The former Prime Minister of Australia passed away last week at the age of 84.
He has been remembered as a “towering figure in human rights” and a powerful voice for social justice.
During Mr Fraser’s three terms in office, Australia welcomed tens of thousands of refugees fleeing from the Vietnam War.
In recent years, he has been a vocal critic of the bipartisan approach to asylum seekers and called for a more compassionate attitude towards refugees.
A large delegation of Australia’s Vietnamese community gathered outside the church to pay their respects. They held up bright yellow banners displaying their heartfelt gratitude for Mr Fraser.
“You are forever in our hearts,” read one of the signs.
Another banner paid tribute to “a true champion of humanity”.
Phong Nguyen stood outside the church for more than four hours, carrying a portrait of Mr Fraser in his arms.
“We have come to say goodbye to Malcolm Fraser, our father and our saviour,” said Mr Nguyen.
“Today is a very sad day for the Vietnamese community, but we are also here to say thank you to Malcolm Fraser.”
While the atmosphere outside the church was tinged with sadness at the passing of a great champion for human rights, there was also an air of profound gratitude for the leadership and compassion of Malcolm Fraser.
The funeral was also a celebration of the personal impact that Malcolm Fraser had on the lives of many people. A member from the Vietnamese community waiting outside the church reflected that he and his family would not be here today if not for the leadership of Mr Fraser.
The Vietnamese community have organized a tribute outside Parliament tonight to celebrate the life of Mr Fraser. They will be dressed in traditional Vietnamese clothing to honour a “great friend” of the Vietnamese community.
Another group that congregated outside the church was the Indo-China Ethnic Chinese Communities in Australia.
One of the members from the group was a refugee who was resettled in Australia during Mr Fraser’s time as Prime Minster.
“We are here to say goodbye to Malcolm Fraser,” he said. “Thank you for giving us a new life.”
Mr Fraser has been credited for playing a significant role in the rise of multiculturalism in Australia. He was a strong supporter for Aboriginal land rights, a leading figure in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa and was responsible for launching the SBS.
The Indo-China Ethnic Chinese Communities in Australia praised Mr Fraser for making Australia “a more multicultural and tolerant society”.
A giant of Australian politics has been laid to rest, but his legacy will be remembered for generations to come.