Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Cr Thang Ngo
Fairfield Councillor, NSW, Unity Party

Embracing Local Communities

Fairfield, covering Cabramatta, is probably the most multicultural local government area in Australia. Fairfield residetns come from over 130 different countries. Over 64% of residents speak a language other than English at home and just 32.5% only speak English at home. Around one third speaking English poorly or not at all.

Ethnic communities are in fact the mainstream in Fairfield.

To serve the community means overcoming the linguistic and cultural barriers.

Three key factors which will assist in breaking down the barriers are:
* consultation
* communication
* representation

These are the learnings for Thang Ngo, Fairfield's only Vietnamese-speaking councillor. This is Mr Ngo's second year on Fairfield Council.

Brief Biography

Personal Details
Thang Ngo

Date of Birth:

  9 July 1966


  Australian, arrived in Australia in July 1996



  1984  Penrith High School, HSC


  1985 - 1987  Bachelor of Commerce with merit, University of NSW

Recent Work History

Sep 99 ­ Currently

  Fairfield City Council
  Elected Councillor

Oct 00 ­ Currently

  NSW Parliament, Office of Dr Peter Wong AM MLC
  Policy Advisor

July 2001   Awarded Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship for 2002
Mar 2001   Red Cross Calling Ambassador for Sydney's West
Jan 2001   Helping Vietnamese prisoners held in indefinite detention
July 2000   Successfully lobbied for the current NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Cabramatta Police resources
Jan 2000   Named one of 100 "Faces of the Century" by The Australian Newspaper
Jan 2000   Successfully took Mission Australia employment services to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Jan 2000   Commission (HEROC) for alleged discrimination against non-Christians
Jun 1999   Successfully stopped Bankstown council from closing the only Buddhist temple in the area
Sep 1999   Elected as the only Fairfield Councillor of Vietnamese background
Nov 1999   Australian Republic Ambassador

Plenary Speaker


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001