Trinh Foundation Australia works to assist the Vietnamese people to establish Speech Therapy as a profession in their country. We collaborate with our Vietnamese partners to create ...


    You can volunteer for Trinh Foundation in a number of ways – and you don’t have to leave the country, if you don’t want to. We are always looking for volunteers, to travel to Vietnam ...


    TFA works in partnership with a number of educational and clinical institutions throughout Vietnam to deliver on our mission of bringing speech therapy to Vietnam ...

History and Achievements

The Beginning

Trinh Foundation Australia was born in a monsoonal downpour in Ho Chi Minh City.

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 after their surgery.

On a visit to the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Aziz introduced Sue to Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dung, then the Hospital’s Director. Professor Dung had learned about speech therapy as an ENT intern in Lyon, France, and recognizing the value speech therapy could bring to Vietnamese people with communication and swallowing difficulties, she dreamed of starting speech therapy training in Vietnam.

Caught in the pouring rain, a flash flood and a huge traffic jam Professor Dung and Sue shared their vision for speech therapy services in Vietnam and a strong and lasting friendship began.

Sue also knew of 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; and Lindy’s experience in establishing speech therapy training programs in Australia.

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 established with Sue, Peter, Aziz and Lindy the founding Directors and Professor Dung playing a pivotal role as champion for speech therapy in Vietnam.

Our History in Brief

– – – – – 2009

In February, July and October TFA successfully provided a six week Postgraduate Short Course in Aspects of Speech Therapy at the ENT Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Trained 17 graduate doctors and nurses from around Vietnam in speech therapy for patients of all ages with speech, voice and swallowing impairments.

  • October – TFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pham Ngoc Thach University in Ho Chi Minh City to commence a 2 year Post-Graduate Training program in Speech Therapy scheduled to start in September 2010
  • November – Formed a partnership with the Global Development Group thus bringing our organization under its umbrella to provide direction and support regarding AusAID requirements, and allow donations to TFA to be tax deductible.
  • Ongoing – TFA begin to facilitate affiliations between universities and hospitals in Vietnam with those in Australia.

– – – – – 2010

  • January – Granted a Permit of Operation from People’s Aid Co-ordinating Committee (PACCOM), thus becoming a government approved NGO in Vietnam.

    Entered into a preliminary partnership with Australian Volunteers International (AVI), to help recruit and fund the first of 2 speech therapy lecturer positions for the Post Graduate Training Program in Speech Therapy.

  • February – approval from the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisation (HUFO) which oversees NGO’s at the Municipal level.
  • March – Australian trained Speech pathologist was appointed as Course Coordinator to oversee the implementation of the first ever full time course in speech therapy in Vietnam at Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University (PNTU) in HCMC.
  • July – First ever forum on Speech Therapy in Vietnam entitled “Speech Therapy – New Service in Health Care”. This forum was used as a platform to provide information about the impending course to health and education institutions across Vietnam.
  • September – First ever post graduate qualification in Speech Therapy commenced.

    TFA funded scholarships for two students from the Office of Genetic Counselling and Disabled Children in Hue in order for them to attend the Speech Therapy Training program in HCMC. Giving an opportunity for people in their region of over 20 million, to receive speech therapy services for the first time.

– – – – – 2010-2014

TFA sourced all lecturers and clinical educators (in excess of 80) to enable high quality transfer of knowledge about Communication and Swallowing disorders in order to successfully implement a “Train the Trainer” model

TFA has provided limited financial support to allow Clinicians in Australia to provide clinical training in Vietnam.

– – – – – 2012

  • August – Second intake of 15 Vietnamese students for training.

    TFA provided administration staff and resources, to enable these university Courses to take place.

  • September – First course completed supplying the first 18 Vietnamese trained speech therapists in Vietnam.

– – – – – 2013

  • January – TFA was awarded the new Certificate of Registration from the Vietnamese Government, which provides a licence to operate as an NGO in Vietnam.
  • Ongoing – TFA have and continue to assist a number of new graduates in establishing new speech therapy departments in hospitals and institutions across Vietnam.

– – – – – 2014

  • September – Second cohort of 15 students completed their training. As well as from HCMC these students come from all over Vietnam including Hanoi, Nui Dat and Hue City.
  • October – Directors of TFA were awarded medals from the People’s Committee in HCMC for their work in developing Speech Therapy Services in Vietnam.

– – – – – Ongoing

TFA have helped 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 have also enabled 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.




Our database contains the locations of over 33 speech therapists and clinics located in Vietnam.

Graduate Stories

How Vietnam’s first 33 graduate speech therapists are helping the people who need them.

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