Act as corporate trustee of the PAF, as is required for a PAF. · Responsible for directing how donations received by the PAF are distributed. · VMH will direct the PAF to distribute funds to VMA to fund the construction of the museum. · VMH will cease to operate once the museum is open to the public and VMA has obtained DGR status.

Explain the Organisation Structure of VMH?

Vietnamese Museum Holding Ltd (ACN 633 503 778). - Established on 16 May 2019. - A public company limited by guarantee. - VCA Vic is the sole member, but has no proprietary interest. - Liability of member is limited to the amount of the guarantee ($100). - Governed by its Constitution, and controlled by Board of Directors. - Directors: Andrew Do, Martin Pham & Huong Nguyen

VMA Location

Where is the site of the Museum complex located?

Located in Footscray CBD, at the rear of 220 Barkly Street Footscray facing Donald Street and currently being used as a carpark.

Does VMA / VCA-Vic own / lease the land – The story so far….

After many years sourcing available site and negotiating with Maribyrnong City Council, in 2018, VCA-Vic entered a Memorandum of Understanding to lease the land (Peppercorn Lease). However, in 2020, when it was clear that the term of the lease cannot be extended beyond 35 years, the community approached the Council to purchase the land instead. 10/09/2020 - Council resolved to sell the land to VMA.

What is the size of the block of land?


What is the cost of the land?

$2M plus GST, with $200,000 deposit paid on 30/08/2020, and settlement balance to be paid at the start of construction.

Who owns the Museum?

The land, incl. buildings of the Museum is registered to the Vietnamese Museum Australia Ltd., the only members of which are VCA and VCA-Vic.

Will the VNCH Shrine be relocated to the museum complex?

VMA has been designed to make provision for the Shrine, however the relocation of the Shrine is to be decided by the Vietnamese Community.

Funding & Expenses

What is the total cost of the project?

Phase 1 In addition to the cost of the land: $2M, the cost of the project construction phase 1 is $13M, GST and other administration fees and charges $2M. Total cost phase 1: $17M Note: The Construction phase 1 costing does not include display related costs. Phase 2 (Subject fundraising capability) $3M (with full fit-outs) Shrine and Memorial Garden, or $1.8M (cold shell).

How is the project funded?

The construction project was premised on a “one third funding model”, where the VMA would seek funding support from 3 parties, the Federal, State Governments for support, with the remaining one third would be sourced from the community. Land acquisition, costing $2M plus GST, was later decided by the Community at the meeting on 1/3/2020 instead of peppercorn lease up to 35 years.

How much is the Federal Government Election commitment funding?

In May 2019, The Federal Government announced $5M election commitment funding towards the construction of the Vietnamese Museum and Community Centre. Details of the Deed of Agreement is being finalized between the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and the Vietnamese Museum Australia Ltd.

How much is the Victorian Government funding?

In 2018, the Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund (MCIF) offered $750,000 to VCA-Vic to support the delivery of a museum. In December 2018, the Victorian government announced an additional $3.70M election commitment funding. Thus a total of $4.45M funding towards the construction cost of the Vietnamese Museum.

How is government funding disbursed?

Funding from both Federal and State Governments is paid as per agreed deliverables or milestones.

How much does the Community need to fundraise?

The Community would need to raise $7.5M to complete Phase 1 of the construction project.

How can I donate?

You can DONATE to VMA (Vietnamese Museum Australia) via 3 methods. Online Via PayPal/ Credit Card. Direct Deposit For donations via electronic funds transfer (EFT), please deposit to our account with the following reference details:​ Account name: Vietnamese Museum Holding’s Ltd Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB: 063-009 Account number: 1074 1697 Reference/notes: Your Full Name Or you can donate to us physically to our authorised donations collector.

Is my donation to the Museum tax deductible?

All donations of $2 AUD or more to the Vietnamese Museum Australia are tax deductible.

Design & Construction

What are the concepts behind the design of the Museum?

Four symbolic elements, towering waves, the egg sac, Australian red earth and bamboos determine the shape the façade of the Museum.

  • Towering waves: Wave symbolises a crucial element of the journey, a symbol of struggle, turmoil, pain, and heaviness. It also stands for the very element which has led to hope, in carrying the people to a new land. Towering inspiration from the wave lines to inform the facade design. The overlapping of the column of waves creates openings providing glimpses and flashes of light through the solidity of the facade and commemorating the glimpses of hope through the towering struggles.
  • The top level, The Egg Sac symbolises another element of the Journey. It refers to the Tale of Lac Long Quan and Au Co’s 100 eggs. It also stands for a strong reference to new beginnings, gathering of people and unity among the Vietnamese community. The egg sac also bears the colour of the Vietnamese traditional Trong dong, the bronze cymbal.
  • Australian Land: The warm hue of the Australian red earth sets the tone for the Vietnamese Museum Australia as it commemorates Australian Land as the land of Hope.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo plays an important part of the culture of Vietnam. It serves as a key construction material in Vietnamese architecture. Bamboo also symbolises the Vietnamese hometown and Vietnamese soul: the gentleman like, straightforwardness, hard working, optimism, unity and adaptability. Layerings of bamboo form the texture for the column of waves.

A joint expression of emotional and cultural reference resulting in a truly iconic and elegant architectural expression and identity for the Museum

What does the Museum include?

The concept design of the museum includes the Journey space on the east side of the building,

  • Lobby, kiosk, café/resource centre and social services on ground floor;
  • 2nd floor serves as a Multicultural hall;
  • 3rd floor is dedicated to a permanent and temporary exhibition gallery and interim Shrine;
  • Whilst 4th floor houses the Shrine set in the Memorial Garden and protected by the statue of Duc Tran Hung Dao.
Another feature of the Museum is the Dedication Wall in commemoration of our ancestors, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. The Dedication Wall is the anchor of the Museum, linking all levels of the Museum, visitors will be able to connect visually with the Dedication Wall from any section of the Journey.