Refugee’s long walk for permanent residency

August 9, 2023
Neil Para on day 9 of his trek from Ballarat to Marrickville in Gadi/Sydney. Photo: Still from a video posted on Union of Australian Refugees/FB

Neil Para, a Tamil refugee living in Ballarat, has begun a 1000 kilometre walk to Gadi/Sydney. He intends to finish at Anthony Albanese’s office in Marrickville.

Para, who fled war and persecution in Sri Lanka, has lived in Ballarat since 2013. He is one of about 12,000 refugees on short-term bridging visas which he describes as “living in limbo”.

He intends to present the prime minister with a petition calling for permanent residency for people like himself.

Para began his walk on August 1. He was sent off by about 60 supporters. He is being supported along the route by Rural Australians for Refugees. He expects the journey to take a little over a month.

[Follow Neil Para’s walk at the Union of Australian Refugees Facebook. You can welcome him to Gadi on September 15.]

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