ONCE UPON A TIME IN CABRAMATTA
Doco 8.30pm, SBSONE
Confronting, touching, pull-no-punches doco series on how the Vietnamese community struggled to find their place in Australia. It charts how the decision to allow refugees into Australia at the end of the Vietnam War transformed the suburb of Cabramatta. The government of the day was ready, but the refugees fleeing communist rule in Vietnam and many Australians were less so.
Through several families’ eyes we see the experience from the new arrivals’ side – a struggle with limited English, few skills, and feelings of displacement, kids left to own devices, then Australia’s slump into recession and prejudices boiling over.
We see the slide as Cabramatta became known as an Asian gangland, then its transformation as the locals took charge.