Elizabeth Nghia Bui was born in North Vietnam. Her family fled to South Vietnam in 1954 and settled in Saigon. Elizabeth entered the order of the Lovers of the Holy Cross and trained first as a teacher and then as a social worker. In 1975, at the time of the fall of Saigon, she was in charge of an orphanage which came under Communist control. Elizabeth escaped on board a fishing boat with 31 others in June 1976. After two weeks they were rescued and taken to Japan. From there Elizabeth decided to come to Australia. She was sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and arrived in Adelaide in September 1976. Elizabeth helped to form the Indochinese Australian Women's Association and for several years worked in a voluntary capacity to provide welfare services while the Association battled for funds.
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Australian Women's Register