JUNE 10 UPDATE:
The Nadesalingam/Murugappan family have touched down in Biloela and held a press conference. We can’t begin to tell you how happy we are for them.
Priya and Nades made some comments at a press conference where they thanked their community and called on the Labor Government to give them a more permanent visa than the temporary protection visas they now hold.
“We were treated very badly and my children was affected mentally and physically and even my youngest one lost teeth,” Priya said, according to The Guardian. “We had a really hard life and I hope that nobody goes through that that time.”
After four long years, the family has finally made it “home to Bilo”.
The Nadesalingam/Murugappan family has officially returned to Queensland thanks to the efforts of campaigners and this is genuinely some of the best news of the year so far.
Priya, Nades and their daughters Tharnicaa and Kopika touched down at Brisbane Airport on Wednesday afternoon after setting off from Perth earlier in the day.
I’m an absolutely huge fan of the cockatoo toys TBH.
Priya Nadesalingam told reporters at Perth airport that the family was excited to started the journey back home to their “community in Bilo”.
“Thank you all, thank you to all in Perth,” she continued.
According to SBS, the family is expected to get back to Biloela on Friday.
Campaign co-ordinator Angela Fredericks told ABC Radio how excited the family is to return.
“We’ve been talking the last couple of days about just the town of Bilo… we’ve been reminiscing and they’re just so eager to get back there,” she said.
“The girls are so excited to be going on a plane with their parents. They’ve been on lots of plan trips over the last four years but they’ve all been in horrific circumstances.”
The family will also be celebrating Tharnicaa’s first birthday outside of detention. It’ll be pink themed which is an excellent, excellent choice.
Pics of the family on their plane were shared by the official Bring Them Home To Bilo campaign’s social media account.
"Me and my family are very happy to start our journey back to my community in Bilo. Thank you to all [of you people in] Perth, thanks. Love you Perth." – Priya Nadesaslingam. #HomeToBilo pic.twitter.com/HEkCKJjjQR— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) June 8, 2022
The family of Tamil asylum seekers was taken from Biloela in 2018 after their visas expired. They were then held on Christmas Island for three years.
Tharnicaa became seriously ill with a blood infection while on Christmas Island. She was flown to Perth in 2021 for treatment, where the family has been in detention since.
It’s absolutely incredibly to know that they’re finally on their way home after sustained, powerful calls from the Biloela community.
The family been granted temporary bridging visas — but they haven’t been granted permanent protection yet.
On Wednesday, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said he was “being briefed on the options available” for the family.
As Immigration Minister I am also thinking about how we can finally resolve this, so the family can rebuild their lives in Biloela with the certainty they deserve.— Andrew Giles MP (@andrewjgiles) June 8, 2022
I am being briefed on the options available to best achieve this and will make my decision as soon as possible.
In some good news though, the Bring Them Home To Bilo campaign also raised $200,000 for the family. It’ll help cover the wages they lost while in detention.
After the family touched down at Brisbane Airport, Nades called out: “hello Brisbane, hello Queensland!”
Soon, the family will be able to say hello to Biloela too.