Click on subject of interest shown on the right under the heading "labels" to see all relevant posts

To look at letters (and some replies) sent to politicians and newspapers, scroll down the index on the right hand side and select the appropriate heading.

Note the blog allows multiple labelling and all letters to politicians are under "letters to pollies".

If you scroll down and cannot go further, look out for icon "Older Posts". Click on that to continue


Vietnam Veteran int Villawood to be deported after serving gaol sentence

A disabled ex-soldier who fought for Australia in the Vietnam War has spent the past four months in an immigration detention centre awaiting deportation.
On Wednesday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervened in the case of 69-year-old Michael McFadden, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol dependency, and brain damage.
Mr McFadden is an Irish citizen whose permanent residency in Australia was automatically revoked because of a recent prison term.
He was held at Villawood Detention Centre since April, but was released to his family overnight.
Mr McFadden migrated at the age of 10 and volunteered to fight for Australia in Vietnam, where he spent 10 months in the late 1960s.
It certainly is an incredibly sad thing to put an Army veteran through. He fought for Australia.
Lawyer Nick Wiesener
East Sydney RSL Veterans Centre director Norbert Keogh said like a lot of veterans, Mr McFadden came home with serious mental injuries.
"The Australian Government admitted liability for war-caused injuries with PTSD and alcohol dependence, and as a consequence of that, the brain damage developed," he said.
He said Mr McFadden had built a life in spite of these issues.
"He raised a family of three sons and has six grandchildren and so his ties are here to Australia, he has no family overseas and he considers Australia home," Mr Keogh said.

'I can't believe we were deporting an Army veteran'

In 2004, Mr McFadden's family noticed severe changes in his personality, later revealed to be the result of brain damage from his alcohol dependency. 
Mr McFadden's lawyer Nick Wiesener said it marked the start of Mr McFadden's trouble with the law, which ultimately landed him in prison last year. 
"Most recently, there was an incident on a train in which he was drinking alcohol ... and a transit officer attempted to apprehend him and he resisted that apprehension and that's what brought about this prison sentence," he said.
Because Mr McFadden's sentence was greater than 12 months, his permanent residency was automatically revoked, and he was moved to Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre for eventual deportation. 
Mr Wiesener has been trying to secure his client's release since June, to no effect. 
He said it was the sudden burst of media attention that seemed to have made the difference.
"We made our submissions to the Immigration Minister over two months ago now, so look it's fantastic that with a bit of media coverage we're able to achieve this outcome and secure Mr McFadden's release," he said.
Mr Weisener said it had been a traumatising experience for Mr McFadden.
"It certainly is an incredibly sad thing to put an Army veteran through. He fought for Australia. I still can't believe that we ended up in a situation where we were deporting an Army veteran, particularly a wounded Army veteran," he said.
It is understood Mr McFadden was taken to hospital after his release. 

Early intervention could have prevented arrest: care director

Mr Wiesener said the next step is confirming Mr McFadden's long-term place in Australia, and overturning his convictions.
"We're certainly going to be looking to secure Michael's citizenship. As far as we're concerned, he served in the Australian Army and ... he certainly deserves Australian citizenship," he said.
Mr McFadden will ultimately be moved into a residential care facility for veterans called Homes for Heroes. 
The organisation's director, Geoff Evans, said it was astounding Mr McFadden had been put though such an ordeal.
"In the first instance, when it was first identified that he was suffering mental health issues, he should have ... had ready access to good, ongoing treatment and case management and support," he said.
"I've got no doubt that had Mr McFadden ... received very early intervention and proper treatment throughout his life, he never would have been in this situation."
Mr Dutton declined the ABC's request for comment.

No comments: