Australia’s first memorial to commemorate the plight of Vietnamese refugees will be unveiled at Footscray in Melbourne today.

The monument in Jensen Reserve honours Australians who helped resettle Vietnamese boat people during the 1970s.

It is also dedicated to the thousands of refugees who died while trying to escape Vietnam.

Victorian Acting Premier Rob Hulls says it is an inspirational memorial.

“It’s a monument that’s really a symbol that will continue to preserve and promote the Vietnamese boat people’s heritage and culture for generations to come,” he said.

“It’s a boat design – it’s very clever and emotional really, and the message is simple: as human beings we are all in the same boat.”