After 1200 days in detention limbo, Biloela’s Murugappan family are finally on their way home.
Priya and Nades and their Australian-born daughters Kopika, 6, and Tharnicaa, 4, are departing Perth early on Wednesday.
The family – also known as Nadesalingams – were initially held on Christmas Island back in 2018 before being moved to community detention in Perth.
It’s been a long and traumatic four years, but two weeks ago, the new Labor Federal Government finally granted the family bridging visas to allow them to return to Biloela but as yet have not received permanent protection.
A crowdfunding campaign to support the family has smashed its original target of $148,000 raising more than $200,000.
The ‘Help the Biloela family get back on their feet’ campaign on Chuffed was aimed at assisting the family settle back into their hometown.
A post on the page says: “We are so grateful to everyone who has chipped in to help replace the wages lost to Biloela’s Nadesalingam family during 1200 days of unjust detention at the hands of the former government. We’ve well and truly exceeded our crowdfunding goal!
“As mentioned below, at Priya and Nades’ request, funds in excess of our goal will be shared between local causes that are important to the Nadesalingam family and campaigns to win freedom and safety for others at risk of being forced from Australia to danger.”
Priya says she hopes the new Federal Government will make a change to the lives of every single refugee who comes here.
“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. 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,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
Image: Stephanie Coombes