Finally – A victory for justice!

Sanctuary Australia FoundationBlog

Majda and her sister were assisted through Sanctuary's advocacy.
Majda with her laptop donated by Sanctuary.

Sanctuary has been working to seek justice for a young Iraqi woman, Majda, who arrived in Australia by boat as a refugee with her disabled sister, Neura. Their story is truly shocking. They were imprisoned on Christmas Island having committed no crime but to seek safety and asylum, then transferred to Darwin for a short time before being moved to Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney. They were later released on a Temporary Visa, and Majda met her partner. Sadly, she was hospitalised after suffering domestic violence, and had to flee with disabled sister, in a wheelchair.

Majda was told that her only hope for permanent residency was to find work in a regional area for a minimum of 5 years under a SHEVS (Safer Haven Enterprise) visa. She came to Coffs Harbour and found work in a childcare centre. She has a son who is now 8 years old and suffers with ADHD.

Meanwhile, Neura’s cerebral palsy has worsened without the ongoing treatment she desperately needs, and Majda is exhausted as her only carer 24/7, not an easy task when working as well. Neura has had no access to the NDIS or similar services as a temporary visa holder- even after 13 years!

Now thanks to intervention by Sanctuary Australia with our local MP Pat Conaghan, Majda has finally been given Permanent Residence Status!  Now Majdas sister will have the NDIS support she so badly needs, and Majda and her family can feel safe and able to plan for their future.

Disabled asylum seekers are at risk with no access to NDIS – a call for empathy and reform now!

This success story highlights the urgent need for empathy and reform in the treatment of disabled asylum seekers. No individual should face the burden of caregiving alone, especially when navigating the complexities of the asylum system. It is incumbent upon our society and policymakers to devise inclusive policies that cater to the needs of disabled asylum seekers, ensuring they receive the care and support they deserve.

The triumph of this Iraqi woman and her disabled sister serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action. Through the power of advocacy and compassion, we were able to secure the necessary support that had long been denied to them. However, this success story is just one among many, and it is essential that we continue our efforts to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for disabled asylum seekers in Australia. Together, we can build a society that upholds justice, empathy, and dignity for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.