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Open Right

Bic Walker

Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Born in Vietnam in 1974 Bic Walker escaped war torn Vietnam at the age of four. Bic’s experience as a refugee was the catalyst for her first Book A Safe Place to Live. This autobiographical chil­dren’s book recounts her experience in fleeing Vietnam with her family in 1979 on a tiny boat bound for freedom. The events that transpired are the stuff of Hollywood movies: attacked by pirates and left drifting in the open ocean without fuel, the family were finally rescued by a Canadian oil tanker. Bic and her family were transported to Malaysia where they waited for six months before being taken to Australia.

Where were you born?

I was born near the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My themes revolve around multiculturalism and identity: growing up Asian in Australia, being an outsider and trying to fit in.

I also share my personal experience as child refugee with images from my picture book A Safe Place to Live.

What have been the highlights of your career?

My first book, A Safe Place to Live was included in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. I wanted to produce a picture book about my refugee experience so that it is able to reach people in places beyond the limitations of my personal boundaries. Also being a picture book, it was able to transcend across cultures, languages and even age.

What other jobs have you had?

I was trained and worked as an Architect for 10 years. I also have taught at Various Universities: Melbourne University, RMIT, Monash University, University of New South Wales, and Sydney University. I was also an Exhibition Designer at ACMI (the Australian Centre for the Moving Image).

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about how to build up resilience, how to establish and maintain identity and what defines leadership.

Haven’t I seen you before?

My story was published in Frankie magazine (issue 53). I have also been reviewed in The Herald sun, Progress Press and Melbourne Weekly.

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