The Home to Bilo Campaign
Detained on Christmas Island, the Biloela Family needs your help:
• They have been held in Immigration Detention since 5 March 2018
• The two children, Kopica and Tharunicca, were born in Queensland
• The family had lived and worked in Biloela for four years.
Read their full story on the Home to Bilo website.
Things you can do right now:
• Check the ARAN Actions page for details about upcoming actions, vigils and rallies around Australia for the Biloela Family.
• Sign and share the change.org. Bring Priya and her beautiful family
back home to Biloela, Queensland petition:
– (Change.org) Update 4 March 2021
Three years ago, they took Priya’s family at dawn. Today on Christmas Island, two little QLD-born girls will wake to the start of their fourth year of detention. Prime Minister Morrison could bring this family home to Biloela today by asking one Minister to circle one word in one document.
– Another win for our Biloela family! (Change.org) 16 February 2021
Yesterday, the full Federal Court upheld its decision that little QLD-born Tharnicaa was denied “procedural fairness”.
• Write to, email and/or phone the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services
and Multicultural Affairs:
– The Minister’s online contact form
– The Minister’s electoral office details:
phone: (02) 9899 7211
PO Box 1173. Castle Hill, NSW, 1765
– The Minister’s Canberra office details:
phone: (02) 6277 7770
postal address: PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
• Write to, email and/or phone Karen Andrews
the new Minister for Home Affairs:
Canberra Office phone: (02) 6277 7070
Electoral Office phone: (07) 5580 9111
Full contact details on the Australian Parliament House website.
• Write, email and/or phone your local MP
You can find their contact details on the ARAN letter writing page.
• Write, email and/or phone Queensland’s twelve senators
Download their contact details.
• Print and send postcards
These are available on the Rural Australians for Refugees website
#HomeToBilo page. Complete the address details and post them to Federal parliament.
• Send letters of support to the Biloela Family; Nades, Priya and their girls, Kopica and Tharunicca. Address mail to:
Nades and Priya
C/O Phosphate Hill Immigration Facility
Christmas Island. WA 6798.
• Be active on social media:
– follow, like, and share – Bring Priya, Nades and their girls home to Biloela
– Share a photo of yourself on social media with the hashtag #hometoBilo.
• Read Graeme Swincer’s research:
The Dangers of Sending Asylum Seekers Back to Sri Lanka.
• Share these quotable quotes:
– “Am I the only one who thinks, that in a country like ours, there has to be a better way of handling this?” Alan Jones backs the Tamil Family from Biloela.
– “I think they should stay” – Ken O’Dowd, MP for Flynn (The electorate of Flynn includes Biloela).
• Read reports from the media about the family’s detention:
– Keneally to make own way to Christmas Island after accusing Peter Dutton
of ‘cancelling’ trip (SBS) 16 April 2021
– Keneally to visit Biloela family on Christmas Island despite
Peter Dutton’s plane decision (News.com) 15 April 2021
– Keneally accuses Peter Dutton of cancelling her trip to meet
Biloela family (The Guardian) 14 April 2021
– Biloela family’s friends ‘gobsmacked’ by cancelled Christmas
Island visit (ABC) 15 April 2021
– ‘Relieved’ Senator will visit family held on Christmas Island after all
(New Daily) 15 April 2021
– This just won’t fly (Crikey) 15 April 2021
– Keneally accuses Peter Dutton of cancelling her trip to meet Biloela family
(The Guardian) 14 April 2021
– Biloela family: new home affairs minister Karen Andrews urged to look with ‘fresh eyes’ at plight (The Guardian) 30 March 2021
– Biloela residents maintain three-year fight for Tamil refugee
family’s freedom (WSWS -World Socialist Website) 13 March 2021
⋅ It’s time to give visas to the Biloela Tamil family and other asylum
seekers stuck in the system (The Conversation) 16 February 2021
⋅ Biloela Tamil family to remain on Christmas Island after federal court upholds ruling on daughter’s visa (The Guardian) 16 February 2021
· “No end to their suffering.” The Tamil family are the faces of how
Australia treats refugees. (Mamamia)16 February 2021
⋅ Keeping the Biloela family exiled on Christmas Island in 2020 cost
taxpayers $14 million (The Guardian) 7 January 2021
⋅ Australian Medical Association calls for release of Biloela Tamil asylum-seeking family (Tamil Guardian) 27 December 2020
⋅ Christmas card campaign in support of Biloela family from Sir Lanka
(ABC 7.30 Program) 15 December 2020
• 2021 Home to Bilo 5 March Vigils
The Dawn to Dusk Vigils across the country ending at Christmas Island.
Details on the ARAN Past Actions page.
• The 2020 Home to Bilo Christmas Card
The Ending Indefinite Detention campaign includes seeing Priya, Nades, Kopica and Tharunicca come back home To Biloela, the rural community they were living in before being sent to detention on Christmas Island.
There is an e-postcard design on the Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) website. This can be downloaded and printed.
The cruelty continues…
Priya from Biloela has been medically evacuated from Christmas Island to a hospital in Perth
Here’s what you can do:
• Contact Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge, remind him that families belong together and demand that he bring her loving husband Nades and their girls to Priya’s side.
Phone: (03) 9887 3890
You may have trouble getting through to his office but please try.
