Hong Lim came to Australia in 1970 as a Colombo Plan scholarship student. He has been extensively involved in ethnic community affairs since the arrival of Indo-Chinese refugees in Australia in 1976, leading to his appointment as a Commissioner of the Ethnic Affairs Commission from 1985 to 1993. In 1977, he commenced a 20- year career in the Victorian Public Service working in the human resources development and labour market program areas in various government departments. In 1993, he resigned from the Victorian Government and worked as a Youth Employment Counsellor with the Cambodian Association until his election to the Victorian Parliament in March 1996. Hong is the first and only Cambodian-Chinese to be elected to a Parliament anywhere in the English-speaking world. He was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Clayton, Victoria, in March 1996 and held that position until November 2014. At the 2014 Victorian State election, Hong was elected as the new Member for Clarinda and in December 2014 was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asia Engagement.