Australia

‘So grateful’: More than $200,000 raised for Nadesalingam family ahead of return to Biloela

Highlights
  • More than $200,000 has been raised for the Nadesalingam family to support them when they return to Biloela.
  • The family were granted temporary bridging visas last month.
More than $200,000 has been raised for the Nadesalingam family to help them “get back on their feet” when they return to the central Queensland town of Biloela.
The Tamil asylum seeker family, also known as the Murugappans, are due to leave Perth on Wednesday for Biloela after the federal government .

The money was donated on crowdfunding website Chuffed to help support Priya, Nades, and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa when they return to the town.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has chipped in to help replace the wages lost to Biloela’s Nadesalingam family during 1200 days of unjust detention at the hands of the former government”, the Home to Bilo campaign said in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning.
“We’ve well and truly exceeded our crowdfunding goal!”
The initial goal was $148,000.
“At Priya and Nades’ request, additional funds donated to this crowdfunder will be shared between local causes that are important to the Nadesalingam family and campaigns to win freedom and safety for others at risk of being forced from Australia to danger,” the Home to Bilo campaign said.
Priya Nadesalingam said she hopes the new Labor government will help more families like hers and “make a change to the lives of every single refugee who comes here”.
“All refugees are survivors. They need hope,” she said.
“I had the support of Nades and we had the support of the people of Bilo. But many others don’t have that support. So I want to help.”
The family is expected to touch down in Biloela on Friday ahead of the town’s annual Flourish Multicultural Festival on Saturday, which will serve as their unofficial homecoming.

Sunday will mark youngest daughter Tharnicaa’s fifth birthday – her first to be celebrated outside immigration detention.

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Priya and Nades arrived separately in Australia from Sri Lanka by boat, escaping from a protracted ethnic conflict targeting the minority Tamils.
They were given temporary protection visas. but were uprooted from Biloela by authorities in March 2018 and placed in a Melbourne detention centre.
They were then detained on Christmas Island in August 2019 and placed in community detention in Perth after Tharnicaa’s medical evacuation in June 2021 with a blood infection.

Priya, Nades and seven-year-old daughter Kopika were granted bridging visas allowing them to remain in the country, but Tharnicaa was not, forcing the family to remain in community detention in Perth.

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