Posted by SCA on  November 19, 2019 |

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?  It was a question asked by Alexander Pope almost 300 years ago in a poem.  I have found my answer.

The Australian Government has taken virtually everything from us.  I endure the slow death of my family at the hands of this Government, even as I must simultaneously fight them and appeal to them for salvation.  A paradox of predicament akin to a hen’s appeal to a fox within the henhouse.  We work tirelessly and serve a national economy whose nation denies us any sense of equality.  This is Australia in the year 2019.  I have tirelessly advocated to this Government in prose sufficient to fill five volumes. I similarly – and painstakingly – outlined the sophistry of existent policy law protocols that grant us no equality of access.

Government has ignored us, or otherwise obfuscated, and attempted to categorically shut down our attempts to find remedy.  I brought our treatment, our conduct and our family’s ancestral place within Australia directly to Immigration Minister David Coleman and the lawful prejudice we endure in the face of our son Dylan’s disability.  The latest reply received from yet another faceless, personally nameless entity in some department called IP&RSI&SSG (Immigration Performance and Resourcing Section Immigration and Settlement Services Group) with a statement so distressing and confronting I quote it here, “The Department is unable to correspond any further in relation to this matter.”   Neutralised.  Broken.  A closed fist to face.  Off you go and don’t speak of this matter further – be quiet.

Is this how a family living exemplary lives, who work and drive the economy of Australia, year after year, with modern extensive Australian family and ancestry centuries deep are treated?  The answer from this Government is a clear, unambiguous, and direct yes.

We have no equality in Australia.   We are sub-citizens and know nothing but insecurity and uncertainty.

When we settled in Australia seven years ago we were coming to live the rest of our lives in this nation.  We were not coming to a country with which we had no ties – we were coming to the Australian nation our ancestors have formed for centuries and within which not less than four current living generations of very much Australian citizen family work, live and thrive (no less a nexus than my own twin brother is Australian and lives without segregation, as do my parents). We were not from some distant shore with no ties to country having a visit or a punt at taking up residency: We were coming for life and we were lifting not leaning.  We arrived and worked hard – then Dylan was diagnosed with autism (after being cleared by Australian Government Medical Officers and after we settled in Australia).  Since that heartbreaking moment we have endured endless closed fists to the face from the Liberal led Coalition Government – not just body blows but blunt force trauma – let us call it what it is and the physical effects pale to the mental health consequences.

Dylan’s disability has seen Government cynically close our pathway to a legal permanent residency visa, even as they claim a “health waiver” is available that lets people otherwise apply for a permanent residency visa – a waiver that is upon closer reading of detail not allowed to a disabled child like Dylan – another cynical messaging effort by this Government to claim it offers “alternatives” and “inclusion” where it offers us only exclusion – closed doors with “OPEN” signs glued to those same locked doors.  A Government very good at manipulating messages, confusing people with details and conveying ‘down-as-up’,  ‘wrong-as-right’ and ‘closed-as-open’ with advertising that sells a brand called Australia with a temerity and effectiveness that would impress the madmen of Madison Avenue.

We may be Australian by virtue of home, modern family and ancestry but such means nothing before the machinations of modern policy law.  As I wrote to David Coleman, or whoever reads his mail, “Let us not contort or otherwise deform language: People who make their true and genuine home in Australia, who exist in country, work hard, pay taxes, carry their load and who intend to do so for life, should be either permanent under law and land or not within law and land: Anything else is an unmistakable abuse and clear exploitation of people.  I am, in fact, rather emphatic about that point.  People who exist here, year after year after year in Australia should be either permanently admitted to country or disallowed from ongoing existence within country – it’s an abomination and echoes the kind of segregation this country had worked so hard to overcome in the end of the last century. It is an abuse that Harold Holt himself found so odious to liberal democracy that he ended such exclusionary practices 53 years ago when residency and civility made all equal where genuine home was made for five years in Australia – only to have such expressions of liberal equality furtively walked backwards by Government, even as a nation collectively sought to walk forward as an inclusive and fair society.”  

The money in manipulating policy, however, was clearly just too good for a Government  to resist – and what’s another disabled kid that people will forget about in the next news cycle?  Well, he’s a human being who will live a long life in a segregation I would not wish upon anyone – even the members of this Government who endorse and affect such misery.

I can respect a nation’s need for a “health requirement” in respect of a permanent residency visa.  But the legal sophistry of the Migration Regulations now see a disability conveying as much authority to a permanent residency visa’s exclusion as a communicable disease.  In other words our son Dylan’s disability is now seen as much a “threat” to the Australian community (that he genuinely forms), as malaria, small pox, ebola, tuberculosis, or bubonic plague.

When a disabled child is denied a “health waiver” and his disability treated like he is a contagious disease then we have lost our collective moral way as a country and that same nation has effectively killed this family’s hopes and dreams.  We are made refugees within the very place so many flee and otherwise seek futures because of a child the Government sees as only a cripple and a burden.  Where we form and our family have formed such presence within nation our treatment for the sins of our sacrifice before our son Dylan’s disability makes Governments conduct that much more overtly despicable.

