|I receive at least two phone calls a month from people letting me know of yet another refugee death in the Tamil community. Very often, it’s someone in their 30s. The latest was on Good Friday, when I received the news that 35-year-old Dinesh had been found unconscious in his bathroom by housemates in Sunshine West. He later passed away.
I also received a call from a distressed father, his son-in-law in a coma for two weeks. He was found in a pool of blood by housemates after he failed to show up at his work. He remains in a critical condition – but the Immigration Department has denied his wife a visa to be by his side in the hospital.
There are more than 30,000 refugees living in the community on bridging visas waiting for a decision on their protection claim. Many more have been granted temporary protection visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas. Another 550 refugees are waiting for resettlement to a third country. Most of these refugees have been living in the community for more than ten years.
More than 15,000 refugees whose claims are before the courts are denied the right to work and to any government support. They can’t travel overseas to meet family members. There is very little support available for mental health issues.
We have to keep fighting to turn the situation around – to create a country that treats people with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Again, if you’d like to help out, please sign up to volunteer or donate to my campaign.
Yours in solidarity,