But so many people over the years were helped. And for that work, when Tan Le was a final year law student she was chosen as Australian Of The Year.
She made the decision to move to the US after one trip. After 3 months she relocated to San Francisco.
Tan Le's grandmother's father died soon after she was born. Her mother raised her alone. At 17 she became the second wife of a Mandrin, who's mother would beat her. With no support from her husband, she caused a sensation by taking him to court and prosecuting her own case. And a far greater sensation when she won.
Tan Le was taking a shower in a hotel in Sydney the moment her grandmother died. She looked through the shower screen and saw her standing on the other side. She knew her grandmother had come to say goodbye.
A few days later they went to a Buddhist temple in Footscray and sat around her casket. They told her things and said they were still with her. At midnight the monk told them that he had to close the casket. Tan Le's mother would hold her hand the whole time.
Tan Le says that the women in her family are the strongest given how life had shaped them, and they can see how men would of stopped them. Defeat would of came too easily. Tan Le is afraid of privilege and ease. She wants to have her own kids and give them more opportunity but if she could give them the experience of the boat and still see them safely through, she would.