60 Seconds with Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen is the Operations Manager at Multicultural Centre for Women's Health
Kathy Nguyen is the Operations Manager at Multicultural Centre for Women's Health

If you had a magic wand, what would you use it for?

I would change the world so that people have positive attitudes about differences. I think this would help solving conflicts and discrimination.

What is the best part of your day?

When I go home to see my nearly three-year-old son. He loves to ‘Tuddle’ (cuddle) me. Every time I’m home late from work, he will kiss me and tell me he misses me.

What do you most value in your friends?

I have friends who give me honest advice even when they know the advice might hurt my feelings. I have friends who do not hold me back and truly celebrate with me when I have successes.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone new to Australia, what would it be?

Be proud of who you are and where you come from; and love the land where you live and embrace the new diversified culture.

What’s your favourite word and why?

‘Integrity’ – it a combination of honesty, trust and having strong moral principles. I like it because it is extremely hard to be completely honest, to trust or to have strong moral principles all the time, let alone all three all the time.

Can you describe a time when you felt discriminated against as a woman or as someone with an immigrant or refugee background?

I once had a male manager who told me he did not expect me to think (even though I had two Masters Degrees and 14 years working experience). I also had a female manager who called me names when I didn’t attend a social function after work which was unrelated to work. But those experiences do not stop me from thinking Australia is a wonderful country with plenty of opportunities for those who want to call it home. I’ve met plenty of lovely people who help me with both my personal and professional life. So, when I am discriminated against I remind myself those are the minority and I am better than them.

If you could invite any woman (dead or living) to dinner tonight, who would it be?

The Queen of England (if she is happy to eat my home made food). I am not a royalist, but I think the Queen has done her best to look after her people. Of course, one could argue it is easier for the Queen because she was born into privilege.

Name a book or film that changed your life.

A Beautiful Mind based on the life of John Nash. Living with mental health issues, Nash developed a new concept of governing dynamics, that is, the idea that the best outcomes are achieved when everyone in the team is doing the best for themselves AND the best for the team. Since I first watched the movie I have tried to apply it in relationship to my friends, my family and colleagues.

What are you reading right now?

Lots and lots of children books. My son loves them. They teach (and re-teach) us both all the nice qualities in others and good manners.

If I could change on thing about the world, what would it be?

No more children suffering from adversity: poverty, illiteracy, wars, sexual harassment, etc.

These answers are idealistic....and I am far from ideal.