Seeing Differently: Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Vantage Risk

In Korea, I’m a gyo-po. The term describes a Korean person who is perceived as different having lived in another country. I proudly carry that mantle. Over my life and career, I’ve taken on a multi-faceted cultural identity as a Korean Australian American.

At the age of ten, my family moved from the megacity of Seoul, Korea to a quiet suburb in Sydney, Australia. During my childhood, I voraciously took in Aussie culture. At school, I learned to play rugby and was thrilled to be promoted to the 13-G team from 13-H in seventh grade. (To put that in perspective, the school fielded nine teams for that grade from 13-A to 13-I.) My glorious rugby career, though short lived, exemplified the degree to which I threw myself into the scrum of Australian life.