By Nayda Hernandez
Linh Nguyen is a young Vietnamese migrant that works local to improve the lives of residents in Forest Lake, Inala, Richlands and surrounding suburbs by investing whole heartedly to promote inclusion through her work as President of the Inala Art Gallery, sports, and Vice President of the Vietnamese Community in Australia – Qld Chapter.
Lihn has and continues to support an endless amount of residents from young and old who speak a language other than English. It was her past life challenges of not being able to speak English, to understanding Australian culture, food and not being able to recognise the street which she lived in that made her go above and beyond to help anyone that finds it difficult to communicate or feel like they belong.
She is now a proud Vietnamese Australian who lives, works and is part of large groups that promote inclusion through the arts and sports. Her life changed one day when she showcased the art of a gentleman that said she just knew how to “bring darkness into light”. It was this moment that has inspired her most recent community projects to help find a place of peace while promoting mother languages and culture.
Where did your passion for working with the community and passion for multiculturalism begin?
My passion goes back to when I worked for Mission Australia. I met colleagues that were passionate about making the lives of the family better. We addressed topics such as racism and isolation and more. I realised we could all play a role in making people feel included via education and undertaking projects that promote inclusivity. In 2022, we renamed the Inala Art Gallery to the Inala Multicultural Art Gallery. I find it really rewarding to teach others how to maintain culture and preserve their mother tongue. We are a place of inclusivity no matter your age or background. We work with local schools, community groups and artists to promote local art works.
What are some upcoming projects the community should know about and how can they support you?
I would love to invite the people to come into the Inala Art Gallery and view the incredible artwork on display. It is rich in diversity and local talent. We have art from all walks of life, one that is up and coming, the art therapy for women, children arts class, dancing class and the up-and-coming Spanish class. I invite anyone interested in the benefits of art to contact me about our activities. They run regularly, and at a small cost or no cost.
What is it you love about the Inala Art Gallery and projects ?
Inala Art for me is a voice to be heard through arts. I met a young man who came into an art gallery and asked if he could have his works of art on exhibition. We organised displays of his artwork, I stood there admiring them, some of the paintings were moving as they depicted sorrow and difficult times. I recall very vividly that as we stood side by side and that tears started falling from his eyes. He quietly said, thank you for bringing my art into the lights and bringing darkness into the light. I was awestruck and speechless, right at that moment I think all the late nights, cleaning, hanging up the paints and fixing the paintings was so worth it. In many ways I have envisioned what the Inala Art would be like, but to hear it, it brings joy and a small sense of achievement. I hope that Inala gallery will bring all artists in to have their art on display, to show all their rawness and their authenticity.
I encourage residents to visit me at the Inala Multicultural Art Gallery or by visiting our website www.inalaarts.com.au or 0415 121 845. I would like to let everyone know that my motto in life is Celebrate Me (Celebrate You)!