Our History

Our History

The IERA is a not-for-profit and statewide organization.
Our main objective is to serve the needs of the Vietnamese aged people with quality care.

It was formed in March 1981 and become incorporated in June 1987. The IERA focuses on assisting the Indochinese elderly person in their resettlement process and helps to preserve and promote the members’ cultural heritage.

Developed from a few Indochinese elderly person living around the Richmond area, IERA has welcomed its 2,274th member recently. It has become a multi-service organization, provides services to the Northern and Western suburbs with nearly 100 staff members.

IERA services includes:

  • Social Support Service
  • Planned Activity Programs
  • Community Partner’s Program
  • Mekong Vietnamese Aged Care

First Decade:

Formation Period(1981-1988):

In the early of 1980s’ a wave of political refugees from Vietnam, Lao, and Cambodia (Indochina) escaped the communist regimes from their countries in search for freedom and eventually settled down in Australia in general and in Victoria in particular; the first group of about 20 of these Indochinese elderly living Richmond housing estates have had the needs to help each others to overcome settling down difficulties and tointergrate into a new society. The Management of the North Richmond Family Care with its Vietnamese community staff have assisted the Indochinese group in many ways to form and set up the Indochinese Elderly Refugees Association – Victoria.

The aims of the association as follows:

• Developing social activities in order to alleviate homesickness, lonesome, and isolation, as well as maintain the cultural heritages;

• Assisting the members in health issues and practical aid within the association’s resources

• Assisting members in the integration process.

• The association was formed in March 1981 and incorporated on 01.06.1987

The first Presidents:

In the early years of the association, a term of a board of management was 1 year, and in its annual general meeting, members had the right to vote for members of management board. The following were the presidents of the association in the formation period:

• Mr. Thinh Xuan Dinh – president for 2 terms 1982-1983 & 1984-1985.

• Mrs. Phuong Thi Tran – president for almost 3 terms 1983-1984, 1985-1986, and 1987-1988.

• Mr. Xuong Van Lam – president for 1 term 1986-1987.

In 1988, the third term of Mrs. Phuong Thi Tran, as the president, she tendered a letter of resignation on 31.10.1988. In the same way, the Secretary, Mr. Nhat Van Huynh, and Vice-president for external affairs, Mr. Tu Van Tran also tendered letters of resignation on 28.10.1988 and 02.11.1988 respectively. All resigned for personal reasons, and in the meeting on 02.11.1988, the letters for resignation were discussed and approved by the rest of the members of the board of management, the following replacement members were appointed:

• Mr. Chi Truong Phan – President

• Ms. Ba Thi Lam – Vice president for Internal Affairs

• Mr. Hoa Xuan Tran – Vice president for External Affairs

• Mr. Thanh Van Pham – Secretary.

Second Decade:

Development Period (1988-2001):

Mr. Chi Truong Phan(1988-2001): Mr. Phan joined in the association on 25.09.1987. He was nominated and appointed to replace Ms. Phuong Thi Tran as the president on 02.11.1988. He was officially elected as the president of the association for term 1989-1991 in the annual general meeting on 21.07.1989. Also in this AGM, the members delegated powers to Mr. Phan to nominate other members of board of management in 1989-1991 term.

Due to his health issues, Mr. Phan was temporarily ceased his president role in May 2001 and officially tendered a letter or resignation in November 2001. During his 13 years as the president of the association, Mr. Phan has led the association forward and achieved the following milestones:

• A large increment in membership, it increased from 400 to more than 1600 members

• Employing 2-3 staffs in 1988, it increased to 21 staffs at the end 2001.

• Increasing from only one service funded by Community

Services of Victoria to 3 services including – Ethnic Aged Care Grant (EASG) of which Mr. Kinh Khac Nguyen was as it Co-ordinator, Adult Day Activity Services of which Mr. Dzung Le was the Co-ordinator, and the first the only one Vietnamese aged care hostel of which Mr. Dominic Nguyen was the supervisor.

• In 1999, the International Year of Older Person, to recognise the significant contribution to the Vietnamese community, Mr. Chi Truong Phan was awarded a Commonwealth Recognition Awards for Seniors Australians by The Hon John Howard MP, Prime Minister, The Hon Browyn Bishop MP, Minister for Aged Care, and Member of Parliment for Melbourne, Mr. Lindsay Tanner.

Mr. Phuoc Huu Tran(2001-2002): Joined in the association on 24.01.1987 and nominated to represent for the Vietnamese elderly group living in Collingwood and Fitzroy arrears in March 1989. In the following 10 years, Mr Tran has elected as a member of management board for many terms under Mr. Chi Truong Phan ‘s leadership. Mr. Tran was responsible for various role including, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-president. While Mr.Chi Phan was seriously ill, Mr. Tran was an Acting-president in July 2001. On 27.11.2001, in the annual general meeting, Mr. Tran was officially elected as the President for 2001 – 2003 term. After more than a year as the president, Mr Tran was resigned on 06.08.2002 due to his ill health. In the 2000 Senior Citizen Weeks, to recognise Mr. Tran’s contribution to the community, he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation by Hon Bronwyn Pike MP, Minister for Housing and Aged Care.