‘Bring them back to Biloela!’ Australians are outraged and want the Murugappan family to be allowed to return to their Queensland community.

More than 4000 kilometres away from their home in Biloela, Queensland, four-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan lies in Perth Children’s Hospital.

Tharnicaa’s parents, Priya and Nades, arrived in Australia separately and legally under international and Australian laws, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Starting their new life in Biloela – a rural town six-and-a-half-hours north of Brisbane – the Murugappans took on the Australian way of life, working hard, paying taxes and helping the community. Both daughters were born in Australia – Kopika in 2015 and Tharnicaa in 2017.

On Monday 05 March 2018 Australian Border Force officials arrived at the Murugappan family’s home at five o’clock in the morning and removed them. Priya and Nades were given 10 minutes to pack their belongings and leave, with Kopika then not even three years old and Tharnicaa only nine months.

For the past two years the family has been held in offshore detention on Christmas Island where Tharnicaa contracted an illness and, along with Priya, was flown to Perth for treatment.

Despite the family’s hardworking Aussie values, the Australian Government has taken a hard line on whether Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa should be released from detention and returned to their community. On June 15 this year, with Tharnicaa seriously ill in hospital and amid growing public outrage over the family’s separation, the Murugappans were released from Christmas Island detention and will be permitted to live together in community detention in Perth.

The majority of Australians believe the Murugappans should be allowed to return to Biloela, according to a recent survey conducted by Hunter and Bligh.

85.1% of Australians believe that the Murugappan family should be released from detention and returned home to Biloela.

Similarly, more than eight in 10 Australians (86 per cent) believe the Australian-born Kopika and Tharnicaa should be granted Australian citizenship.

So what are we doing to help? Tharnicaa was medically evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth early June with a suspected blood infection and was later diagnosed with pneumonia and septicemia. About half of the Australians surveyed (50.5 per cent) believe that the Murugappan family has not received adequate level of care while in detention.

Furthermore, 81.5 per cent of survey respondents believe the Australian government’s “strong border policy” has been taken too far in the case of the Murugappan family. 

To read more about the Murugappan family and their hopeful return to their home, head to the Home to Bilo website. Otherwise let us know your thoughts and join in on the conversation on our InstagramFacebook or Twitter now.

Data received by Hunter and Bligh and conducted by CoreData Research, a global specialist financial services research and strategy consultancy. The survey was conducted in June 2021 and received results from 1203 Australians.
Feature image: Photographed by Devonyu. Image via Getty Images, Canva Pro.