My name is Diana Nguyen. I’m an actor and a community development worker in the south eastern suburbs and I grew up in Springvale.
I started performing when I was quite young. My parents used to put on the music very loud and I see who I am now, just being able to explore different art forms and being true to myself.
There was a lot of communication barrier with my family, with my mother, because she’d come to Australia with limited English.
And for me using acting and performance, was a way to get out of that struggle of not being able to communicate in English.
And I think with drama and performance, it’s not just words, but how you feel inside, and expressing yourself.
‘Her freedom, her identity, her family and her country was taken away from her.’
I wrote a play called ‘Tears in the Rain’ about my mother’s refugee experience.
And my relationship with her. It was my discovery of who my mother was, what struggles she went through to come to Australia, and the clashes of second generation with the first generation.
To perform it and have my friends come and see it was really important to me, because they all understood where our parents had come from but we were never able to translate and say, ‘We understand.’ It was one of the best moments of being an actor.
I believe stories are treasures that we keep inside. And I think they’re beautiful to listen to these stories. Because if we all kept our stories in here and never told anyone about them then these stories would be lost, and they’re little treasures that should be revealed, like little jewels.