Meet newly appointed Australia for UNHCR board member and Team UNHCR fundraiser Lynn Dang. Lynn is the head of Talent Acquisition at Microsoft Australia and is also a runner, mother of two and a former refugee.

For Lynn, supporting Australia for UNHCR through running in The City2Surf is a closely personal pursuit. She shares her story of how UNHCR once gave her and her family “light during our darkest months."

When did you first become interested in refugee issues?

The refugee experience is deeply personal to me. I was a refugee at four years old and spent time at the Pulau Bidong Malaysian UNHCR camp after the Vietnam War.

Nowadays, I am inspired by the strength and resilience of the millions of refugees around the world. It is incredibly life-affirming; the heroic efforts of refugees who continue to fight for their agency, self-determination and a place to call home despite the atrocities of war and growing hostility to their existence.

"We all want a more compassionate and peaceful world. It starts with how we treat and protect the most vulnerable"

How did UNHCR help your family during that time?

When we reached the UNHCR camp, my family and I were provided with practical support such as immediate access to shelter, food, clothing and medical attention.

Equally as important, UNHCR gave us light during our darkest months. When you become a refugee, you become invisible and stateless, living in a limbo of uncertainty. UNHCR reminded us of our humanity and provided rights and protection with hope for our future.

Team UNHCR member Lynn Dang training for the Sun-Herald City2Surf in August 2019.

“UNHCR reminded us of our humanity and provided rights and protection with hope for our future.”

Why do you think it’s important to support refugees around the world?

Refugees are ordinary people who are fleeing their homes by extraordinary circumstances of war, conflict and persecution. They have endured trauma and hardship. It’s important that we don’t stand by silently whilst others are suffering.

We all want a more compassionate and peaceful world. It starts with how we treat and protect the most vulnerable people when they ask us for our help.

Do you have any fundraising hints & tips for others who want to take on a similar challenge?

  1. Share your story on why the cause is important to you.
  2. Pick an activity that you enjoy so you can have fun as well!

As a busy working mother of two young children, running gives me the solitary time I need to reflect and re-energise. Incorporating it to fundraise for a cause close to my heart is a win-win situation.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming an Australia for UNHCR supporter?

My story is just one example of how UNHCR saved mine and my family’s lives 30 years ago.

UNHCR continues to make a difference to millions today by providing humanitarian assistance and recognising the dignity of refugees.

Your actions will help UNHCR to continue their critical ongoing protection and advocacy for refugees.

Join Lynn and support Australia for UNHCR through one of our many events in 2019.

Join an event

The Dang family prepare to leave the Pulau Bidong UNHCR camp in Malaysia.

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You can help

Make a donation

Every donation makes a real and lasting difference in the lives of refugees.

Organise a fundraiser

Host a bake sale, climb a mountain or do a fun run to raise funds for vital aid.

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