I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Cansin Fricke Danis in Jindabyne.
Cansin has been a teacher at the Snowy Mountains Care and Early Learning Centre for 15 years; no doubt there are many local kids and families who have benefited from her work.
Sadly, in late June, Cansin's mother, Insi, died suddenly in Turkey. Cansin left Australia to be with her family and is now one of the 25,000 Australian’s stranded overseas.
Cansin intended to spend three weeks with family in Turkey while she saw to her mother's affairs, then return to Australia for two weeks quarantine. At which point she would have been able to return to work with the kids of the Snowy Mountains.
The airline cancelled Cansin's plane ticket and rescheduled it for late October, but with the Morrison Government’s flight caps in place she fears that she will be bumped again or that the airline will stop flying all together.
As Cansin has told my office, “I filled in the form to obtain an ‘exemption to leave’ from Australia with my expected return date on it. I was granted permission to leave on compassionate grounds on my Australian passport, but now my government is making it hard for me to return,” she said.
“I believe, Australians, like me, should be allowed to come back home, self-isolate and then get back to work in our community.”
These are frightening times for many Australian’s and we are all doing great work here on the ground within our borders to eradicate COVID-19 but we can’t ignore our family and friends overseas, we need to allow them to return home in a COVIDSafe way.
Last week in the Senate, Labor moved a motion calling on the government to take urgent action to bring all Australians stranded overseas home.
I am aware of other Eden Monaro locals, like Cansin who are wanting to get home from places including Italy, India, Singapore, Hungary, UK, and Spain.
Labor wants to work with the government to:
- Draw on Commonwealth resources to increase quarantine capacity, allowing the number of permitted arrivals under international flight caps to go up.
- Put all options on the table to repatriate stranded Australians, including charter flights if there are no other alternatives.
In the meantime, stranded Australians should stay in contact with their nearest Australian high commission, embassy or consulate, register with the DFAT COVID-19 Portal and monitor the Smarttraveller website to receive the Australian Government’s latest official travel advice.
Photo: Cansin and her mum Insi enjoying better times in 2019
9 September, 2020