Home » First words Tamil family will be told back in Biloela

First words Tamil family will be told back in Biloela

Biloela local Bronwyn Dendle has not seen the Nadesalingam family in person since they were taken into custody by Australian Border Force personnel in March 2018.She and Angela Fredericks co-founded the Home to Bilo campaign, advocating for the Tamil family’s return to the Central Queensland town.Their tireless work was rewarded on May 27 when Interim Home Affairs Minister Jim Chalmers exercised his power under the Migration Act to intervene in the family’s case to allow them to come home.The decision means Priya and Nades and their two daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa will be allowed to reside lawfully in Biloela on bridging visas while they work towards the resolution of their immigration status, in accordance with Australian law.They left Perth on Wednesday and will touch down at Thangool Airport on Friday.They will be guests of honour at Biloela’s annual Flourish multicultural festival on Saturday and will celebrate Tharnicaa’s fifth birthday, her first birthday out of detention, with a party at Lions Park on Sunday.Ms Dendle said she could not wait to see her friends again.“I’ll be seeing them on Friday for the first time in four years so it’s definitely going to be quite an emotional reunion,” she said.“Certainly, there will be tears of relief to have them home and know that they’re finally safe.”Ms Dendle said her first words would simply be “welcome home”.“I will be saying ‘welcome home’ because this is their home. From the moment they set foot in Bilo and knew that they wanted to be a part of our lovely community, it’s been their home.“When we started speaking up for our friends over four years ago I had no idea that it would go on for as long as it had but I also had no idea that it would touch as many lives as it has.“It has impacted so many people around the country so I look back now and I feel so inspired by the possibilities for our country in terms of the way we view asylum seekers.“I also think it’s been encouraging to know that when you stand up for what you believe is right, other people will then start to stand with you and I think that says a lot about Australians and Australia.”Almost 600,000 people signed a change.org petition started by Ms Dendle and Ms Fredericks calling for the Nadesalingam family to be released from detention and allowed to return home.Nic Holas from change.org said it was a wonderful outcome.“I think everyone is so relieved this is over, first and foremost. It’s gone on for far longer than it ever should have and I think that people are really happy to see them coming home,” he said.“I know it’s been such as a massive journey for the family but also for all their friends and supporters in the town.“It’s been incredible to see nearly 600,000 Australians get behind this family, their story and the people of Biloela and we’re just so proud to see what has been accomplished.“I think it’s a remarkable example of how hope and love and compassion wins out in the end.”

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