Rather than being allowed to return to their welcoming community in Queensland, the Biloela family have been sent to a Perth detention facility to facilitate Tharnicaa’s eight-week specialist treatment.
After being the only asylum seekers stranded on Christmas Island for nearly two years, the family are still separated from their community and have publicly pleaded to be allowed to return.
“Please, we want [to] go back to Bilo. We [are] safe in Bilo,” Tharnicaa’s mother, Priya, said. “My husband [can] work. My daughters have friends. Bilo is home.”
Fleeing to Australia to avoid persecution in Tamil, Priya and her husband Nades, met and married in Australia and have become active members in their regional community of Biloela, the town where they had their two daughters, Tharnicaa and Kopika.
Leading the organisation #HomeToBilo, family friend Angela Fredericks has been working tirelessly to bring the family home to their community, but has revealed that she’s worried for their mental and physical health.
“In the coming days, we will remain by Priya and Nades’ side as they try to settle their girls into yet another form of detention,” she said.
“This is another chaotic disruption in these little girls’ lives. This latest form of detention is even more heartbreaking when we know they already have a safe, secure, familiar home in Biloela.”
Sadly, Tharnicaa’s stint in hospital wasn’t the first time she’s been in need of serious medical assistance. At two-years-old, she desperately required treatment for rotting teeth that their community claimed was due to the family not receiving adequate care in the Christmas Island detention facility.
The nationwide outrage toward how the Bioela family have been unfairly treated by the Australian Government has only grown stronger since their story was first heard. But many have made sure to explain that Tharnicaa's release from hospital doesn't mean their battle is over.
Unfortunately, the Biloela family’s future is still unknown, and while sweet moments like Tharnicaa’s family reunion are heartwarming to say the least, true freedom will only be achieved once they return home to Biloela and are free from detention.