Vietnamese Families with Special Needs (VFSN) is a parent led, volunteer based organisation providing peer support, parent information and community inclusion opportunities to the Vietnamese Community living with disability in Western Melbourne.

Over the past year VFSN, in collaboration with Extended Families Australia, has undertaken a significant project to build organisational capacity of the VFSN, including strengthening organisational governance, strategic planning to build service capacity, developing a website/social media, and piloting of an innovative peer group program for young Vietnamese people with Autism experiencing significant difficulties in accessing social and vocational opportunities. The project is funded by a NDIS Disabled People and Families Organisations (DPFOs) – Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Grant.

The 21st May launch event had been scheduled not just as a celebration, but as a moment to come together, share food, stories and reflections on what had been achieved. We know now that COIVID-19 put a spanner in the works for this, and many other plans for the people of the west, but not to be deterred, the VFSN forged ahead the only way they knew how.

Well almost. Many of the group were new to the world of online communication, so a plan – including workshops and training – had to be designed and implemented quickly.

The result – after much hard work and practice – was a successful launch event via Zoom, attended by almost a hundred Vietnamese community members, NDIS project leads, councillors and politicians, including state MPs Katie Hall (Footscray) and Natalie Suleyman ( St Albans), as well as Daniel Mulino, Federal MP for Fraser.

To find out more about the work undertaken in the project, head to vfsn.org.au.


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