“Where will I get the money to buy food for my family, milk for my baby?”
These were the words that Liezle Antonio, a registered nurse uttered in desperation when she was last interviewed by Philippine Sentinel. Liezle came to Australia on a student’s visa to study nursing at the Australian Catholic University.
She was allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week.
She eventually met Michael, got married and now the couple has a 5 month old baby. Almost as soon as Liezle completed her studies, she received a letter from the Department of Immigrations informing her that her working permit has been revoked. Immigrations turned down the family’s application for permanent residency because they failed the English proficiency requirement by only 2 points.
Since she lost her job, each day has become a struggle for the family. Her meager savings has been completely depleted and they could not even obtain any help from Centrelink or any charitable agency that demands a Centrelink Certificate of Payment before any assistance could be given.
Blacktown Migrant Worker’s Union president Neil Galang is vigorously trying to help the Antonios by endorsing the family to as many Ministers of Parliament to obtain ministerial intervention that will eventually lead to permanent residency. He has so far obtained support from Parramatta MP Julie Owens and Federal MP Roger Price. The family’s bridging visa will expire on 08 February 2010.