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To: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton.
Do not remove the primary caregivers of three Australian citizen children from Australia
Please don't remove Taniela and Lavenia Raloulou from Australia.
Mr Taniela and Mrs Lavenia Raloulou are the grandparents of Ani, Moses and David Lewadromodromo. Ani, Moses and David are Australian citizens, and are in year 3, 4 and 5 at a local primary school. Between 2009 and 2016, Ani, Moses and David’s mother, Ana, was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband. With the assistance of her father and stepmother, Ana was able to escape her violent relationship in 2016, after six reports to the police and two court orders had been ineffective. Ana and her children became homeless and accessed emergency accommodation to stay safe between 13-16 September 2016.
Despite this, Ana remained enrolled at university and working night shift to support her family.
Since 2014, Taniela and Lavenia have been primary caregivers for Ani, Moses and David. They woke up the children, made their meals, dropped them off at school and picked them up, and looked after them while Ana is on night shift. The grandparents share the care, as both work to support themselves and their grandchildren; Lavenia as an Assistant in Nursing in an Aged Care organisation.
On 3 February 2017, a request was sent to the minister to intervene on the basis of the best interests Ani, Moses and David. Two weeks later, on 20 February 2017, an officer for the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection determined that the case would not be referred to the Minister. This is despite the fact that the Minister prescribes that a relevant consideration for cases is “strong compassionate circumstances that if not recognised would result in serious, ongoing and irreversible harm and continuing hardship to an Australian citizen or an Australian family unit.”
Without their grandparents and primary caregivers, there will be serious harm and ongoing hardship to Ani, Moses and David.
Why is this important?
Taniela and Lavenia are devoted to looking after their three grandchildren, Ani, Moses, and David.
In 2016, Ani, Moses and David's mother Ana escaped from domestic violence, and is now working night shifts, studying at university, and providing care to her three children under 10.
She cannot do this alone and her father and stepmother, Taniela and Lavenia, are key to providing care to Ani, Moses and David to ensure they remain on track and achieving in school.
Taniela and Lavenia have been asked to provide an air ticket to leave Australia by 6 March 2017, which would leave their grandchildren without care for the time that their mother is working and studying.