Donate
Payment
Hire Space
DONATE
PAYMENTS
HIRE SPACE
Students delete
Professor Tien Kieu

The journey from a boat to the bench

Professor Tien Kieu was a Tutor at St Hilda’s College and Senior Common Room President in 1993. Now a Victorian MP, Professor Kieu made a ‘miracle’ journey into State Parliament.

Professor Tien Kieu is a boat person, a label from which he does not shy away. A child of war, he is originally from North Vietnam. At age 19, he fled Vietnam in 1980, joining tens of thousands of his countrymen and women who settled in Australia in that great wave of migration.

Now 58, Professor Kieu recently stood in the Victorian Parliament to give his first speech of the month and began with a passage from the second verse of the national anthem, the one most Australians don’t know. “For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share”. “My presence here today started with the kindness and generosity of the Australian people through to the spirit of the national anthem,” Professor Kieu said.

There were several failed voyages Professor Kieu experienced coming to Australia. An ill-fated attempt to fashion a petrol tanker into a vessel and an overloaded boat capsized with more than 30 people, horrifically his close relatives drowned. “Those are the deaths I will live for, so I vow to myself,” Professor Kieu said in the ornate red chamber of Victoria’s upper house. Unsurprisingly, he has watched with interest the progress of the Medevac Bill in Canberra, which will give asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru a better chance to come to Australia for medical treatment. "We want to control our borders but it can be done without sacrificing humanity," he says.

Having beaten the odds himself, Professor Kieu set out building a career based on conquering mathematical improbabilities. He is a Professor of Quantum Mechanics, who has spent much of his academic life trying to solve what he calls "non-computable problems". These are mathematical mysteries so inscrutable not even a computer can solve them, he explains.

Having made the unique journey from a remote beach in Vietnam to being a member of the State Parliament, Professor Kieu’s political ambitions are comparatively less dramatic. He wants to promote the study of the sciences in higher education and push for greater resources for teachers in these fields.

St Hilda’s is proud to have such an inspirational community member and will continue to follow Professor Kieu’s journey. 





News

July

30

Mallee star remembers her roots
June

03

Connections Mentor Program Launch
May

21

St Hilda's College Les Misérables MS Fundraiser
May

06

Intercollegiate Rowing Regatta
April

03

St Hilda’s Residential College Sport
March

22

Health Science Faculty Dinner
March

14

Faculty Dinners Commence
March

08

International Women's Day Breakfast
February

25

Welcome Saturday
February

19

The journey from a boat to the bench
ST HILDAS COLLEGE LOGO white
Contact
St Hilda's College
19-25 College Crescent Parkville VIC 3052 Australia.

St Hilda's College is a living community and residential college on campus at the University of Melbourne.

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Wurrundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the Traditional Owners of the land upon which our college is situated.  We pay our respect to all the Elders of Indigenous students who call St Hilda’s home.  We also acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community, the University of Melbourne, and the wider world.

Website by MODD logo