The Tamil asylum seeker family, also known as the Murugappans, said they would face persecution as Tamils if deported to Sri Lanka.
Here’s how we got to this point.
2012: Nades arrives on Christmas Island
Nades had previous links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which the family and their advocates say would make him “almost certain” to face persecution if he returned to Sri Lanka.
Nades arrived in Australia 10 years ago Source: SBS News / , Supplied/HometoBilo
2013: Priya arrives in Australia
Priya had left Sri Lanka in 2001 to go to India. She said she had fled due to the war and her family being targeted. In 2013, she travelled to Australia where she met Nades.
2014-2017: The couple move to Biloela
In 2017, Tharnicaa was born.
Tharnicaa, Nades, Priya and Kopika Murugappan (L-R). Credit: Supplied / Stephanie Coombes
2018: Family removed from Biloela
They were then moved to a Melbourne detention centre, and later Christmas Island, and were issued with deportation notices in June after the federal government ruled they could not stay.
Their deportation was put on hold while their appeal was being considered, which was rejected by the Federal Court in December. The judge ordered the family to be deported, but not before February 2019.
The Murugappan couple Priya and Nadesalingam with their Australian-born children Kopika and Tharunicaa. Source: Supplied
Throughout the appeals, the department said they consistently found the family’s case did not meet Australia’s protection obligations.
2019: Family almost deported to Sri Lanka
In May 2019, the High Court denied the family’s final appeal to stay. Friends from Biloela travelled to Sydney to deliver the petition to then-federal Immigration Minister David Coleman.
The plane landed in Darwin, and the family were transported back to Christmas Island.
2020: Family reside on Christmas Island as legal fight continues
2021: Family moved to Perth
2022: New government announces bridging visas and family travels home to Biloela
On 27 May, new treasurer Jim Chalmers — who was interim home affairs minister at the time — announced he had used ministerial intervention powers to enable the family to return to Biloela, where they can reside lawfully in the community on bridging visas ahead of the resolution of their immigration status.
On Wednesday 8 June they left Perth, and arrived in Brisbane later that day.
Kopika and Tharnicaa, the daughters of Priya and Nades Nadesalingam. The family are returning to the regional town of Biloela in Queensland after more than 1,500 days in detention. Source: AAP / Richard Wainright
Addressing the media in Perth, Priya said she was grateful for the hospitality her family received during their time in Perth.
“Me and my family are very happy to start our journey back to my community in Bilo.”