No Christmas miracle for Biloela's much-loved Tamil family
ISOLATED in the Christmas Island Detention Centre since August (2019), the Tamil Sri-Lankan asylum seeking family remains in the hearts and minds of supporters around Australia.
Father Nades, wife Priya and their two daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa remain the only occupants at the Christmas Island Detention Centre as their legal team have battled in the courtroom.
The chances of the family being able to return to Australia hinge on a court to determine whether Tharunicaa (2) is owed protection by the Australian government after her parents refugee status was denied.
Family friend and Home to Bilo campaign member Bronwyn Dendle said she and fellow member Angela Fredericks had been in contact with the Tamil family in recent days.
"We've recently sent a care package up there with kids' educational activities, movies and had my kids draw pictures to send up to them," Mrs Dendle said.
"Merry Christmas pictures and pictures from the Christmas Festival at the Lions Park where Kopika used to play.
"There have been some Christmas Island locals who have applied to visit the family in an effort to help avoid some of the longer term psychological impacts of having no contact with others."
Border Force removed the family from their Biloela home in March of 2018 when Priya's bridging visa expired.
The family was sent to Christmas Island in August after the federal court granted an injunction preventing the government deporting Tharunicaa until the court application had been heard.
Mrs Dendle also said that Home to Bill would soon be launching a 12 days of Christmas project where people could show their support for the family as they spent Christmas at the Christmas Island Detention Centre.
"We've had people wanting to send Christmas cards and things so we'll be helping people to do that," Mrs Dendle said.
"People are still thinking about this family and we want to show our support and know they are coping on their own at Christmas Island.
"People can do one action a day to show their support for the family and we will promote those actions through social media."
Mrs Dendle said supporters of the Home to Bill campaign and the family were still advocating to Immigration Minister David Coleman
Mrs Dendle said supporters of the family had been urging Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Immigration Minister David Coleman to reconsider the case and use their ministerial discretion to intervene.
"If they can't be in Biloela then we have been wanting them back on Australian shores so they can have access to their legal team and be visited by friends and people that care for them coming up to Christmas," Mrs Dendle said.
"Priya and Nades are trying to stay strong for the sake of the kids.
"The family live in hope that Peter Dutton will allow Minister Coleman to use his discretion and let them return to Biloela."
The Tamils' legal team will return to the Federal Court in Melbourne on December 16 for a Family Case Conference.