News Release

Australian Woman Speaks to Thousands at RootsTech

Tan Le, a Vietnamese-Australian telecommunications entrepreneur was the opening keynote speaker at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City on February 12th at the Salt Palace Convention Centre.

More than 21,000 people from the United States and overseas gathered for the conference.  Attendees came from 49 US states and 35 countries to the annual event.

According to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, she shared her “own personal heroic immigration story as she fled Vietnam with her mother and sister at a very young age.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which hosted the RootsTech conference and runs the popular FamilySearch website, believes that the more we share stories about our lives and those of our forebears, the more our descendants will know about themselves.

“I consider it a privilege any time I can share my experiences with others who have personal trials and desire to rise above them as my mother and grandmother inspired me to do,” Tan Le said, according to the federation’s report of the conference.

Tan Le, a co-founder and CEO of Emotive, was named Young Australian of the year in 1998 and voted one of Australia’s 30 most Successful Women Under 30.

According to the Deseret News, “Tan Le went from a 5 year old refugee from Vietnam to CEO of a brain- research company that tracks brain signals during thought processes”.  Born in South Vietnam, Le migrated to Australia as a refugee with her family in 1982.

“My mother carried a small bottle of poison,” she told the newspaper, “She and my grandmother had agreed, if we were captured by pirates, firstly my sister and then I, then they would drink.”

In a short film from the RootsTech website, Tan Le gives a tribute to her grandmother’s strength and influence.  “If there is a sinew in our family, it runs through the women,” she said, “We have not let go.

“To start over, to begin a new life in in Australia, to really make that opportunity special . . . is a part of who I am and what motivates me every day to strive harder.”

Tan Le began her university studies at age 16 and completed a Bachelor’s degree in law and commerce in 1998 at Monash University.

Le has been an ambassador for the Status of Women since 2001 and has been appointed to several prominent boards, including Australian Citizenship Council, National Committee for Human Rights in Australia and Plan International Australia.

According to the RootsTech website, the annual three-day event offers more than 200 classes, ranging from using social media as a family history resource to the most recent research discoveries in DNA research. 

The website says, “RootsTech is the perfect place to discover and share your family’s stories and connections through technology.

And, according to the Mormons, their leading family history site, FamilySearch, provides the ideal repository for photos, stories and personal records that will be permanently retained, never to be lost to posterity.

Read the story in the Deseret News.

See a portion of Tan Le’s presentation at RootsTechs here.

Watch an interview with Tan Le discussing her Australia roots here.

See coverage of the full RootsTech 2015 Conference.

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