The Vietnamese boat people came to Australia to escape the communist government that took over the country after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The term "Vietnamese boat people" refers mostly to Vietnamese people from the former South Vietnam.
Besides Australia, the Vietnamese boat people relocated to other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United States. People began to flee from Vietnam in 1975, but the mass exodus of the boat people only started in 1978. Most of the refugees stayed for a while in settlements in Indonesia and other areas of southeastern Asia before being relocated in Australia and other Western countries.