Listen: Close friend of the Biloela family in detention, Marie Austin, talks with Hope Afternoon's Ben McEachen about their visa situation
The Sri Lankan family from Biloela, Queensland, who have been living in detention for years got a reprieve yesterday.
Three family members were granted 12-month bridging visas – father Nades, mother Priya and their eldest daughter Kopika.
However, youngest daughter Tharnicaa was kept under a community detention order.
Effectively, this means the Tamil family, who are seeking asylum to remain in Australia, are not all free to return to Biloela.
Marie Austin is close friends with Priya and Nades.
A Biloela local who is part of the town’s Baptist church, Marie made headlines three years ago when she went on ABC’s Q&A. She asked pointed questions about the visa status of her mates, questions which helped to give birth to the #hometobiloela campaign.
After yesterday’s announcement, Marie spoke on Hope Afternoon about her feelings for, frustrations about and ongoing hope for her distant friends.
Listen to the full interview in the player above.
Feature image: Bring Priya, Nades and their girls home to Biloela Facebook page