Overcoming the Challenges of Disability

It was a long journey for Cao Nguyen from the mountain city of Da Lat to Sydney, where he finished his Masters Degree in Business in Human Resource Management at University of Technology, Sydney under the Australia Awards Scholarship. He has a very inspiring story to share.

After a serious illness at the age of 14 months Cao Nguyen became disabled. His legs were paralysed and he experienced numerous difficulties in moving around and, years later, in going to school. But with his determined efforts and family support, he strived and did well in his studies at school until he was offered a place at the Mathematics Faculty of Da Lat University.

Graduating from the university as the top student of the Faculty, he started his career as an IT coder and lecturer at the Centre of Computing Engineering of University of Technology, HCM City. He was also involved in consulting work with other organizations and rapidly earned his reputation as a training specialist. Nguyen was highly appreciated at almost all the organizations where he worked and he was soon recognized for his experience and excellence in human resource management skills.

This paved the way for him to become the Human Resource Manager at a large scale consulting agency in 2005. Within a year, he contributed to the company’s innovative policy in human resource development, which helped place his company on the list of the most 50 efficient and prestigious companies in Vietnam by Vietnamwork in 2006.

His rich experience, hunger for knowledge and self-development, and intense desire for contributing to the development in Vietnam were eventually rewarded with an Australia Awards Scholarship in 2011 to study a Masters course at the University of Technology, Sydney. The scholarship was, in his words, “a golden key to my life-long dream of studying overseas and enriching my knowledge and skills in the area of Human Resource Management.”

Mr Cao Nguyen

Living and studying in Australia were difficult for Nguyen at first. But with the advanced accessible transportation system and dedicated public facilities for disability, he swiftly settled into the new environment and fully integrated into student life in Sydney. He successfully finished his Masters degree after one and a half years and said that he returned full of beautiful memories about Australia, the country and the people. His Masters significantly added to his profile in helping him succeed in the very competitive work environment in HCM City.

As the current Human Resource Director of a large company in HCM City, Cao Nguyen never forgets the trembling steps he took towards his position today. Reflecting on his achievements, he noted, “what I have achieved so far is humble - that is the truth. But I treasure what I have gained for which I have ceaselessly endeavoured, fought and even sacrificed. I have miraculously overcome numerous obstacles in the past journey of hardship. I understand that to be who I am today, I have been trying hard, but it would never have been enough. I needed a little push. And that push was the Australia Awards Scholarship I received.”

DFAT hopes that Cao Nguyen’s journey to successfully complete his Masters degree in Australia will inspire many more people with disabilities to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship. DFAT welcomes applications from a diversity of people with disabilities (and will consider appropriate assistance to them).

For more information please refer to the Australia Awards website http://australiaawardsvietnam.org/index.php/en/awardees-3/mobilisation/awardees-with-disabilities-including-faqs