Strewth cobber, it’s time to fake that fair dinkum Aussie accent to avoid getting locked up in Baxter or some other detention center for illegal immigrants!
This report on the detention of an Australian citizen (apparently) with schizophrenia for 10 months as an illegal immigrant has the whole story in a nutshell, but the short form is..
- Cornelia Rau goes missing from Manly Hospital in Sydney, reportedly with schizophrenia.
- She makes her way from NSW to northern Queensland, where she is found by Aborigines.
- In NSW the police list her as a missing person and the media is alerted.
- The Aborigines became concerned for her safety and wellbeing, and took her to the local police for help.
- The police find out she speaks German, and apparently says she’s a German called Anna in Australia on a temporary visa (she’s actually lived here since she was 18 months old, and is Australian).
- QLD police detain her, and she is passed over to DIMIA and detained as a suspected illegal immigrant.
- At some point the police and/or DIMIA contact the German embassy, who (unsuprisingly) have great problems identifying her as a citizen.
- The QLD police (or DIMIA) fail to contact the NSW police to check their missing persons list.
- In detention she is sent for psychiatric care to a hospital in Brisbane, but they fail to spot any problems and label her as having “behavioural problems”.
- Six months into her detention she is moved to the Baxter detention center, where she comes to the attention of BaxterWatch activists as “Anna”.
- Eventually Cornelias family eventually see pictures of “Anna” in detention, provided by activists, and identify her.
- Cornelia is released to them, and is now being treated at Adelaides Glenside psychiatric hospital.
There is a very telling comment from her sister:
“The two groups who were kind to Cornelia in all this time were the two most downtrodden groups in society — the Aborigines in Cairns and the refugees in Baxter — there’s an irony in that,”
For more information see the media reports and the various blog entries about this.
[…] So, about a year after Cornelia Rau was found locked up, the subsequent ongoing enquiry, then the disclosure of the wrongful deportation of Vivian Alvarez Solon (another Australian who was reported as a missing person when DIMIA spirited them away) the Federal Minister for Immigration announces another mistaken detention of an Australian with mental health problems. […]
[…] That’s right – the Australian Government hasn’t just managed to lock up one of its own nationals as an illegal immigrant by mistake once, twice or three times (not to mention wrongfully deporting someone), it’s actually managed to do it an extra 26 times in the last 10 years. Mr Georganas says the reply last week from the Attorney-General and former immigration minister Philip Ruddock confirmed most cases have been settled out of court. […]