A good morning for Vietnam
It’s 10am, the crowd has hushed and the ceremony is about to begin. It’s graduation time for over 3,000 students and a young man from Vietnam is about to receive one of the highest honours from the University of Newcastle – the University Medal.
Born in Da Lat to parents who were both teachers, Vinh Nguyen knew from a very young age that a good education was important. He worked hard, blitzed high school and was offered an Australian Government scholarship to come here and study at university.
"The only thing I knew about Australia was from what I had seen on TV and in the movies. So when I arrived in Newcastle, I thought wow – it’s so much like my hometown." Vinh quickly settled into his new life and knuckled down to study. And study he did.
Completing 24 subjects as part of his Bachelor of Computer Science degree, he achieved an amazing 22 high distinctions and two distinctions. He then went on to receive First Class Honours for his research into the development of new software that maps the effects of schizophrenia on the brain. Vinh modestly credits much of his success to the guidance and support of his supervisors Associate Professor Frans Henskens and Paul Rasser.
Vinh’s dedication and enthusiasm has left a lasting impression on everyone he met and the many friends he made during his time in Australia. Now returning home, Vinh is committed to continuing his research and teaching the next generation of young Vietnamese students. No doubt he will achieve many great things during his career, but one thing is certain – Vinh will always remain connected to the University and the people of Newcastle.
Vinh is just one of 3,500 students from over 80 countries who help enrich the University’s culture and create a diverse study environment for our local students.
Portrait of Vinh Nguyen by University of Newcastle Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) student Dermod Kavanagh.