The Murugappan family from Biloela are finally on their way back to their Central Queensland.
They have waved goodbye and have now flown out of Western Australia after spending years in detention.
The Tamil asylum seeker family have been at the centre of a decade-long immigration battle, and are now finally on their journey to return to Biolela home after 1,556 days.
Their flight was scheduled to depart Perth Airport at 8:35am local time, meaning they are finally on their way back to the community that Nades, Priya and their two daughters Kopika and Tharnicca call home.
Priya told reporters at the airport: “Me and my family, we are very happy to start our journey back to our community in Biloela.”
The family spoke to reporters to say ‘thank you’ to Australians and the people of Perth as they made their way into the airport.
After being granted temporary bridging visas, Priya and Nades met and married in 2014. They moved to regional Biloela in Queensland and became a part of the community.
Four years later, Australian Border Force personnel took Priya, Nades and their young, Australian-born children from their home and moved them to the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation facility in Broadmeadows.
They were then transferred to Christmas Island, where they were left for years. The government tried on many occasions to deport them, however, they were continually saved by last-minute appeals.
They recently moved to Perth after the youngest member of the family developed an acute illness.
The ‘Home to Bilo’ campaign ensured the family’s situation was kept in the public eye since they were taken in 2018.
The Department of Home Affairs had consistently maintained that their case for asylum had been comprehensively assessed but their case did not meet Australia’s protection obligations.
Their hopes of returning to Biloela rested on a change in government, so when the Labor Party was voted in last month their prayers were answered.
Following his election, Anthony Albanese told 6PR Radio in Perth: “I went to Biloela, I met with the community there. This is a community that want this family home.
“We are a strong enough society to say that we should not treat people badly in order to send a message to others.
“And it’s beyond my comprehension how this has gone on for so long at enormous cost.”
The family were granted bridging visas allowing them to stay in their adopted home of Biloela.
They will still have to resolve their immigration status, however, they will be able to do it from the comfort of the community where they were firmly established.
Featured Image Credit: ABC News.
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