Vivian Solon - Deportation From Australia

Deportation From Australia

According to a police report, Solon had left her five-year-old son at the Brisbane City Hall childcare facility on 16 February 2001, but did not return to pick him up. Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie revealed on 6 May 2005, that her son, now nine, has been in foster care since.

At 11:47pm on the night of 30 March, ambulance services were called to a park in Lismore, in the far north of New South Wales. They found Solon next to an open drain in the park, suffering from head injuries. She also had difficulty moving her legs. She had most likely sustained these injuries after falling into the drain, although some media reports speculated that she had been in a car accident. To this day she claims she was knocked off a pushbike by a passing car, but the medical view has always been that she was bashed. She was taken to Lismore Base Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. She was soon moved to the psychiatric ward because she was behaving aggressively towards hospital staff, presumably due to her head injuries. A social worker Guing Coop who visited Solon at the hospital identified that she was of Filipino background, and suspected that she was an illegal immigrant. On this basis the social worker contacted the local branch of the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

DIMIA officers first interviewed Solon on 3 May 2001. According to the Comrie report, the officers presumed that Solon was an illegal immigrant, and did not do proper background checks. On 12 July, Solon was transferred from the hospital to DIMIA custody, and taken to a motel in Brisbane. She told the officials that she was an Australian citizen, and did not want to leave the country, however she was ignored. On 17 July, Queensland Police officially listed Solon as a missing person, several months after she had failed to collect her son from childcare. However, this information was not picked up by DIMIA.

A representative from the Philippines consulate in Brisbane visited Solon on 18 July. In the meeting Solon said that she had been married to an Australian man, a Mr Young, but this information was not passed on to DIMIA. The consulate refused to issue Solon with travel documents, because they did not consider her fit enough to travel (she was in a wheelchair at the time), and so DIMIA arranged for a different doctor to visit her. This doctor declared her fit to fly, and signed the medical certificate allowing Solon to be deported. On 20 July Solon was escorted onto a plane by Queensland Police, and flown to Manila. Handed over to Qantas ground staff at the airport, she was eventually taken to a hospice run by the Catholic Church.

Read more about this topic:  Vivian Solon

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