Gary was born in Ban Houei Kouang, Muong Mok,
Xieng Khouang, Laos, in 1949.
Gary received his early education in Xieng
Khouang city where his father was
serving in the Lao military and later in the provincial police force
from 1955 to 1960. After the Lao civil war erupted in 1961, his
family became displaced and joined other Hmong
refugees in Vientiane where he resumed high school studies at the
Lycee de Vientiane before going to
Australia in 1965 to pursue further education under the Colombo
Plan, sponsored by the Australian Government. He has lived in
Australia with his wife and four children since 1975, and is now an
Australian Citizen. He is fluent in English, Lao,
Hmong, Thai and French.
Gary received his Ph.D. in social anthropology/community
development, from the University of
Sydney, Australia, in 1981. He also has a Master by research (1975)
and a Bachelor degree in Social Work (1972) from University of New
South Wales, Australia. He received the Eagle Award for life-time
contribution to Hmong studies from
Concordia University, USA, in 2006.
currently works as a bilingual welfare service coordinator with the
Cabramatta Community Centre, Sydney,
Australia. He was the first scholar-in-residence at the Center for
Hmong Studies, Concordia University, St.
Paul, Minnesota, USA, from 2006 to 2007. In this role, he developed
and taught five courses on Hmong
culture, history, society, religion and literature. Previous to
this, he was a visiting fellow in anthropology to the Australian
National University, Canberra, Australia in 2001-2002. From 1987 to
2000, he worked with the Ethnic Affairs Commission of New South
Wales, Australia, dealing with migrant and refugee communities from
Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Europe and the South Pacific.
Before this, he was teaching social work at the University of New
South Wales (1974-75), and social anthropology at Macquarie
University, Sydney (1986-87). He had also worked with Indochinese
young refugees and children on both paid and voluntary basis since
their settlement in Australia in 1975.
Gary has been as a member of the management committees of many
organisations, including: the Indo-China
Refugee Association (NSW); the Multicultural Access Advisory
Committee of Fairfield City Council, Sydney; the Management
Committee of Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and
Trauma Survivors; the Ethnic Communities Council of New South Wales;
the Chinese Studies Group of the University of Sydney; the
Asian-Australian Resource Centre; the Mt. Druitt Ethnic Communities
Agency; the Bonnyrigg Youth Centre; the
Public Service Association of NSW; the Research Institute for Asia
and the Pacific, University of Sydney; the Independent Teachers
Association; the South East Asian Community Assistance Centre (now
Cabramatta Community Centre); the
Refugee and Social Welfare Subcommittees, Ethnic Communities Council
of NSW; the Francis Street Centre (Refugee Youth Refuge) of the
Wesley Central Mission in Sydney; the Centre for Asian Studies,
Sydney University; the Australia-China Friendship Society;
Austcare (Australia Care for Refugees);
the Australian Council for Overseas Aid; the Australian Council of
Social Service; and the New South Wales Council of Social Service.
He was the Founding President of the Lao Students Association in
Australia (1971), and a foundation member of the
Hmong Australia Society (1978).
Hmong is Gary’s major research area, but
he has also carried out research on community development and the
Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW (1991), Pacific Islander Migrants
in New South Wales (1990), Indochinese youth in Sydney (1981),
highland economies of Southwest China (1980), evaluation of UN crop
replacement projects among highland opium growers in Northern
Thailand (1977-78), and on war refugees generated by the "secret
war" in Laos (1974).
is a current member of the editorial board of the Journal of Lao
Studies of the Center for Lao Studies, San Francisco, USA, having
served as editor of the Lao Studies Review for the Lao Studies
Society, Sydney, Australia, from 1991 to 1996. For many years, he
was a referee for the Journal of Asian and Pacific Migration (Quezon
City, Philippines) and the International Review of Migration (New
York, USA). Gary has assisted in the convening of conferences on
Indochinese and Hmong refugees, and has
been invited to be speaker at many national and international
conferences and forums.
