Who we are

A unique organisation in the Vietnamese Diaspora in both size and diversity of services.

The Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association Incorporated , formerly, Australian Vietnamese Women’s Welfare Association, has been serving the community since its establishment on January 15th, 1983

We are consistent

Despite changes in technology and society, our core mission has stayed the same, which is a testament to the enduring relevance of our work. We remain committed to our goals and look forward to continuing to serve our community in the years to come.


We are diverse

We offer a wide variety of programs and support to meet the unique needs of our community. 

We believe that this diversity is what makes us stronger and better able to serve those who rely on us. Whether you're seeking assistance for yourself or a loved one, you can trust that our organization is committed to providing compassionate and effective care to all.

Our story


The Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association , formerly Australian Vietnamese Women’s Welfare Association (AVWWA) was founded by Mrs. Cam Nguyen when she invited 15 women to attend the inaugural meeting on 15th January 1983. Among the founding members, were Ms. Thanh-Kham Tran-Dang and a young student now Professor Nathalie Nguyen, author of several books on the Vietnam War and the Vietnamese Diaspora.

It took the founding members nearly six months to finalise the constitution and strategic directions of the organisation. It was agreed that AVWWA was to be apolitical and its mission was to serve the Vietnamese community in Melbourne. Our mode of operation was to be that of an Australian organisation, fully incorporated with public benevolent status, providing services at the highest quality standards



In the first 17 years, the organisation was feeling its way in the difficult tasks of increasing membership, developing leadership, finding funds and recruiting staff.


In 2000s, we witnessed a marked development of the association with the annual budget and range of services increasing steadily from year to year. In May 2004, the then president Cam Nguyen agreed to become the CEO. The annual income immediately crossed the $1 million dollar mark in the following financial year 2004-2005.

In 2007, the word “welfare” was dropped from the name of the organisation, not because it was no longer involved in providing welfare services but because the range of projects encompassed so many other services apart from welfare ones.

The vision “ of a harmonious society …” was presented and approved at the 2007 Annual General Meeting while the values of “Integrity, Respect, Inclusion, Compassion & Excellence” and the mission “to help individuals and families know their rights, responsibilities, improve their health, happiness and well-being” were adopted at the 2008 AGM. 

In the same year, In 2008, AVWA celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reception in Queen’s Hall, attended by the Premier John Brumby, ministers, MPs & community leaders. A bilingual book “A home of many rooms” written by Dr Catherine Earl and funded by the School of Communications, Culture and Languages of Victoria University, is an oral history of the development of the organisation in its first 25 years. According to Dr Rhonda Galbally AO, the book, a substantial 333 page work with numerous illustrations is an “invigorating history” “which cheers and encourages those who are struggling now with the same issues of sexism, racism and cultural prejudice. It deserves to be widely read”.


2010 - 2019

Our revenue doubled to over $2 million in 2009 - 2010, doubled again in the following five years to over $4 million, in 2015 and reached $12.5 million in  2018 - 2019.

In February 2015, having outgrown our Footscray office in Nicholson St, we moved to a newly bought and outfitted office in Braybrook, opposite the Central West Plaza and located close to the centre of Melbourne West where 50% of Vietnamese Victorians live. At the request of the Vietnamese councillor of the City of Greater Dandenong, Cr Loi, we opened an additional office in Springvale to service South East Melbourne which a quarter of Vietnamese Victorians called home but was very much under-serviced

In 2017, Innovation was added to the list of core values. A block in Parsons Avenue, Springvale was bought a year later and was developed into a service hub.


Cam Nguyen was appointed the President of AVWA, and Ngoc Nicky Chung took on the role of CEO. 

Together, they have a vision for the growth of AVWA, for the organisation to continue to thrive.


Our Future

With commitment to our vision of a harmonious society where values of integrity, respect, inclusion, compassion, excellence and innovation are to be continuously applied and practiced by staff and Committee of Management, AVWA looks set for continuing growth in the next decade when 2025 marks the 50th anniversary of Vietnamese refugee settlement in Australia.

The key objective for the future: Expansion, to provide more services, to more people in the community that need care delivered with compassion. 

AVWA is committed to partnering with other community groups to deliver positive social change, to enable the ideal of community helping community, and to enable people to stay connected to culture. 

If you would like to join a growing and thriving organisation with purpose that values its people, or you are an organisation that is interested in meaningful partnerships, please contact us through the website.  

Our values


Communicates and acts in a way that promotes trust and honesty


Accepting, valuing and honouring others' works and ideas


Actively promotes equity, diversity and inclusion at AVWA


Acting with empathy, love, and care in their work, to alleviate difficulties for others.


Delivers exceptional achievement in their position or contribution at AVWA


Collaborating with others to present, develop and implement viable innovative ideas

Our vision, mission & purpose

Our Vision

A harmonious society in which everyone, irrespective of age, gender, skills, abilities, ethnicity & religion, feels valued, is motivated and empowered to contribute.

Our Mission

To assist individuals and families, our mission is to help them to know their rights, responsibilities, options and opportunities, to  realise their full potential and to improve their health, happiness and well being

Our Purpose

To provide a framework for mainly Vietnamese women to collaborate and learn to lead and operate a not-for-profit organisation to assist the settlement and harmonious integration of refugees and migrants of Vietnamese and other backgrounds in Victoria. 

To help Victorians, irrespective of age, gender, religion or ethnic background, obtain the information they need, know their rights, responsibilities, options and opportunities, realise their full potential and improve their health, happiness and well-being. 

To provide high quality education and training services to the disadvantaged people in Victoria including the unemployed, the educationally disadvantaged, the aged and disabled.


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