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The Minh Story


So often in life, we see an injustice and we walk right past, we keep moving and we erase it from our minds. We believe that, as an individual, we couldn’t make a difference so why get involved?

Adrian De Luca is someone who puts us all to shame, he saw something terribly wrong, he believed that in his own small way he could help and he ultimately succeeded in changing a young man’s life for the better.

In June 2012 Minh Duong was an international student studying for his Bachelor of Accounting degree when he was the victim of a vicious, unprovoked, racial attack by three members of a Neo-Nazi group in Melbourne. On his way home from work one night he was savagely kicked, punched and stabbed before being bashed with a brick with such force that the brick broke in two and he was left to die in the gutter. He was the victim of the worst that Australian society has to offer.

He was in critical condition when he was found lying in a pool of blood and taken to hospital. Adrian heard of Minh’s attack on the news and felt he needed to do something to help. As a musician and a music teacher he has a great belief in the power of music to help in the healing process and he contacted Minh to offer him free music lessons to bring some hope and positive healing through music. Slowly beginning to recover, Minh accepted that offer but says that he found it very difficult to trust anyone and felt that everyone was dangerous. He learned, with the help of Adrian, to find that trust again through music. 

Adrian began helping to pay some of Minh’s medical bills and then they applied for their motorcycle licences together when he passed Adrian bought Minh a motorised scooter so that he no longer needed to rely on public transport. Understandably Minh’s confidence had been shattered by the attack so far from the comfort of home and, having missed a lot of lessons, he wanted to abandon his studies and return home to the safety of his family. Adrian encouraged Minh to continue with his studies and helped him to organise a trip home to Vietnam to visit his mother for the first time in over five years.


At the airport however they were confronted by the immigration officials who claimed Minh’s student visa had expired and he was told to leave Australia and not return. Minh was distraught at the thought of not being able to return to complete his studies and Adrian made him a promise that he would find a way to bring him back into the country.Adrian, meanwhile, organised a petition supporting Minh’s return to Australia and,through his own personal efforts and social media, he gathered 89,740 signatures.This petition was presented to the Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, whoresponded personally to the case.

Minh was granted a new visa and on 1st March 2014, he returned to Australia to begin the final year of his degree.

But this wasn’t the end for Adrian. He felt so passionately about the need to raise awareness of racism in Australia that he began to organise and create a musical production showcasing Minh’s journey in Australia, through expressions of music, storytelling and dance, exploring the negative and positive battles of Minh’s experience.

The production, ‘We are Australia – The Minh Story,’ touched on racism, hope and community and the voluntary cast of professional performers that Adrian drew together played to sell-out audiences. 


Adrian De Luca saw an injustice and simply wanted to help this young man in any way he could. What he ultimately did though was to restore the shattered confidence of a young man far from family, help him gain back trust in humanity and create a family for him here in Australia. He brought to the fore not only the negative aspects of racism and hatred in Australia but also the much more positive side of our society – empathy, compassion, community spirit, resilience, optimism and hope. Adrian has proved that one person can make a difference and has become an inspiration to all who know him.

In Minh’s word’s he was sad, depressed and had no hope in life then Adrian, his angel, came along.


Mark Hennessey

I would like to encourage you in taking this story to greater heights. Please continue to tell Minh's story as it develops for the better! I anticipate seeing the performance again, at another time and in another form?

This story holds an important educational message for every Australian citizen. My very best wishes, appreciation and continued encouragement to keep making the difference you do.

Leanne-Mike Vallance

I don't have the words to articulate the amazing and heartfelt way this story was told. My shame of such an act of violence happening in my own city to the absolute pride in knowing that in the end good really does triumph over evil.

Ming Duong's battle isn't over but his spirit is far from broken.

John Bowls

Such a heartbreaking story - and an amazing person who has got back up and climbing back on the road again after such an horrific event in his life, just had to give you a cuddle, hope you have many more people reaching out to help you on your journey x brilliant singing and performers help achieve what this show is meant to show

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