Local Legend

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Nang Nguyen is this month’s ‘Local Legend’.

The Local Legends award was established to recognise and celebrate outstanding people who have made a positive, active contribution to the Mandurah community.

Nang is one of these people.

He has an astonishing story – arriving in Australia as a 12 year old in a wheel chair – he has represented Australia in wheelchair basketball and more recently as a powerlifter at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. At the Games he was especially chosen to meet Prince Charles and the Prime Minister.

At only around 55 kg Nguyen is strong – really strong – he bench presses an incredible 142kgs. At the Commonwealth games he and teammate Ben Wright nick named themselves the “Dung beetles” because they “push heavy sh*t”.

Nang has been living in Mandurah for 12 months now and is planning to use his skills to contribute to the community. He is helping set up a local wheelchair basketball team and has recently started a mobile gym service specialising in helping those with a disability work out.

Nang has a qualification in community service and disability and works for a not-for profit organisation supporting young people with Autism. When he arrived in Australia he could not read or write English so achieving a TAFE qualification was quite a feat. Beyond the difficulties presented by being confined to a wheel chair (he contracted polio as a child) - Nang has also had to overcome a history of family neglect which at once stage left him homeless.

“Nang’s story is in some parts sad and challenging- given his personal and family circumstances. It is also a story that inspires. Despite being homeless at times, he, through sheer determination reached the top of his sport – representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games,” said City of Mandurah Mayor, Rhys Williams.

“Nang is now making a special contribution to our community,” the Mayor said.

“His nominator spoke of his commitment to community service in the disability sector. Supporting young people with autism, coaching a wheelchair basketball team, as well as starting a mobile gym service to assist those with disabilities these were all contributing factors to what makes Nang this month’s Local Legend.

If you know a deserving Local Legend, email details to mayor@mandurah.wa.gov.au.