If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you? Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam took family photos and jewellery but sacrificed one precious possession to buy a suitcase, now in Melbourne’s Immigration Museum.
Cuc Lam talks to Warren Brown about her journey to Australia and how this small red vinyl bag was a symbol of a new beginning in a new country.
This is an episode from the first series of National Treasures, hosted by political cartoonist, columnist and history 'tragic’ Warren Brown. Brown draws on a fascinating mix of national treasures from public and private collections to give a snapshot of an historic moment and illustrate the uniqueness of the Australian experience.
'Cuc Lam's little red vinyl suitcase doesn't look like a very valuable National Treasure at all but it really is, because here was this tremendous person coming to Australia and her entire life was just packed into a little, tiny suitcase — all her past and her future were just put in to that little case; that's all she had.....opening up the little suitcase, her future, Australia, is packed inside' - Warren Brown, cartoonist.