Tac Tam Lam was on the first refugee boat to arrive in Australia as part of the Vietnamese exodus in 1976, with his brother and three friends. He fled Vietnam with his family and began the journey with a map ripped out of a school atlas.


Tac found work four days after arriving in Australia, and was recognised as a refugee a few weeks later. He still remembers the warm welcome he received from the people of Darwin, and has never moved away from the city he has now lived in for forty years.

Tac worked three jobs at once to support his family and establish a new life. Starting as a construction worker, factory hand and later restauranteur, Tac became a successful businessman and is now semi-retired in Darwin.

Three generations of the Lam Family call Australia home.

“I come to Australia as a refugee - not for get a good life, I don’t want to be the millionaire. Safety, healthy, happy – that’s what I want for my family.”