Biloela family Priya, Nades and their girls Kopika and Tharunicaa have been in detention since March 2018.
Biloela family Priya, Nades and their girls Kopika and Tharunicaa have been in detention since March 2018.

'Policy is black and white, life isn't': Hope for Bilo case

On the morning of the Tamil Biloela family's hearing at the Federal Court, one person hasn't given up hope on a change of heart from the government.

Family friend Angela Fredericks is a social worker, and said the drawn-out campaign to bring the family back to Bilo had not changed her belief in people's capacity to change.

She believed a young family who contributed to a regional community was exactly the type of situation where ministerial discretion should be applied.

"Policy is black and white, life isn't," she said.

Ms Fredericks said the family's plight to avoid being sent to Sri Lanka becoming a national talking point was never part of the plan.

"It's the extent we've gone to purely because no one will sit and talk to us," she said.

She will travel to Christmas Island next week to visit Priya, Nades and their girls Kopika and Tharunicaa.

There is a gathering planned outside the Federal Court in Melbourne this morning to show support for the family.

Their lawyer, Carina Ford, is expected to speak to the media.

Ms Ford travelled to Christmas Island last week to receive instructions and give updates on the progress of the case.

She told The Observer she thought they had good prospects.

Whether the family's future lies in Sri Lanka or Biloela hinges on two-year-old Tharunicaa's right to apply for a protection visa.

Ms Ford said it was an unusual case, not least because of the amount of media attention it had received.


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