I’ve lived in Cabramatta my whole life and while there is stigma around the West, I’ve always loved living here. Being surrounded by Asians growing up, I’ve never really felt ‘Australian’ and always identified with being more 'Asian' or 'Vietnamese'.
Starting the Western Sydney Asians Facebook group for me just felt like the right move. At that time, it was the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020. There was nothing really going for me, so I thought, “Why not just try something and see how it goes?”
When I first started it, it was pretty hectic. I didn’t think it would blow up as much as it did. So much in fact that I had to recruit a bunch of people to help me moderate the group after only a few days. I think in the early days when everyone was stuck at home it provided a great online (Covid free) environment for people in the area to just chill. It was heaps of fun and I think it connected a lot of people together during those dark times.
These days things are a lot quieter, and the group has evolved to become more of a local directory where you can get local info about Western Sydney. One thing that came out of this experience was getting more in touch with my Western Sydney roots and being proud of where I came from. I know it sounds corny but driving the Facebook group really helped me with that.