Family’s refugee story helps student design award winning poster

Linh Duong with her winning poster. ART AND DESIGN
Linh Duong with her winning poster.

A second generation Australian whose parents fled Vietnam in search of a better life has used her parents’ story as inspiration for an award-winning poster that aims to tackle some of the stereotypes about refugees.

Linh Duong's winning posterUniSA student Linh Duong won tertiary section of this year’s Refugee Week Student Poster Exhibition and Awards – the first time a UniSA student has won the award.

Linh is studying a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) specialising in illustration and tried to imagine herself in a refugee’s position when thinking of ideas for her poster.

“When I was brainstorming ideas, I thought of all the hardships that they go through which led me to think about the misconceptions and stereotypes that refugees often face,” Linh says.

“My poster addresses all the stereotypes that are placed upon refugees so my main intention was to have the viewer understand that not all refugees fall under those stereotypes and that those stereotypes are labels for the refugees.”

Duong says she was surprised but happy to win the award, particularly because of the personal connection.

“My parents are Vietnamese immigrants who left Vietnam because of the aftermath of the Vietnam War and were seeking a better future.

“When I think of refugees who are leaving their country to escape a war for a better future, I feel this connection between my parents and those refugees as they share similar experiences.

“So I feel that winning this competition means that I’ve created something that could really help spread awareness and possibly help refugees who are in a similar position as my parents were.”

In total, more than 400 entries from 43 schools and institutions were submitted with 75 posters selected for exhibition. In the tertiary section, 14 posters were selected with seven designed by UniSA students.

The awards were presented at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery in partnership with the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the School of Art, Architecture and Design.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close presented the awards.

The project is a key part of SA Refugee Week each year and is now touring regional galleries. The posters are currently on exhibition at the City of Marion council chambers until 31 July.