Gemma Truong
Gemma Truong

“Unlike other places, in Brisbane, it does not matter what is your background, as long as your project is innovative, City Council offers support. Visible Ink is a good example of a place assisting young people who are on the journey of achieving their goals.”

What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?
I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Accounting. Soon after graduation, I realised that business might not be my path. Like many of my friends at the time, I was not sure what would be the best career option. Luckily, I was offered a role as a customer service officer at Queensland Apprenticeship Services, a business unit under Chamber of Commerce Queensland.

Due to the nature of my job, I had to talk to young adults on daily basis including people who were of my age or even younger from different backgrounds. One thing I have realised from all the conversations throughout my employment is that these young people all carry a great passion to achieve something in their life, yet sometimes they just don’t know where to start. This is what I love the most about my job – I could identify with their needs and help them.

After two years and a half in this position, I have gradually grown passion to assist young adults as much as I can. I especially wish to help the people from overseas background.

What are you currently working on project-wise?
My department lost the contract with the Government, therefore I am currently unemployed. I try to perceive this unfortunate situation in a positive way: this is the chance for me to pursue my dream of helping overseas students.

I am currently assisting Hamilton Youth Group (which mostly consists of Vietnamese students) to prepare for the first live drama event. The group plans to launch this event during Chinese New Year. I am also involved in a music video project as a farewell gift for a friend, who is a talented dancer. With this filming project, we will mostly shoot at Visible Ink since I also want to take this opportunity to introduce the place to more young people. Personally I think with the facilities and all the services provided, Visible Ink has been and will always be a home to passionate young people.

What would you say led you to where you are today? Eg background, achievements, inspiration?
My greatest inspiration surprisingly, is not some well-known public figure, but a friend I have known for 6 years. My friend is a daughter of the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany. When she was small, she had to move to a foreign country. Apart from that, her parents placed many restrictions on her daily life due to her family status. Such so, she could not live or act like other teenagers. We have always thought that she would need to follow the path her family had planned and become a politician.

However, my friend has fought for her dreams and is working in entertainment industry, which is not well regarded to some Vietnamese parents, especially to a family like hers. She is now achieving great success with her chosen career, although there are still a lot of difficulties ahead as she entered the industry at such late age (24 years old). My friend has taught me that it has never been too late to be who you would have been, as long as you have passion to live your dream. In any project I participate, when I hit roadblocks, I always think of my friend as a source of encouragement.

What do you get up to in your down time? Do you have any hobbies?
Korean pop is becoming one of the most influential subcultures and I am also a fan. Hence, my free time is spent on watching Korean movies or reality shows and listening to Korean music. From these activities, I have actually learned a bit of the language and the culture. It helps me to break into and communicate with friends from Korean society easier. Basically, I just fell in love with everything Korean and wish to explore and learn more about this country and its traditions.

What’s it like being a young person in Brisbane? What suggestions would you make to improve the city?
From an overseas student’s perspective, I feel lucky to be a young citizen in Brisbane. With its multiculturalism, Brisbane does give everyone an equal chance to be successful. I have heard stories about some cities and countries around the world that still draw a clear boundary between domestic and international students. That sad reality really discourages some of the young people, and makes them loose faith in themselves as they have that mindset that no matter how much they try, it’s still difficult to break into the society.

Unlike those places, in Brisbane, it does not matter what is your background, as long as your project is innovative, City Council offers support. Visible Ink is a good example of a place assisting young people who are on the journey of achieving their goals.

My only suggestion to improve the city is : everyone, especially young people, for what you have received, let’s give back to the society. Every day, donate a little bit of your time by doing something for society, even if it means just little thing like picking up a little bit of trash that you see and throwing it in the bin. Focus on making small steps before planning the bigger project. Every little action will help to improve this peaceful city.

What advice or inspiration would you share with other young people?
Do not burden yourself with unreasonable expectations about what you are going to be able to accomplish or sustain over the course of one year. Instead push yourself by breaking the goals down into smaller, more manageable pieces. If you believe that you can, you are already halfway there.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Where can people get in touch with you?
Currently, I am working on a project with Hamilton Youth Group and Tribal theatre to prepare for the very first Vietnamese live drama in Brisbane. The members are working very hard for the opening nights on 2nd and 3rd of March at Tribal Theatre. Hopefully, the nights will achieve great success and positive responses to introduce high quality Vietnamese live drama to Brisbane scene.

To get in touch with me, you can either send me an email me at : gemmatruong@yahoo.com or message through facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VietnameseDramaGroup/

I hope to know more people and listen to your stories. Inspiration is everywhere, everywhere is inspiration, I believe your stories will become great motivation for me to improve myself in the future.