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Carina Hoang

Author of 'Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus' and Special Representative for Australia for UNHCR
Carina  Hoang

At age 16 Carina demonstrated amazing courage by escaping war–torn Vietnam on a small wooden boat with her 2 younger siblings and 370 other people. Carina survived harrowing conditions in a refugee camp in Indonesia, before being given the opportunity to go to the USA. Over the next 20 years, Carina earned a Bachelor of Chemistry, Bachelor of Art with Honours in Gender and Cultural Studies, and Masters in Business Administration. She went on to hold management positions in the semi-conductor, biotechnology, and healthcare industries in the areas of marketing, human resources and administrative management. Five years ago, Carina settled with her husband and daughter in Perth, and made a pledge to raise awareness of ‘boat people’ and their stories.

In 2011 Carina released her first book, Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996.The book has already received an award as Best Regional Non-Fiction (Australia and New Zealand) in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the USA. In March 2011, Carina was honoured as one of Western Australia’s most courageous and inspiring women. In 2011 she was also one of 100 women inducted into Western Australia’s inaugural Hall of Fame by His Excellency Dr Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia and was the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year - Belmont Small Business Awards. In 2012, Carina was appointed Special Representative for Australia for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency's charity in Australia, was finalist of the 2012 Murdoch University Distinguished Alumni Award and received the 2012 Karl Farrell Inspiration Award in Western Australia.

She now volunteers her time to assist families from different parts of the world to search for graves of their loved ones in former refugee camps in Indonesia. She is also pursuing a PhD at Murdoch University.