March for Refugee Rights
GEORGE NEWHOUSE, one of Vivian Alvarez-Solon’s
legal team, addressed the Sydney gathering for World Refugee Day on June 19th.
First, I want to make a confession. I am not a human rights lawyer, I'm an ordinary solicitor and I'm a father, but I was so shocked when I found out what our government did to Vivian Solon that I determined to fight her case, and if that fight is victorious and other people's lives are saved, or improved in the process then, so be it.
On hearing of Vivian's circumstances for the first time I was moved by the thought that her children had not heard a word from their mother in four years and that they could only imagine why she had vanished without a goodbye or a trace. Vivian's children are about the same ages as mine and I know from my own experience how it feels to have lost a parent at a very young age. My stomach turned at their anguish.