Escaping Vietnam by boat, now helping feed the nation and investing in the next generation…an Aussie on the up-and-up .
Nearly 30 years ago, Duy Ly arrived with his parents and older brother in Australia from Vietnam.
Robbed by pirates as they spent ten days in a small wooden boat en route to Malaysia and subsequent refugee camps, the family waited for acceptance from any Western nation.
“Luckily Australia gave us a go and now as a family we are returning the favour through expanding business and employment,” said Mr Ly (pictured left), whose family’s business now supplies national chain stores with capsicums and other vegetables.
“When my Mum and Dad arrived in Australia they couldn’t speak any English at all, and my brother and I were just kids.
“We were settled here in Virginia, near Adelaide, in 1986 and although they came from urban backgrounds, the only jobs my parents could get was farm work,” Mr Ly added.
“So they both worked as farm labourers as they learnt what farming was all about, then they rented a farm, then they bought a farm, and now our family business is supplying food to major Australian chains.”
As he settled into genial and jovial discussion about different crops from regional Australia and some of the characters he’s met along the way, there’s no denying the astute businessman behind Duy’s easy grin.
Nor is there any denying how much he values his employees.
Miss Thanh Duong (pictured right) is a graduate from the University of South Australia who just completed a Navitas Professional Year internship at Mr Ly’s company, 4Ways Pty Ltd.
She had been working at the company to help put herself through university, and when she approached Mr Ly saying she may have to leave to do an internship elsewhere, his immediate response was to seek means to keep Thanhin his company.
“When Thanh told me about this internship and that she might have to leave, I wanted to see if there were ways I could help her,” he said.
“She’s a valuable team member and I wanted to do the right thing by her, so we simply gave her a few more accounting responsibilities in line with the internship requirements, and will work with her to keep growing her career.”
And there’s no doubting Thanh’s astute business sense either.
“After starting work here, I controlled the ordering, selling and collecting payments for selling seed in 28 days, which helped increase profits,” Thanh said.
“It’s a great company to work for,” she added.
“And I really enjoy the energies because it’s growing, the relevance to farming because it’s a new industry for me, and the opportunity to experience such a broad range of duties,” she concluded.
Click here to find out more about 4 Ways
Author: Richard Cowley
Internship Placement Coordinator
M: 0448 064 755