< Back to News

Some good news during the pandemic

Friday, September 25 2020

With the pandemic affecting all of us in extraordinary ways, so many asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants are at even greater risk and in desperate need of our help and protection.

Throughout this unprecedented crisis, we’ve continued to provide expert legal help – through all of our frontline services – to many people in dire need.

And through this, there continue to be many wonderful stories about people we help. Here’s a snapshot.

Amidst Government warnings in the wake of the 2018 Commonwealth Games that athletes seeking asylum would be rounded up, detained and deported, a number of athletes sought our assistance. Amongst them was a man who has just been granted protection.

It’s a powerful reminder of the courage of people we help, who not only face the fear of abuse in their homeland, but also at the hands of the Government here. It’s also a reminder of how important it is for people to have somewhere to turn for help when they need it most.

A man from the Middle East arrived by boat in 2013 and was detained ever since. After multiple wins in the Court – including from the High Court – four Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) reviews, substantial psychiatric support, judicial review work with one of our partners, and ongoing representation by us at the IAA, our client has just been approved on his fouth IAA review.

It’s been a remarkable sector collaboration. Our client cried with relief and joy upon hearing the news.

A couple who fled from Eastern Europe – after they were attacked on the basis of their sexual orientation – were granted protection visas after waiting for an outcome for over five years. The couple were overjoyed by the result, commenting how important and how appreciated our legal work was, and that “you literally save lives.”

A 23-year-old Sri Lankan man was refused a protection visa during the pandemic (after waiting seven years for an interview). He was then helped to lodge his submissions for review by the Immigration Assessment Authority through our Clinic program.

At the end of this process, he told us that he felt empowered to have had someone listen to and record his story in writing.

This is a further reminder of the deep impact of our work, which is felt in so many ways by the people that we, together with volunteers and pro bono partners, help day in and day out.

Finally, we share this note from another client who was helped through one of our legal Clinics. He wrote:

“Thank you very much. You have done a lot for me and if I don’t get [a visa] I will be happy knowing I had full support. I know you did not need to take my case and this has been a huge help to my growth. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. This is a job for you but for me it’s a huge benefit to me receiving your support I would have been lost without the help. Thank you again.”

Profound thanks for your ongoing support in powering our work.

David Manne
Refugee Legal
Executive Director & Principal Solicitor

  • Categories