We are a family quite literally devastated by policy machinations that have unfolded for far too many years – a kind of inferno left too long to burn and from we are in urgent need of triage, of rest and of recovery – none is coming to us.  Instead we must rise each day and continue to fight a battle we cannot possibly win against no rational or genuine means of escape.  It is simply too much.  Receiving a letter from Home Affairs yesterday, that told us quite pointedly, “The Department is unable to correspond any further in relation to this matter.”  The equivalency of, “SILENCE”.

Yesterday may have been the last straw.

We have had to earnestly, politely and repeatedly engage politicians, like David Coleman, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, to whom we turned for assistance but received the well documented closed fist of reply.  Our Federal Member, Andrew Wallace was slightly more engaging but ceded that as a backbencher, “I regret I am certainly not in a position to offer you anything more.”

We watch as these very shareholders in our misery and the only agents of our solution’s salvation attend to their own political and capital benefits and then reply to us with all the integrity of a standover merchant as we drive an economy with our earnings that grants us no inclusion, no equality and not even a right to vote.  We are beyond tired – we want to get off the spinning wheel that we have not even any rational or reasonable capacity to stop.

We may have no choice but to flee the Australian nation – to where god only knows – and how?  We will be leaving ageing Australian parents whom our children will never likely see again – the same parents who form a part of our lives as we form theirs and attend reciprocal care; such duties now tasked to whom? They live less than the length of a rugby pitch from us and the nearest family is 100 km away in Brisbane.  We live in regional Australia, lead exemplary lives, work hard and pay our taxes – that means nothing to a Government heavy on messaging but light on integrity – what my teachers once called, “talking the talk but failing to walk the talk.”

Today my mum sent me an article link via text – she is well aware of my ongoing advocacy.  It was a piece on yet more changes to the visa policy of this Government, an ABC online story titled, “Permanent migrant intake set for another cut under Coalition, according to experts.”  Mum tagged it with the note, “I’m sure you are already aware of this.” I was – I have had to be above more detail than is reasonable or even healthy for someone – especially where it grants them no relief, no equity and no hope.

My reply would not normally find expression in an essay but I think my unabridged response should be shared and so to my mother I replied without hesitation the following unabridged sms,

“This TOXIC Government led by a man using god to show those on the ideological right how ‘good he is’ to collect their votes, does not want to reward hard work and merit with citizenship – they want working slaves who go away after they feed the Australian economy their earnings.  I’ve written about it.  It’s the unspoken working policy that finds form in very convoluted legislation, quite clearly evidenced by the three beings pulling the cart containing such policies of state: Morrison, Dutton and their public proxy minister for immigration, David Coleman whose mail is answered not by his own portfolio but by Dutton’s Home Affairs.  Their motive is simple but cloaked in duplicity: Keep them coming to work.  Keep them branded [legally] “temporary”.  Take their money. And send in the next lot.  Make a sliver of them [legally] ‘permanent residents’ so you don’t look exploitative or dictatorial and keep the public off guard and otherwise confused about the truth of things.  Welcome to Australian under Scott Morrison and his LNP.”  

My reply now surely forming a permanent part of our ongoing digital footprint as expressed in that part of it that is our telecom account.  Mum, incidentally, is a churchgoer, I am not so inclined, but she found no objection to my comments – not one word of them.

Let me be clear and unambiguous: What is happening to our children is despicable, craven, unfair, shocking and foul.  Subtlety and sophistry of legislation allow it to happen.  Segregation, discrimination and lawful prejudice triumphs where no one takes a moral stand.  And no one in this Government has any desire to rise.  The White Australia policy was once law too and saw leadership similarly claiming a legal defence, while invoking public claim that “no one is above the law”.  We are better than this as a nation or so I once believed.  When you watch the Government traumatise your own family year, after year, after year you come to a point where you see the world in a startling clarity.  I have found the answer to at least one question.

I know who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel.


  1. Suzie Gold | | Reply

    The truth and seriousness of your comments makes me sick to my core.
    I honestly don’t understand the cruelty , but I also don’t know what it will take to change it.
    There is no democracy in Australia….only evil corruption
    Sending love and most importantly HOPE for a positive outcome
    Because without HOPE there is nothing

  2. Marian Saines | | Reply

    So well written. I feel your pain and share your deeply felt disgust and outrage. I loathe and detest the LNP criminal enterprise and despair for Australia.

  3. Peter Johnson | | Reply

    I applaud your clear presentation of the ‘manipulative machinations’ of government ‘political representatives’ who, so often, resort to ‘lies, more lies, and statistics’ in efforts to cover ineptitude, uncaring bureaucracy, and dishonesty coupled with their warped philosophy of ‘Ask not what your political representatives can do for you, rather ask, what can you do for your political representatives!? (with apologies to JFK) Change will come as more ‘sleeping voters’ awaken and DEMAND honest political leaders not those with track records of the opposite. Keep posting and try contacting 60 minutes,The Guardian and other political leaders of other parties + Independent senators..


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