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Huong’s Box Hill Institute of Tafe

Meeting amazing people along the way

At Box Hill, I met one person whom I still regard to this day as my―Rosemary Fisher, who managed the Higher Education Department, she was the Head of Commerce. I remember going to her office―I was very nervous―and being shown around how the system works. She helped me out so much that she really became my mentor. She taught me one subject called Business Ethics and during her class―and other classes―I was always very active, I am a very practical person. She recognised this skill of mine so that one time when she marked one of my assignments, she only gave me 50% alongside a note next to it saying ‘come to see me as soon as possible’. I was incredibly nervous. I went to see her and the first thing she asked was what’s the story behind my marks. ‘I see two different people when I look at you in the class and you during the exams?’, she put it bluntly. She was right, my exams always had low marks.

Huong had never given up her dream of having an education.

[Rosemary Fisher, Head of Commerce and Sessional Lecturer at Box Hill Institute, Australia]

I opened up and told her about my background and my story, how I was forced to learn by myself and suddenly everything made sense to her.” Rosemary Fisher remembers the first time she met Huong: “When I first met her, I was very surprised. She was a scholarship holder from Vietnam so I expected the highest marks from her. Instead, at the end of semester she had very average marks, so I decided to investigate why a scholarship holder was not doing well – perhaps she was homesick, or struggling in some way.  Only then did I learn of Huong’s remarkable journey from the streets of Vietnam. Huong had never given up her dream of having an education.” Huong tells us how, from that meeting on, Rosemary “used to spend 30 minutes with me before each class to help me learn more.

I met so many people and I kept in touch with many of them. Box Hill was like a little family for me. The teachers there are so wonderful!

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