History and Achievements

The beginning

Australian speech pathologist Sue Woodward first visited Vietnam in 2007 to work as part of a cleft team with her husband Peter and Aziz Sahu-Khan (both orthodontists). The team supported successful surgical and orthodontic cleft repair but knew that patients also needed speech therapy to learn to speak clearly following surgery.

On a visit to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Aziz introduced Sue to Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dung, then the Hospital’s Director. Professor Dung recognised the value speech therapy could bring to Vietnamese people with communication and swallowing disorders, she dreamed of starting speech therapy training in Vietnam. Caught in a monsoonal downpour, causing flash flooding and a huge traffic jam, Professor Dung and Sue shared their vision for speech therapy services for the people of Vietnam.

Sue was also familiar with Professor Lindy McAllister’s extensive work at Phu My Orphanage in HCMC, organizing placements for speech therapy and other allied health students from Charles Sturt University, to provide therapy for children in need and training for the orphanage staff.

On 27 March 2008 Professor Dung, Lindy, Aziz, Sue and Peter committed to work towards a short course in speech therapy for doctors, nurses and physiotherapists from the ENT Hospital. With this first ambitious goal Trinh Foundation Australia was born with Sue, Peter, Aziz and Lindy the founding Directors and Professor Dung playing a pivotal role as champion for speech therapy in Vietnam.


NB: Please refer to our Annual Reports for the list of academic lecturers, clinical supervisors and other volunteers who contributed to all the courses and training programs each year.


TFA helps to provide standardised terminology in translation from English to Vietnamese for head and neck anatomy as well for speech pathology terms through the creation of a “Glossary of Terms“.

TFA also enables a number of information books about communication disorders to be published and distributed not only in Vietnam, but also in Australia, as a service to the Australian Vietnamese community.