Cuc Lam's suitcase

Cuc Lam's suitcase
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Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam talks about how this small red vinyl bag was a symbol of a new beginning in a new country.

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.

Warren Brown