Hieu Van Le will become the first Asian immigrant to be South Australia’s Governor when he takes up the role in September.
Announcing the appointment today, Premier Jay Weatherill said the appointment of Le, the current Lieutenant Governor, was a significant South Australian story.
“Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of Mr Hieu Van Le AO as the next Governor of South Australia, beginning 2nd of September this year,” the Premier said in a statement this morning.
Le will succeed Kevin Scarce, who has served in the role since August 2007.
Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive of the Cancer Council of South Australia will be appointed as Lieutenant Governor of South Australia.
The Premier said Le’s appointment heralds an historic moment for South Australia.
“Mr Le has a story of great significance to South Australia – from arriving as a boat person in 1977, advancing his education, establishing a family, rising through the ranks of business and community leadership, to becoming the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia,” he said.
“Now, the next chapter in Mr Le’s incredible journey will be written when he is sworn in as Governor of South Australia in September.
“He has already demonstrated an outstanding level of service to the community and I have no doubt that he will serve the role with great distinction – as he has done in the role of Lieutenant Governor since 2007.”
At the time of his appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Le was regarded as the first Vietnamese-born person in the world who had been appointed to a Vice Regal position.
Le said that he was deeply honoured, and at the same time, extremely humbled to be appointed to the position.
He said his appointment said more about South Australian society than him.
“I hope this appointement will send a very positive message … to people in South East Asia,” he said.
He said he also wanted to be an active contributor to the Aboriginal reconciliation process.
“As a young ‘boat people’ refugee, I arrived here 36 years ago with nothing but an invisible suitcase filled with dreams.
“A dream to live in a peaceful, safe and free country and to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
“But to be bestowed with the greatest honour and the privilege of holding the Vice-Regal office is absolutely beyond my wildest dreams.
“This appointment, however, says much more about our society than about me – it sends a powerful message affirming our inclusive and egalitarian society.
“At the same time, this appointment represents a powerful symbolic acknowledgement of the contributions that all migrants and refugees have made and continuing to make to our State.
“I strongly believe that this appointment also sends a positive message to people in many countries in the world, and in particular, our neighbouring countries in Asia Pacific region, of the inclusive and vibrant multicultural society of South Australia.”
Story originally posted on InDaily.