Among his publications (with most reproduced in this web site) are:
“Diaspora and the
Predicament of Origins”, Hmong Studies
Journal, Vol. 8, 2007
Trip” (creative non-fiction story), Paj
Ntaub Voice, 12(1), 2007.
“Working for the
CIA” (creative non-fiction),
Voice, 12(1), 2007.
Post-war Identity Production: Heritage Maintenance and Cultural
Reinterpretation”, in Stanley-Price, N, ed.
Cultural Heritage and Postwar Recovery, (Rome: ICCROM, 2007).
Hmong Rebellion in Laos: Victims or
Terrorists?”, in Tan. A. ed. Handbook of
Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia (Cheltenham:
Edward Elgar, 2007).
Beloved” and “Time is Silent” (poems), Unplug/Writer’s Block,
June/July 2007, online Hmong subculture
magazine accessible at http://www.unplugmag.com/wb-lit.htm
the Oceans: Media, Globalisation and
Cultural Reinvention in the Hmong
Diaspora”, Hmong Studies Journal, Vol.
“The Shaping of
Traditions”, Hmong Studies Journal, Vol.
“White Lies and
Silence” (short story), Paj
Ntaub Voice, 2005.
of Life; A True Ban Vinai Love Story
(novel) (St. Paul, MN:
Hmongland Publications, 2004).
Hmong of Australia: Culture and
editor with N. Tapp
(Canberra: Pendanus Books, 2004).
Settlement and Culture: the Present Situation of the
Hmong in Australia”, in N.
Tapp and G. Lee above.
Miao-Hmong of Asia,
editor with J. Michaud, C. Culas and N.
Silkworm Books, 2004).
Adaptation: Overview of the Hmong of
in Michaud et al.
J. Jupp ed.
Encyclopedia of the Australian People,
2nd edition, (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
Refugee Families in Australia: A Multicultural Perspective"
Families and Cultural Diversity,
NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission, 1997.
Identity in Post-modern Society: Reflections on
What is a Hmong"
J. Hmong Studies,
1 (1), 1996.
in Australia: an Asian Perspective"
HREOC State of the Nation Report,
Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1994.
"The Articulation of Social Relationships"
Lao Studies Review,
1993/94, Vol 2.
With R G Cooper, N Tapp and G S Kohl
(Bangkok: Artasia Press, 1991).
Southeast Asian Refugee Study Newsletter,
University of Minnesota, Spring 1991.
"The Ethnic Affairs Commission of New South Wales and Pacific
Affairs Commission, 1990).
"Working out of Anthropology"
Sydney University Anthropology
and Marriage in a Thai Highland Society"
1988, 76: 162-173.
In Jupp, J. et al eds.
THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE
(Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1988).
Minorities and National Building in Laos: The
Hmong in the Lao State"
"The Hmong in Sydney: Community Profile
and Educational Needs"
(Sydney: Wetherill Park College of TAFE,
Hmong Kinship: Terminology and Structure"
1, Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 1986.
and Adaptation: Hmong Refugees in
In Hendricks, G.
et al eds.
THE HMONG IN TRANSITION
(New York: Centre for Migration Studies, 1986).
"Minority Policies and the Hmong"
In Stuart-Fox, M.
Lucia: Queensland University Press, 1982).
"Traumas of Refugees in Australia"
August 1976. Reprinted in Poussard, W.
TODAY IS A REAL DAY
(Blackburn, Vic: Dove Communications, 1981).
"Migrant and Refugee Youth: a New Challenge"
paper, Ethnic Communities Council of NSW, 1981.
"Refugees: It's Like Being Deaf and Dumb" ,
Migration in Action,
Autumn 1976, 11(4): 19-20.
professional interests include consultancy, literature and literary
theories, community studies and development, helping
people/casework, management and technological change,
multiculturalism, migrant and gender studies, child and youth
welfare, bilingual education, social work, welfare sociology,
ecology and social adaptation, life span studies, oral history,
Hmong media, diaspora and
globalisation, postcolonial and cultural
studies, critical studies, health and healing, research and