I am WYD036

I fled genocide in Burma

with my wife and children

We were separated in Indonesia

There wasn’t enough room in the van taking us to the boat heading for Australia

All the time I think about what happened

When I close my eyes

I can see that van leaving


A week after my family arrived in Australia

the Rudd government announced

the July 19 policy

This meant that people who arrived in Australia by boat

would be sent to Manus Island or Nauru

and never resettle in Australia.


When I arrived in Australia I was sent by force to Manus Island

My family are now living on bridging visas in Sydney

but I’ve been detained on Manus Island for almost 5 years


When I talk to my youngest son on skype

He asks me,

“When are you coming?”

“When are you coming?”

I can’t say anything in response

I do not know if or when we’ll be together again.

I am DHW342

I was born in East Africa

When I was five years old I held my mother’s hand

while we ran from bullets being shot in the civil war


I grew up in a refugee camp.

This is where I got married

and had two beautiful children


My children were only 1 and 3 years old

when I was forced to leave them in the refugee camp.

After I left my children I made my way to Indonesia.


It was there, before I got on the boat that I found out I was pregnant

I gave birth to my son while I was in detention.

The security guards were on watch in the hospital

as I welcomed my child into this world.


My son was five years old when we were granted protection

This visa protects us for the next five years.

I am grateful for this protection

but I long to be with my children


On this visa I am not allowed to apply

for my children to live in Australia


I’ve been told that maybe after ten years I can sponsor my family

I cannot be separated from my children for this long

I am thinking I have no choice

I am grateful to be safe

But I think I have to give up my visa for my children

I think I have to leave Australia

And not come back…..