Independent Member for Fowler Dai Le gave an important first speech in Parliament, detailing her experience as a refugee fleeing Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
Ms Fowler defeated Labor leader Christina Keneally to take the once-safe seat from Labor by a margin of 1.6 per cent.
“Like many of Fowler’s constituents, I’m talking about refugee resettlement,” she said.
“I was seven years old when Saigon fell during the Vietnam War in April 1975. My mother was forced to flee with my two younger sisters to escape communism.’
Ms Le fought back tears as she told the House of Representatives she was “scared” her family would not survive the journey from Vietnam to Australia.
“I remember the moment I thought we were going to die when the storm hit our boat,” she said.
“I remember seeing the bodies lying on the boat like they were dead… I remember the years in the refugee camps, dreaming of being able to sleep in a proper bed, have a proper house and go to a proper school.”