Singaporean teenager Vanisre Rajasegaran is pleading with the Australian authorities to stop their plans of deporting her family back to Singapore, due to her father’s medical condition.
18-year-old Vanisre, her parents and younger brother are all Singapore citizens. They migrated to Australia seven years ago and settled in Victoria, Warrnambool.
Vanisre’s father works in aged care while her mother works for the local council. Vanisre and her 8-year-old brother are both in school and she is set to complete high school and attain her Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in three months.
The family’s visa application, however, has been denied because Vanisre’s father was diagnosed with a minor kidney disease and the family could be deported back to Singapore in days.
Desperate to stay in Australia, the place they now call home, the family is begging Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman to let them stay in Australia.
Asserting that her father does not expect help from the government to manage his medical condition, Vanisre told the local press: “I feel that the people who are genuinely contributing are being penalised.”
She added: “He’s definitely not a burden. He doesn’t even want to cost anyone from the Commonwealth any money. He doesn’t want to have dialysis or a kidney transplant. He has even opted out in his will.”
Vanisre also started a change.org petition, pleading with the authorities to let them stay in Australia, which has accumulated nearly 45,000 signatures. Addressing the petition to David Coleman, Vanisre appealed:
“My family and I are being forced to leave Australia in the next 28 days. Currently, I’m on my 16th day while writing this plea to stay in Australia. We have been residing in Australia for 7 years. I am a school captain at Brauer College in Year 12 and have only 3 more months till finishing my VCE, and my brother is 8 years old.
“My brother was only one and a half years old when we came to Australia. To him, this is his home. This is our home.
“Our plea to stay comes from the disapproval of immigration because of my father’s health condition. However, my family and I have so much more to offer as we are genuine contributors to our community in country Victoria, Warrnambool.
“My father is so much more than his health condition however no considerations have been taken as to my father doing his best to improve his condition and even to the extent opting out medical treatments to avoid burdening the healthcare system. He shouldn’t have to do that just to keep his family in Australia.
“We have built a life here and we give back to the community. I have been a proud Victorian representing Victoria on national grounds in leadership competitions. My mother contributing significantly to the community through her role as an early years coordinator with the local council.
“My dad who goes beyond his duty of care to make the senior citizens final moments a meaningful ones a lifestyle coordinator. My brother who only knows the Australian way of life, his friends and school all here in Australia.
“This is a very stressful time for my family, and it is utterly disappointing that our contribution and participation in the wider community has not been considered. It is hurtful that of 18 and 8 years of age my brother and I lead clueless futures when really at this age we shouldn’t be made to feel this way.
“It is upsetting that my father, who is the reason behind my success, is being penalised for carrying a condition when really, no one should be made to feel this way.
“My family and I although not yet citizens see ourselves calling this place our home regardless of our status.
“By signing this petition you will be fighting to help my family and I to stay in Australia and most importantly complete my VCE. Currently, we are pursuing a ministerial intervention and it would be great for the immigration minister to know that we deserve to stay through your support.”
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