Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Khoa Do (born 1979, Saigon, Vietnam) pronunciation (helpinfo) is an actor, writer and director who received the Young Australian of the Year award in 2005. Khoa Do and his family arrived in Sydney as Vietnamese refugees in 1980 (his brother is the comedian Anh Do). He received a scholarship to attend St Aloysius' College in Milson's Point, graduating in 1996 and went on to study Arts at the University of Sydney. Khoa Do was named the 2005 Young Australian of the Year for his "leadership, compassion, and will to inspire and inform Australians on issues that affect our communities." Do has been active in helping the under-privileged in South-Western Sydney, especially the Vietnamese community. In 2000, he was awarded the Young Vietnamese-Australian of the Year Award for his services in drama and working with youths in Sydney's south-west. A year later, Khoa commenced voluntary work with disadvantaged kids at Cabramatta's Open Family Youth Social Services Centre. He was asked to teach film-making to these 'at risk' youth and saw no better way to teach them than to go ahead and make a film with them. While at University Khoa worked as an English teacher and job-seeking-skills volunteer amongst youths living in Cabramatta. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2001 Young Citizen of the Year Award (Bankstown City) and in 2003, he also received a Centenary Medal. In 2001, Khoa was nominated for an AFI Award for his screen play for the short film Delivery Day. The film tells the story of a young girl and her struggle to balance the demands of school, her mother and the family's backyard sweatshop and is based heavily on Khoa's own experience. In 2003, Khoa received the IF Independent Spirit Award for The Finished People. In 2004, Khoa was nominated for two AFI Awards, three Film Critics' Circle Awards and two Australian Writers' Guild Awards for this film and for his community theatre. In 2005, he was also awarded the Powerhouse Wizard Award, which "recognises emerging leaders in Australian innovation and achievement."