Mr Le was born in Central Vietnam, where he attended school before studying Economics at the Da Lat University in the Highlands.
Mr Le, and his wife, Lan, arrived in Darwin in 1977 as two of the Boat people refugees from Vietnam. They settled in Adelaide, starting at the Pennington Migrant Hostel.
Mr Le returned to study at the University of Adelaide, where he earned a degree in Economics and Accounting. In 2001, Mr Le’s further study earned him a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the same university.
Mr Le gained Certified Practising Accountant accreditation, and from 1991 worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Upon his retirement from ASIC in March 2009, he held the position of Senior Manager – Financial Services Regulation.
During this time, Mr Le has served on many community boards and committees, in particular those relating to cultural and linguistic diversity, business, the arts and education.
In 1995 Mr Le was appointed a member of the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC), and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 2004. When Mr Le became Chair of SAMEAC in 2007, he was the first person of Asian background to be Chair of this organisation in South Australia.
In August 2007, Mr Le was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia. Over the next seven years in this role, Mr Le served as the Patron or Honorary member of many community, cultural, charitable and veterans organisations.
On 1st September 2014, Mr Le was sworn in as the 35th Governor of South Australia. He concluded his term on 31st August 2021. During this time, Mr Le served as the Patron of over 230 organisations.
It is understood that Mr Le is the first Vietnamese-born person who has ever been appointed to a Vice-Regal position in the world.
Mr Le was awarded the Australia Day Medal in 1996 for outstanding service to ASIC, and has been awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for service to the advancement of multiculturalism.
In 2010 Mr Le was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for outstanding service to community, social inclusion and international engagements. In June 2016, Mr Le was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for outstanding service to the community and to the State of South Australia. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from all 3 major universities in South Australia: Adelaide University, Flinders University and University of South Australia.
In December 2021, Mr Le was awarded by the Italian Government the title Cavalieri (Knight) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI).
Currently, Mr Le is the Chairperson of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Board. He is also the Patron, Life member, Honorary Member, Director, Trustee and Ambassador for 25 organisations.
The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC