Thong Za Tawng was born in Chin State, Myanmar/Burma. He escaped Burma in 2005 as a second year university student and fled to India, where he lived as a refugee for three years. He arrived in Australia in 2008 on a humanitarian protection visa. He now works as a Community Liaison Worker within the Capacity Building Team at Foundation House, focusing on supporting the Chin Community. Thong’s previous work experience in Australia has been within refugee and resettlement services. He has held positions at AMES Australia as an AMEP Counsellor, and Goulburn Multicultural Centre as a Bicultural Employment Officer. Thong is very active on a voluntary basis within the Victorian Chin Community. He is a member of the Eastern Executive Committee and plays a strong role in advocating between the community leadership and service providers. He developed and produces a bi-monthly Chin Hakha Language newsletter, which is distributed to Chin Communities in Eastern Melbourne. He also teaches Chin Hakha language on Saturdays with the Victorian School of Languages. Thong plays a leadership role within the Chin community churches in advocating for a networking body between the diverse denominations in order to promote better understanding and communication between them. Thong was a second year University student in the Government Technology Institute in Yangon, Myanmar at the time he fled. He holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Box Hill Institute of Technology in Melbourne and a Diploma of Interpreting and Translation from RMIT University.