Home » Cheers of joy as Tamil family lands in Qld after detention hell

Cheers of joy as Tamil family lands in Qld after detention hell

There were loud cheers at Brisbane airport on Wednesday afternoon as the Murugappan family returned to Queensland.The asylum-seeker family had flown over from Western Australia, and landed at Brisbane Domestic Airport just before 3pm.A group of three, who knew the Murugappan family, were holding signs welcoming them back to Queensland as they disembarked off the plane.In a quick glimpse of the Murugappan family, one of the daughters of Kopica and Tharnicaa could be see waving back at those waiting for them.Their return follows a national campaign led by Biloela locals to free the family of four who were initially detained by the Australian Border Force back in 2018.Speaking to media from Perth airport the family gave thanks in English and in Tamil.“Me and my family are very happy to start our journey back to our community in Bilo,” Priya said.Tamil parents Priya and Nades and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa were held on Christmas Island from 2019 before being moved to community detention in Perth when the youngest daughter fell ill. Priya thanked staff at the Perth Children's Hospital for treating her daughter over the past year.“I’m very grateful. I have made great friends. Thank you to all people in Perth. Love you Perth,” she said.Before they were moved to Christmas Island two attempts to deport the family failed after community backlash spurred legal interventions.The previous government led by Scott Morrison refused to grant the family bridging visas as they did not meet the criteria to be classified as asylum seekers.Last week Treasurer Jim Chalmers granted the family bridging visas as acting Minister for Home Affairs, saying it would allow them to legally remain in Biloela while they worked towards resolving their immigration status. While court proceedings have found the family are not refugees, their two daughters were born in Australia raising concerns for their welfare if they were to be returned to Sri Lanka.A crowdfunded effort to raise wages for the family lost during their time in detention reportedly made well over the target amount with additional funds being donated to local and refugee charities at the request of the family.“My prayer is that this government will make a change to the lives of every single refugee who comes here. All refugees are survivors. They need hope,” Priya said in a statement posted on Facebook by an advocacy group.“I had the support of Nades and we had the support of the people of Bilo. But many others don’t have that support. So I want to help.”Residents of Biloela are gearing up to welcome the family back after years fighting for their return.

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