Protesters march on Peter Dutton's office in support of Tamil family

Supporters of a Tamil family who are facing deportation have called on Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to intervene in their case.

Friends of supporters of a Tamil family facing deportation.

Friends of supporters of a Tamil family facing deportation held a protest outside the office of the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. Source: AAP

Friends and supporters of a Tamil family, who are facing deportation, have marched through the rain to Peter Dutton's Brisbane office.

Singing The Seekers hit 'I am, you are, we are Australian', the protesters first rallied at a crowd-funded billboard, which demanded the family be returned to their central Queensland home in the town of Biloela.

They then trudged a kilometre to the Home Affairs Minister's electoral office in Strathpine where family friend Marie Austin addressed the crowd of around 100.


"The reality is one person holds the power to save this family," she said on Saturday.

If Mr Dutton can intervene for au pairs, then he should be able to help Nades and Priya and their Australian-born daughters Kopika, three, and Tharunicaa, one, she said.

"There is a huge injustice in the way that they have been treated. I have grandchildren the same ages ... and it breaks my hear to think of these girls locked up in a detention centre."

Nadesalingam and Priya with their two children. They are likely facing deportation.
Nadesalingam and Priya with their two children. They are likely facing deportation. Source: TRC

Nades was getting ready for work at the local Biloela meatworks and the children were in bed when Australian Border Force officials raided their house on March 5 after the couple's temporary bridging visas ran out.

Town residents have been fighting for their release since.

Around 120,000 people signed a petition for their right to stay and it was delivered to Home Affairs Minister in May.

The family had lived in Biloela for around five years, where they had become active and loved members of the community.

The couple lost a bid to stop their deportation at the Federal Circuit Court on June 21.

There are fears for their safety if they are returned to Sri Lanka.

Supporters enraged by au pair saga

Supporters this week seized on the au pair saga engulfing Mr Dutton, saying that if he can step in to save foreign au pairs from detention, he must act to help the family.

Simone Cameron helped raise cash to pay for the billboard, which features a large photo of Tamil couple Nades and Priya and their Australian-born daughters, aged three and one.

She says Mr Dutton must act to help free the family and get them back home.

"He has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the overwhelming campaign that's been done by the residents of Biloela ... whereas this au pair affair, we see some people do catch minister Dutton's attention," said Ms Cameron.

"He hasn't done himself any favours with this favours-for-mates thing. It's making us all wonder why."

Tamil family protest
Rally calling to stop the deportation of Priya, Nades and their children back to Sri Lanka , at the State Library, Melbourne (AAP) Source: AAP


3 min read
Published 8 September 2018 at 11:33am