Swimming Upstream

“I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul…we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.” – Neil Armstrong

Hi, my name is Binh Doan and this is my testimony. I would like to share this message to inspire people to become whoever they want to be and to make their dreams come true regardless of their outer circumstances.

I was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 80’s. My parents, who came from a poor background, worked extremely hard all their lives to provide a good education to my 3 older siblings and myself. At 15, I decided to travel to Brisbane (Australia) to complete my High School education. With some English to help me get by, I attended Year 11 but had difficulty fitting into the school system. I continued to struggle during my first year with understanding English and expressing myself. I spoke English with a strong accent, and the sounding of my name was sometimes made fun of by the local kids. It took me over a year to settle into the new environment and to learn about the new culture. My English continued to improve. I was a quiet kid. Sometimes, I felt like an outsider and often went to the library after school to study until late. I taught myself to tune my ears into learning how to speak like an Aussie. At the beginning of Year 12, I felt much better about my communication skills and began to catch up with my peers.

It took me over a year to settle into the new environment and to learn about the new culture. My English continued to improve. I was a quiet kid. Sometimes, I felt like an outsider and often went to the library after school to study until late. I taught myself to tune my ears into learning how to speak like an Aussie. At the beginning of Year 12, I felt much better about my communication skills and began to catch up with my peers. There were hard times but I did not want to give up. I wanted to graduate from High School, attend University and then get a good job. That would make my parents happy, as they had sacrificed so much for my education.

In 1998, I graduated from High School and was accepted into the University of Queensland. I completed my Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2001. I then continued with my studies and obtained a Masters in Speech Pathology (2003). Throughout university, I had various part-time jobs, such as working in a fish & chips shop, helping out as a uni guide (at UQ) and serving people as a waiter in a local restaurant. These jobs not only helped me pay the bills but also helped improve my social and language skills.

In April 2004, after months of searching, I finally got a job offer in Sydney. That was my first job as a Speech Pathologist and it was based in Campbelltown. Ever since, I have been working in private practice, helping children, teenagers and adults with their speech, language and literacy difficulties. In 2011, I completed my training and obtained the CELTA (offered by Cambridge University) at

In April 2004, after months of searching, I finally got a job offer in Sydney. That was my first job as a Speech Pathologist and it was based in Campbelltown. Ever since, I have been working in private practice, helping children, teenagers and adults with their speech, language and literacy difficulties. In 2011, I completed my training and obtained the CELTA (offered by Cambridge University) at Navistas English in Sydney. I am now qualified as an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher.

All my life, I had always wanted to be a good person and to work hard in order to make my parents and family proud. In 2007, I earned my Australian citizenship. I then decided to sponsor my parents to come and spend their retirement in Sydney. My siblings and I spent almost 2 years to complete all the paper work. In 2010, my parents migrated to Australia to reunite with the family. A few months after their arrival, tragedy struck. My Dad had a sudden heart attack, followed by a stroke, and passed away at 65. My Mum, while mourning for Dad, had to deal with her newly diagnosis of lung cancer (stage 4). Mum received various types of treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and alternative medicine. She was brave until the end. In January 2012, my Mum passed away at 69.

Losing both parents within a short period of time was the most painful experience that I’ve ever had. I was in a state of confusion and was not sure what to do with my life. I sought help from a grief counsellor, who offered some great advice. However, the pain was too vast. For almost 6 months, bad thoughts came to me on a regular basis. I was not happy with life and work. However, I tried to think, “What would my parents want me to do?”. I could not give up, considering all the hard work that they had put into providing me with a good education and a good life.

I started to read various books on dealing with grief and realised that I could use my time and energy on helping others who are in need. My parents were true givers and my role models. Ever since, I’ve been involved in a number of charity events. I do feel great about being able to contribute to others’ happiness. In April 2013, I stumbled across Anthony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within”. This is an inspirational and powerful book that has opened my eyes to possibilities, life and shown me how much control I have over my own life. I am now on the mend and have taken a full interest in helping others who are struggling to reach their full potential.

In August 2013, I decided to become a Life Coach and was registered with The Australian Institute of Coaching (AIC). It was a tremendously life-changing experience with all the support from the AIC team and friends/family. In August 2014, I graduated and am now fully qualified as a Life Coach. I am passionate in helping others who want to take charge and make a difference in their own lives.558381_10152231155837802_1413449293_n.jpg

Through integrating all the skills that I have learnt in the past 18 years, my goal is to help individuals achieve their life goals to the best of their abilities e.g., communication skills (speech, language, reading, spelling, writing, ESL, working memory, public speaking & accent training), study / interview skills, and confidence coaching. 

In September 2014, I created Speakable, a Speech-Language Pathology & Life Coaching practice in Bondi Junction. My mission is to help people of all ages find their voice in this world and to increase their confidence in order to turn their dreams into reality.

At the moment, I’m running Speak Up Australia – a group where people get together, connect and learn to conquer the top human fear of Public Speaking. We meet every second Thursday of the month to inspire each other with positive ideas and life stories.

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You can join Speak Up @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/speakupoz/

We look forward to seeing you there.

Life isn’t easy, but it’s beautiful! Let me help you reach your goals.

Love and peace to you.

Binh

PS: Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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