American plane dropping rice to Hmong.
Source: Mal Vue
Mal Vue was born to a Hmong family in the mountains of Laos.
In 1972 his village fled from Vietnamese troops. A rocket killed several children, including two of his brothers, but Mal was lucky. A nearby cargo plane flew him to an army hospital, where his leg was amputated. On his recovery, the family was again forced to flee through the jungle, surviving on rice dropped to them from the sky by US planes. It was a long, painful journey for a nine-year-old boy with one leg.
A friendly Australian brought Mal to Australia for a holiday in 1974. The fall of Laos prevented his return. His parents perished, but eventually Mal brought his surviving brothers to Australia.
In 2009 Mal began his Diploma of Community Development. Mal says he has had a lucky life but that his achievements are also due to selfreliance and a determination to succeed.
‘You may be down in the bottom of a hole, despised by others, but believe me, you always have the ability to find a new way out. NEVER give up!’