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Welcome for Magistrate Trieu Huynh Melbourne Magistrates Court

Welcome for Magistrate Trieu Huynh Melbourne Magistrates Court

By LIV Media


May I now address Your Honour Trieu Huynh (pronounced “True Hwin”).

This appointment affirms the truism that hard work and dedication are often the foundations of success. 

Please pardon that pun … but other self-evident “Trieuisms” will follow.     

The love and support your father Hua (pronounced “Hwa”) and mother Kim – present today with your wife Bronwyn and your two children – have given their two sons is enduring.

In the turmoil after the Vietnam war, your parents fled their homeland … Your Honour then a 12-month-old cradled by Kim as they waded at night through mangroves to a refugee boat.

From a camp in Malaysia, home in Australia was first an immigration hostel in Maribyrnong, then a Housing Commission flat in Kensington before a house in Sunshine West.

Your inspirational parents worked long and laborious hours and valued education for their children.

Barracking for a footy team – Carlton – helped with assimilation.

Playing the game was another matter, a career you described thus: “ … Sunshine Heights Dragons under 8s. One Game. No touches. Dragged. Never played again.” 

Encouraged by a perceptive Grade 6 teacher, your parents applied successfully for a scholarship for Your Honour to Westbourne Grammar School.

It was a perfect fit for a bright young student - despite the oversized blazer.

A neighbor taught you how to knot a tie while the school uniform replaced that track suit worn on all social occasions.

Sartorial changes aside, studying hard and grasping opportunities suited Your Honour. 

An Honours Degree in a Bachelor of Science at Monash University followed.

Yet despite achieving the highest grades in the important field of genetic development and working with leading academics … digesting trans-differential neutral stem cells and green fluorescent protein left you craving to make a difference.

Completing a Bachelor of Laws in 2003 satisfied that hunger.

During studies, Your Honour volunteered as a professional practice student with the Springvale Monash Legal Service.

Among its ever-passionate and dedicated staff, you were chief raconteur who provided the lowdown for downtime as their nightclub expert.

In one hearing in Dandenong Magistrates Court, Your Honour looked cool in a pink shirt with white pin stripes … but was fighting furiously beneath the Bar table to maintain composure.

Such early experiences imparted crucial knowledge and taught important lessons about this court.

In representing the desperate and disadvantaged, Your Honour also grasped the inherent humanity of the criminal law.

As an articled clerk in 2005 at the Office of Public Prosecutions, Your Honour benefitted from many influences and early opportunities, notably from senior solicitors Vicky Prapas and Jack Vandersteen.

Each are now magistrates at this court.

It was, of course, sometimes grueling – a victim impact statement in a child homicide lingers to this day.

Your science credentials were also utilised for a DNA issue in a murder trial conducted by then Crown prosecutor now Judge Sue Pullen of the County Court.

Your input was conspicuous - the loud bang each time you slapped a post-it note on the lectern during Her Honour’s cross-examination matched your passionate profile.

After four invaluable years with the OPP, you worked as a paralegal/ assistant with the Crown Prosecution Service in London.

On return in 2010, Your Honour joined Victoria Legal Aid to begin a decade-long career.

You were engaged in complex summary and indictable matters, that included the Farquarson, Bayley and Ridsdale cases, then progressed to Senior Lawyer, Deputy Managing Lawyer and Associate Public Defender.

At the frontline as a duty lawyer, you engaged a familiar relentless daily workload.  

As Managing Lawyer - mentoring, assisting and allocating cases - Your Honour confronted crises and undertook urgent and difficult cases.

Recall the appearance of Winston Wolf in the movie “Pulp Fiction” … urgently enlisted to efficiently fix a sticky problem … and you’ll get my drift.     

Then as Program Manager, Indictable Crime, words like … developing, executing, responding, motivating, engaging, collaborating … only hint at your responsibilities.  

And Your Honour returned to the trenches, continuing to appear on weekends and at night court.

Kristina Kothrakis, partner at Doogue and George and executive committee member with you on the LIV Criminal Law Section, also served on our wellbeing subcommittee alongside Your Honour.

Ms Kothrakis captures perfectly your importance to so many in reflecting that (Quote) “ … it was certainly good for my wellbeing being around people like Trieu.”  

She and Ms Hazmi vividly recall when Your Honour joined the executive in 2017 as the VLA representative when the so-called “cold war” between the bodies over the VLA funding furor still simmered.

With skill, tact and sensitivity – and your mum’s delicious rice paper rolls as subtle sweeteners – you fielded questions with genuine understanding for the private profession that helped facilitate repairs.

But sometimes stressors were obvious.

The barometer Ms Hazmi often read to assess Your Honour’s mood levels was the state of your hair.

Pushing the fingers of both hands through it - higher and higher it stood - flashed serious bad hair day indicators.

Nothing is out of place, however, in the photograph of Your Honour with colleagues Jasmine Pisasale and Fatoum Souki on the cover of the recent book “Solicitors and the Law Institute of Victoria – Pathway to a Respected Profession”.

It depicts our profession’s advancement, proud cultural diversity and yet another of our solicitors now a magistrate.

I am personally proud as someone also from an ethnic minority background to be the one welcoming your Honour to this Court.

We wish Your Honour well.

May it please the court.

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