Also, call local coalition MPs (or Senators for those who don’t have a coalition MP) with the same message. Contact details for all MPs and Senators.
• Hand-write (or hand-make) a card, take a photo and share on the Grandmothers’ Facebook page. Priya can see this page on her mobile phone. Then put it in an envelope with a note (including your name and address) asking Minister Alan Tudge to bring Priya and her family home to Biloela.
Post it to:
Hon Alan Tudge MP
Suite 4, Level 1
420 Burwood Highway
Wantirna South VIC 3152.
• Support the compassionate health professionals who are caring for Priya: click https://www.fsh.health.wa.gov.au/Research/Donations and make a donation to Fiona Stanley Hospital.
And it goes on
Imprisoned on Christmas Island with their future in limbo, Priya, Nades
and their girls need your help. The legal process is offering a glimmer of hope but there are things you can do right now:
Sign the Change.org petition:
Help the petition reach 300,000 signatures by signing it and sharing this link with your friends. (Refugee Action Collective Qld – Change.org petition)
Petition Update: Queensland-born Kopika is turning 5 – in detention (6 April 2020).
Kopika’s birthday celebration online
Tuesday 12th May from 7.00pm, join our beautiful family’s close friends for a very special, virtual birthday celebration for Kopika, live streamed from Biloela on Facebook events.
Share a photo of yourself on social media
Help us to show how much love we have for Priya, Nades and the girls by sharing a photo of yourself at home with a sign on social media and ‘checking-in’ to Christmas Island on Facebook with the hashtag #hometoBilo.
Make your own sign (try a home-made Biloela cockatoo), and make your post ‘public’ so everyone can see it.
Continue to call and email your local members of parliament and Senators:
The Australian Parliament website has the contact details for Members and Senators, and guidelines for writing to MPs and Senators.
Contact details for State Premiers and Chief Ministers (April 2020)
Contact details for State Attorneys-General (April 2020)
Read these backgrounders to help you frame your questions and comments:
• Explainer: what does the Federal Court decision on the Tamil asylum-seeker family mean? (The Conversation) 17 April 2020
The Biloela family is still held on Christmas Island – and fears
• Christmas Island detention staff ignore coronavirus protection measures:
say Biloela family (SBS) 8 April 2020.
• Australia detained this family on a remote island – alone (PRI – Public Radio International) 24 March 2020.
• Australian Minister Dutton claims he’s saving lives by locking up Tamil family on Christmas Island (IMRV Bremen Germany) 4 February 2020.
Read Graeme Swincer’s research; The Dangers of Sending Asylum Seekers Back to Sri Lanka.
Printable Biloela Postcards –
Print and send to the Minister for Immigration
Change.org petition – 256,501 people have signed – October 2019
Update from Angela Fredericks – 9 September, 2019
Update from Angela Fredericks – 1 July, 2019
Am I the only one who thinks, that in a country like ours, there has to be a better way of handling this? Alan Jones backs the Tamil Family from Biloela
Read Angela’s Update here
Update from Angela – 10 January, 2019
Following the failure of their appeal in the Federal Court just before Christmas, this little family from Biloela could be deported to danger unless David Coleman Minister for Immigration steps in before February 1 2019.
Read the full update to find out how you can help.
Update from Angela Fredericks – 7 August, 2018
On a Friday night six weeks ago, Priya called me, crying and distressed. She’d just been given notice she and her family would be forced from Australia to danger within days. That weekend, Priya’s friends and neighbours gathered in the Biloela Lion’s Park for a candlelight vigil.
We’d written letters. We’d delivered a 100,000 strong petition to Mr Dutton. We’d even persuaded a Liberal Senator to take up our cause. There was no way we were going to give up on this family.
Days before, we’d heard that US airlines were refusing to fly children separated from their parents. We decided to launch a petition calling on Qantas and 11 other airlines to refuse to fly Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharunicaa anywhere but home to Biloela.
By the time the weekend was over, thousands of people had signed. Thankfully, Priya’s lawyers managed to postpone the deportation long enough to lodge an appeal with the Federal Court.
Priya’s appeal is set down for the end of this month. But even if Priya’s appeal succeeds, there is no legal barrier to protect husband Nades and baby Tharunicaa from being forced back to danger.
Now, refugee advocates in Sydney and Melbourne are asking Qantas to publicly state that they will not participate in forcing Priya, Nades, Kopika or Tharunicaa back to danger.
Qantas is meeting with human rights advocates! August 10 2018.
Thank you everyone for your continuing support. With your help, I know we can bring this family #hometobilo! Angela.
PS If you haven’t already, please sign and share our petition to Qantas and other airlines.
A few of the reports in the media
- Fight for Tamil refugee family goes on (Central Telegraph) 24/05/19
- Tamil family from Biloela loses last legal bid to avoid being deported (ABC News) 14/05/19
- Biloela family’s anxious wait after Federal Court hearing
(Gladstone Observer) 28/08/18
- Biloela asylum seekers to make new appeal in three days
(Gladstone Observer) 24/08/18
- Why the government is determined to deport a Tamil family from Biloela
- Australian town rallies behind Lankans facing deportation (Gulf Times) 3/05/18
Visit the Home to Bilboela website.