Khoa Do

Khoa Do-1

Speaker available for hire, based in New South Wales

Khoa Do is a film director, screenwriter and teacher who has had extensive experience working with the most disadvantaged in our community, inspiring them and guiding them to incredible success. Khoa’s belief is that everyone on a team, no matter what their background or experience, is extraordinarily gifted, and our goal is to help others to realise their true potential.

In 2002, a group of young kids in Cabramatta, south-western Sydney, had come to a welfare centre seeking help. One was homeless, sleeping in refuges and in McDonald’s play areas, another was a shy Aboriginal young man who never spoke a single word, another a long-term drug addict, and another was an accused criminal currently on parole. None had ever finished high school.

Two years later, they were all AFI Award nominees, walking the red carpet opposite Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts and Cate Blanchett. Hear their extraordinary story, and how Khoa harnessed their talents and abilities to make an internationally acclaimed film, which became a true lesson in teamwork, motivation and inspiration.

Khoa’s own amazing story - coming to Australia as a refugee on a tiny fishing boat crammed full of people to becoming the 2005 Young Australian of the Year is a journey of courage, resilience and hope amidst incredible opposition. Growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney, Khoa recalls going to school with sticky-taped shoes and coming home to find out that their electricity had been cut off because the family couldn’t afford to pay the bills.

In 2004, he was the youngest film director in Australian history to be nominated for an AFI Award for Best Director. Over the years, he has received many awards for his work in the community and with young people – Young Vietnamese Australian of the Year Award 2000, Young Citizen of the Year Award 2001 and the Young Australian of the Year Award 2005.

In film, he has had incredible success, being nominated for 3 AFI Awards, 3 Film Critics’ Circle Awards, 2 Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, and an Australian Screen Director’s Award. His first short film was shortlisted for a 2001 Academy Award, and in 2003, he won the IF Independent Spirit Award for his filmmaking.

He has represented Australia internationally as a youth delegate (Action 2000 Anti-Racism Initiative in Canada), and has travelled widely speaking on youth issues, motivation and inspiration.

He has spoken in all arenas and platforms, whether it is to newly-arrived refugees in Cabramatta, or to Aboriginal kids in Alice Springs, or to the Prime Minister and the leaders of our country in Canberra.

Most recently, Khoa wrote and directed FOOTY LEGENDS, starring Claudia Karvan, Anh Do and Angus Sampson, and is currently working on MISSING WATER, an extraordinary film that will be released in 2008.

After hearing him speak, the Governor General of Australia exclusively asked for Khoa Do to interview him in Kalgoorlie to officially launch Australia Day 2006.


• Finding and harnessing your talent

• Working as a team amidst incredible opposition

• Your obstacles are your greatest opportunities

• Tapping into your creativity

• Following your heart


Khoa's presentation was outstanding and so real. Put's life into real perspective!


Khoa was a great inspiration to all who attended our meeting. Everyone very much enjoyed his encouraging and spirit filled story and were both impressed and excited to have had Khoa at our meeting. We feel privileged to have met such a humble young man who puts alot of faith back into the future of our youth.

Colgate Palmolive

He moved us alternately to laughter and tears and his spirit of generosity and caring served as an inspiration to his audience. Given that this was his own life, it was authentic and all the more powerful for the very personal manner in which it was delivered.

Flinders Housing

Khoa Do is one of the most humble, genuine and interesting presenters I have seen. He has an extraordinary background and a fantastic attitude - his story was amazing, was very well received and taught 1300 IBM employees a bit of humility I would not hesitate to recommend Khoa for another event.


Khoa had a unique and inspiring message that was extremely well received by our group. He had a very appealing way of portraying his story.


Khoa is a great communicator. He engaged us both emotionally and rationally. The richness of Khoa's communication comes from the empathy and interest he establishes with the audience. His own story is an epic in itself; yet he has continued to use each episode as a reason to aim higher in the next. His successes are many and he has channelled his considerable talents into helping the community. His achievements are impressive and worthy of someone well beyond his years - yet he remains a very humble person with great presence and sincerity.

CEO , Optus