“The remarkable story of Tony Hoang is the subject of a powerful and confronting 2012 SBS documentary “Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta”.
“Tony’s Cabramatta story is set to both shock & inspire” Sally Lee - Fairfax Journalist
“It was powerful & informative” Susan Gibbeson - Fairfield Council Senior Policy Advisor
The young Tony, son of Vietnamese refugees, grew up in poverty in the then drug capital of Australia, Cabramatta. Like many refugees from the Vietnam War, Tony’s parents’ hopes of a safe new home for their families were crushed by the heroin culture that overtook the lives of their children.
At 13, Tony escaped the loneliness and domestic violence of his home life and joined one of the most notorious crime gangs in Cabramatta , featured in Channel 7’s programme “Gangs of Oz”.
Tony began dealing drugs. It seemed at the time that the gang gave him a sense of belonging and self-importance. At the age of 16, he faced the harsh reality of this lifestyle by losing a close friend to a drug overdose, while other friends went to jail.
In 2004, Tony made some powerful positive life choices that changed his life forever .
A decade on, Tony speaks in schools, councils and churches all over the country about the perils of his life, the dangers of drugs and inspires hope for thousands.
Tony has an amazing, empowering story to tell of how his life was totally transformed and how he has devoted his life to helping people break free from the same destructive cycle he was once trapped in. He is also the school chaplain for Westfields Sports High and Pendle Hill High.
With the ability to engage with young people, Tony brings a confronting message of transformation and hope.
In addition to speaking to large school groups about life matters, Tony is also invited to speak at conferences and youth rallies. These sessions attract an increasing number of students and people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds.
He is the subject of more than 30 newspaper articles and has been interviewed on top –rating radio stations across the nation.”