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Dai Le delivers emotional first speech to parliament about fleeing Vietnam


Independent MP Dai Le has broken up will sharing memories of her refugee past during her first speech to parliament.
Independent MP Dai Le has broken up will sharing memories of her refugee past during her first speech to parliament.

Newly-elected MP Dai Le has delivered an emotional first speech to parliament, breaking up in tears as she recalled fleeing Vietnam as a child.

The independent sensationally defeated former NSW premier and senator Kristina Keneally to capture the traditionally safe Labor seat of Fowler in Sydney’s west.

Addressing the house wearing a dress made of the Australian flag, Ms Le said her pathway to the parliament began more than forty years ago.

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“I remember running with my mother and two younger sisters scrambling to make our way onto a boat and pushing through the cries and screams of women,” she said.

“I looked back at my birth country to try and comprehend what was happening and just saw a big black smoke in the distance. I remember the moment when I thought we would die when a huge storm hit out boat.”

Choking up, she told the house of her memories of being “soaking wet” lying under a tarp and holding onto a plastic canister just in case the boat tipped over.

“All I could think of was that I was going to go into fall into this black abyss,” she said.

More to come.

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