• Cheek

Upset about Tharnicaa? Take it to the polls

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

The plight of Tharnicaa Murugappan and her family has grabbed the attention of many, many Australians across the political spectrum. It's undeniably a tragedy, and most would argue, inhumane treatment. Tharnicaa and her sister, after all, are Australian citizens, born in this country like many of us. To think they are forced to live in a detention centre at any time, particularly while Tharnicaa is so ill, is heartbreaking. Tharnicaa is three years old, and will turn 4 in hospital tomorrow, on Saturday 12 June.

An overwhelming number of Australians have shared news stories, petitions, and statements on social media platforms, saying the issues 'breaks their heart' or 'makes them sad.' Many conservative voters will tell you that it's 'an issue that overrules politics,' or worse, that it's 'not a political issue'. But it simply isn't.

There are a few things we can do for the Tamil family, and for Tharnicaa, now. We can contact Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke, on (02) 9899 7211 or (02) 6277 7770, or send him an email via the Home to Bilo site. You can also contact your local federal MP via the site (it will tell you who they are if you're not sure). These actions will just take a few minutes, and if you call them, all you need to do is say that you'd "like to register your support for bringing the Tamil family home to Biloela." We can see by the simple fact that these actions are related to our country's politicians, that this issue is political by nature.

Almost every year, we have the opportunity to vote for the people who represent us on a local, state, or federal level. Every three to four years, we get to put our support behind the federal government of this country who decide on immigration issues. The federal government has the power to grant Tharnicaa and her family the right to live in Biloela. A town in Queensland that welcomed the family with open arms. A town where the family had previously made a life for themselves before being sent to offshore detention on Christmas Island.

If you voted for the federal Coalition government, you voted to support the politicians who sent the family to offshore detention. It's as simple as that. Sharing petitions and registering support with your MPs is important and valuable now. But the only way we can stop this from happening again and again is to think outside of ourselves when we go to the polls.

Tharnicaa is almost 4 years old. She won't be able to vote for 14 years, that is if she remains in Australia. Her parents, even if they are let into the country and qualify for permanent residency, won't be allowed to vote. They certainly can't vote while on a visa. If seeing the photos of a little Tamil girl with a drip in her arm and a very serious blood infection, crying because she doesn't understand what's happening upsets you, take it to the fucking polls.