Celebrating NAIDOC Week: How My Elder Shaped My Multilingual Journey and Cultural Pride

Anthena Huynh is a Team Leader on Resource Recovery Australia’s Mobile Community Recycling Service which operates in the Cumberland, Parramatta and Blacktown local government areas. Anthena operates the forklift, holds her heavy rigid truck licence and dangerous goods transport licence and provides residents with exceptional customer service and community education as part of her role. Anthena works alongside her Dad, John the Operations Manager of the Mobile Community Recycling Service.
This week, to celebrate NAIDOC Week, we asked Anthena to share a story of how an Elder in her life has shaped her and her career.
Pictured L to R: RRA General Manager Matt Curtis with MCRS Operations Manager John Huynh and Team Leader Anthena Huynh



As English is my parent’s second language, I grew up learning how to speak Cantonese and Vietnamese.  While growing up, I didn’t understand the importance of speaking another language besides English however, I am proud to be able to speak 3 different languages to communicate and teach my parents English. They came to Australia from Vietnam not knowing how to speak English at all, learning a new language is difficult on top of working to earn income to raise a family, I respect them tremendously. They did what they had to, to ensure my siblings and I could live a comfortable life.  

My father John has been a hard worker all his life, he taught us to not be lazy whether through studying or working. Learning new skills is always an exciting opportunity for him, he is very happy to further develop his skills. He has so many experiences in all different industries, it amazes me to hear his stories. While working with him, he has taught me how to improve my skills such as customer service, work ethic, driving a truck and forklift and has encouraged me to try new things. 

My parents have always taught me the importance of manners and respect; to elders, family, friends, children and even strangers. I was taught that how you speak or treat someone is how you would want them to speak or treat you back. We are all humans therefore, we should live in harmony rather than causing fights and wars as my father John would say.

My parents have taught me our cultural traditions and customs for celebrations and everyday lifestyle which they were taught by their elders. Passing down these traditions and customs are things I want to pass down to further generations. Learning about them makes me proud of my culture and gives me a sense of belonging to my culture.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

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