Dr Kim Huynh on his 2024 Whitlam Essay Residency

Dr Kim Huynh on his 2024 Whitlam Essay Residency
Kim Huynh with co-residents Deborah Prospero and Farjana Mahbuba
Thursday 28 March 2024

HRC Deputy Director Dr Kim Huynh has just spent a week at Gough and Margaret Whitlam’s family home in Cabramatta NSW as part of the inaugural Whitlam Essay Residency. The residency is a collaboration between the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University and Varuna the National Writers’ House.

It was a valuable chance to develop a series of essays on politics and social harmony which have been published in ABC Religion & Ethics and The Canberra Times. Kim worked with an essay coach on how to write freely from both the heart and gut and was inspired by the work, lives and thoughts of co-residents Deborah Prospero and Farjana Mahbuba. Two of Kim’s considerations during the residency included how to judge Gough Whitlam’s opposition to providing asylum to Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon and his declaration to Cabinet that, “we’re not having hundreds of f-----g Vietnamese Balts coming into this country”. Also, the showcase event of the residency involved a salon in which the writers spoke to their work before a small crowd of dignatories and creatives. It raised the challenge of how to provide a platform for people of colour and minorities without putting them on show and demanding a dance. These and other topics will be discussed at Kim’s HRC Work in Progress Seminar on 30 April.




Updated:  28 March 2024/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications