A bevy of Bishops, St Vinnies, and Baptist ministers say 'let the family go home to Biloela'

Bring then back to Bilo: Dozens of Anglican Bishops, from Sydney Evangelical to Queensland Progressive, have written to the PM and the Cabinet Ministers who will determine the future of Priya and Nades Nadesalingam and their daughters.

“As Christian leaders, we write to each of you welcoming your government’s decision to release Nades and Priya and their daughters, Kopika and Tharnicaa, from immigration detention – but only as the first step to bringing the family back home to Biloela where they clearly belong,” the Bishops write. “This young family has become an integral part of the tight-knit Biloela community, where they volunteered, worked, participated in church groups and built close friendships for nearly four years.

“Robust studies show that detaining children severely impacts their mental, emotional and physical health long-term. Returning these young girls to their home town of Biloela, where they are cherished by people they know, will enable the healing process to commence following the trauma caused by several years of immigration detention.

“We are told that Nades wants to return to his job in Biloela to support his young family, which he cannot do while the family is forced into community detention. Priya wants to enrol Kopika at Biloela State School to continue her education. And, the Biloela community wants to make good their promise to celebrate young Tharnicaa’s fourth birthday with her, after she needlessly marked every birthday in arbitrary immigration detention.”

They finish with this plea “We stand in solidarity with this young family seeking peace, safety and stability, and with the Biloela community who are waiting to welcome them back home.”

The Anglicans are joined by the St Vincent de Paul Society calling for the family to go home to Biloela. “They must be allowed to return to the Biloela community in Queensland, which has fought for their return, the Society’s national president Claire Victory said. “Detention is no place for two little girls.

“I also encourage the Minister [for Home Affairs, Claire Andrews] to revisit New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees from Manus and Nauru and to immediately release those still in Australian detention.”

While living in Biloela, Nades Nadesalingam volunteered at the weekend at the local St Vinnies.

A letter calling for the family to return to Biloela is  being circulated among baptist ministers and rapidly gaining signatures.


This article (and the letter) originally referred to the family as the Murugappan family, but having been made aware of the following update from the Home to Bilo campaign we are retrospectively editing our articles:

“This family’s name is Nadesalingam. Tamil people commonly take the husband/father’s first name as their family name, in preference to surnames which are closely associated with castes.

For many years, the #HometoBilo campaign avoided using Nades, Priya, Kopika and Tharnicaa’s full names, for fear that this would further compromise the family’s safety and security if the former government forced them to danger in Sri Lanka.

We are grateful to journalists and media outlets who are addressing the family using the correct family name, Nadesalingam.”