Biloela family celebrates baby's first steps in detention
MOTHER'S day, a birthday and a baby taking her first steps have all taken place at a "prison like" Melbourne detention centre where a Biloela family remains, fearing of deportation.
Priya, Nades and their daughters three-year-old Kopika and 11-month old Tharunicaa have been detained since March 5 amid a Visa dispute which could end their time in Australia.
On May 12 the asylum seeking family celebrated Kopika's third birthday, and 1800km away her Biloela friends had a birthday party for her.
Birthday parties were also held in Brisbane and Melbourne, to show the family the unwavering support towards them.
Friend Angela Fredericks, who also launched a petition calling for their return to Biloela which now has 98,000 signatures, said the Biloela community would not give up on the family that has called the rural town home for more than six years.
Ms Fredericks will deliver the petition to Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton's office in Brisbane on Friday, along with a birthday present that could not be given to Kopika.
The Tamil couple who sought asylum in Australia between 2012 and 2013 is accused of not meeting the nation's protection obligations.
They are awaiting a Federal Court date, which they will have three days notice of, where their fate will be determined.
"The girls are still growing and trying to be kids ... they're having these really happy moments that they can't even record," Ms Fredericks said.
"Priya was so excited to tell me Tharunicaa had taken her first steps, she's a really proud mum."
Ms Fredericks said Priya told her she is determined to return to Biloela.
Lights on a tree at Biloela Lions Park are turned on every night now too, and will remain on until the family returns.