New Zealand woman placed in abusive foster care wins appeal against deportation from Australia – RNZ

Posted: June 11, 2022 at 2:00 am

A New Zealand woman placed in abusive Australian foster care has won an appeal against deportation from Australia.

The 41-year-old woman was held at Villawood detention centre in Sydney while she awaited her appeal. Photo: AFP

She became a drug user, stabbed her partner in the chest and was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The woman, who has not been named, arrived in Australia in 1988 when she was seven years old.

She went into foster care where she was sexually abused and ran away one day before school at the age of 15.

Her daughter committed suicide and she had drug and theft convictions, and had been in violent relationships.

The 41-year-old has two children and had been held at Villawood detention centre while she awaited her appeal, which followed a four-year jail term for the assault on her partner.

Under amendments made to the Migration Act In 2014, the Australian government can cancel visas for non-citizens on character grounds, including having been sentenced to prison for more than 12 months.

She appealed her deportation to the administrative appeals tribunal which said, in a decision released yesterday, that much of her offending could "best be described as petty crime or street offences".

"[Her] offending is directly related to her personal circumstances, including being sexually abused when she was in the care of the government and placed in foster care, life's difficulties that followed, including living in Perth in fear that should she may be returned to foster care if she returned to Queensland before turning 18 years of age, the birth of [her daughter] when in Perth, [her] tragic suicide, her inability to cope with life's stressors and financial difficulties, drug use and involvement in violent and abusive relationships generally, and her inappropriate response to violence directed at her."

In 2020, she received $95,000 in compensation from the government for the abuse she suffered in foster care.

She bought her mother a car, took her mother and son on a holiday to the Gold Coast, paid off her sisters' debts and set up a $20,000 trust fund for her son.

A fortnight ago, another New Zealand woman held at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney died in a suspected suicide.

Australia's Labor party signalled before it was elected that it may review any exceptions or provisions for discretion process regarding New Zealand '501' deportees.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to meet new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this week, and the subject of deportations of New Zealanders is expected to be high on the list of topics they will discuss.

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New Zealand woman placed in abusive foster care wins appeal against deportation from Australia - RNZ

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