KASAMA Vol. 19 No. 3 / July-August-September 2005 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network


Vivian Alvarez SolonWe hoped to be able to give you the news this month that Vivian Alvarez–Solon had at last been reunited with her children in Australia. But, sadly she is still in Manila awaiting an acceptable resettlement offer from the Australian Government solicitors.

It has been more than four years since Vivian was deported from Australia to the Philippines on 20th July 2001; more than two years since Immigration officials knew that an Australian citizen had been wrongfully detained and deported but failed to take remedial action; and over 20 weeks since Vivian’s discovery in an Olongapo charity–run hospice was reported in the media and she could no longer be ignored by the government.

In the three months since our updates on Vivian’s case in the last issue of “Kasama”, Immigration and Foreign Affairs departmental records have been exposed by a Senate Committee inquiry into the matter. The Committee’s Interim Report has been published in advance of the long awaited second chapter of the Palmer Inquiry which is now in the hands of former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police, Neil Comrie, under the auspices of the Federal Ombudsman.

The Senate’s interim findings confirm our assertions that DIMIA and DFAT are corrupted by racism and sexism as well as being administered with outdated data collection procedures and inadequate staff training. This is what Immigration Minister Vanstone really means when she speaks euphemistically of a “culture” in her department that needs to change.

Dee D. Hunt