Balbriggan mum’s plea: My Darragh is no ‘burden’

by Padraig Conlon

A Balbriggan mum is pleading with the Australian government to let her family stay in Australia where her son is being treated for a life-threatening illness.

Teacher Christine Hyde and her husband, who live in Victoria, applied to become permanent residents in 2015 shortly before their son, Darragh, was born.

Darragh, now three, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis within weeks of his birth – and the family’s application for residency was subsequently turned down.

Christine explained: “Our family’s application for permanent residency was refused by the Australian Department of Home Affairs because they assessed him as having a condition which make him a burden on the Australian community.”

The family appealed the decision to the Administrative Review Tribunal, but that body does not have the power to overturn the health assessment.

Their only hope now is to appeal directly to David Coleman, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs to reverse the harsh decision.

Christine said unless a top politician intervenes on their behalf, she fears they will “be forced to leave our friends, family, and the life we have built for ourselves in Australia”.

She said: “Our son Darragh was born in Australia on August 18, 2015. Australia is the only home our son knows.

“Darragh has been doing extremely well considering his condition, and we have positive letters from his doctors and specialist stating that he should live a full life and that his disease progression will be much slower than average.

“His condition has no effect on his cognitive ability, and should he wish to finish school and go to university, he has every chance at being successful in a career path of his choosing.

“Darragh is a bright boy with a positive future ahead of him. We have always felt extremely grateful to live in Australia. I studied here, gaining my Masters in special education.

“We have been living in Australia for almost 10 years and have a strong support network here with our friends and family, and we are well settled in regional Victoria.”

Christine has started an online petition on change.org which has almost 4,000 of its target 5,000 signatures.

To support it, see https://www.change.org/p/hon-david-coleman-mp-please-let-our-3-year-old-son-stay-in-australia

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