From: Richard and Yapi BASA (aging Parents of Mark Basa)
This statement from us, – Mark Basa’s – father and mother; are the real facts that are affecting both of us with long and indefinite detention of our son, awaiting the Federal minister’s decision as recommended by the Federal Court twice and the Tribunal.
How it is affecting my family unit; (including Mark, Adelle, Hector and both me and Mark’s mother).
After a long period of incarceration in the NSW prison system since Mark was a child, we anticipated him coming home to us when he was released on Parole, only to be gaoled ‘again’ in the Immigration detention for nearly four years.
This has taken a great deal of ‘emotional’ toll on us, and for me (as the father) fighting the almighty Australian legal system over so long, has drained me emotionally so much that I needed psychiatric help , which a good Samaritan neighbour arranged for me to see.
The emotional stress that we are continuing to go through, cannot not be measured or justified. Mark needs to be home with us.
The effect of Mark’s procrastinated, and indefinite detention while awaiting a decision from the Minister (in person), is affecting our very livelihood. We are not any younger, and we need Mark’s help now more than ever in our lives. With respect to our cultural duties and responsibility, this is the time in our lives where Mark is supposed to be taking major responsibility of our lives, as we get older. It is also in line with our Christian belief and Mark’s upbringing… in obedience to the Holy Word of God that, this is the time and age for Mark to perform his responsibilities in honouring his parents. In this regard Mark cannot be able to fulfil his obligations, and this is taking toll on us.
Mark’s partner Adelle has a very young son – Hector (3 years old) knows only Mark as his real father, and me as his grand-father. We have a very close attachment since we met when the young boy was only a year and half old. The attachment I have with Hector is so strong, that I would never even contemplate him being forced to move to a foreign place (Lae-PNG) with his mother Adelle, to be with his father (Mark) and mother (Adelle).
Any thought of moving my family (Mark, Adelle and young Hector) to Lae in PNG, is an out-right “death sentence” to all three of them. In reality, Mark has a health condition that needs proper medication and supervision here in Australia, as has been highlighted time and again through the court proceedings in the Federal Court and the Tribunal (where his specialist clearly pointed out the dangers that Mark would suffer and die in a very short period of time without proper health care and proper medication, not readily available or even affordable in PNG). Mark has no real family nor does he know how to live and survive in a place he has never known or lived in.., his partner (a white person) would hardly even live there, let alone trying to bring up my grandson (Hector) in an environment that is completely harsh, strange and foreign to them. Mark’s partner – Adelle will most certainly become a victim to the very people and reason why we sought protection and were granted protection, in Australia initially. Any thought or contemplation of separating Mark from us and moving him on, would result in his partner and son following him where he goes. It is like, the Department and Government of Australia would not care less about sending Australian citizens,(who happen to be my young family of citizens) to their ‘DEATH’.
My grandson needs me, and I need him here (with both his parents- Mark and Adelle) close to me as one family unit. The bond and attachment I have with my grandson (Hector) is strong such that any separation of any sort will surely have heavy and lasting mental/psychological scars on Hector’s life.
This is unthinkable and unforgiveable and morally wrong.
We have been struggling all these years financially, living off Charities like Salvation Army, Saint Vincent DePaul, Samaritans, and a number of Church groups and individuals, before becoming Australians (as citizens), and were able to live of pensions and some casual jobs for Mark’s mother.
At this stage, I cannot be able to secure employment, partly because of my age and partly because of my ethnicity, in a very biased environment where my qualification or experience count for nothing… and so we continue to struggle financially, just barely managing with the little we get from Centrelink, (as of end of September 2021, I am no longer on new-start and on some benefit from Education department which is less than what I was receiving from New-Start).
We need Mark to be home here in Newcastle NSW with us, where he has already got jobs that he is able to secure and provide us some relief and support, as he used to (while on work release from prison before his release on Parole –straight into Immigration gaol, where he is unable to do what he could to help us).
There is NO means of any kind of financial support or security in PNG… There is NO child support, There is NO… welfare/Centrelink setup of any kind at all in PNG… employment or any chance of employment is very, very low to NIL… survival in PNG with no means of income, in itself is a death sentence. My son Mark would most certainly die from the existing medical condition, my daughter-in-law Adelle most certainly would not even survive a week in squalid living environment completely shockingly harsh and foreign to her, and my grandson… no I cannot and would not even contemplate sending him there at the first place.
Health and Wellbeing
There has been a great deal of conversation around ‘mental health’.
The mental health affecting us has been and continues to be left without much attention, and we continue to suffer in silence, as the indecision and the potential outcome of the Minister’s decision, is, torture… both for us and Mark himself.
I have been on medication for ‘High Blood Pressure’ for many years now and have been to see my doctors for regular check-ups, since Mark was sent to the Immigration detention. I even ended up in the John Hunter Hospital, suffering a mild stroke, due to the mounting stress brought on by my son Mark’s detention.
The situation of Mark being held in indefinite Immigration gaol, and possibly sent to his ultimate –death has and is always so stressful, and is like psychological ‘torture’ that my whole family is being put through, (my family being, me and Mark’s mother, Adelle and Mark, and young Hector- my grandson).
In-fact, Mark himself has been hospitalised from mental issues, on a number of occasions while in Villawood Immigration detention.
Adelle, Mark’s partner has had medical/stress related issues and needs someone like her partner Mark to be there for her always when she does end up with episodes again. Both of us (Mark’s parents) had to step in on one occasion, and got an Ambulance to rush her to hospital which saved her life. And at that time Hector was safe with me while Mark’s mother took Adelle to hospital. Mark needs to be by her side and take care of Hector. Adelle needs Mark, and Hector very much needs his father there where he can feel safe and secure.
I have my own medical issues which at times, I would expect Mark to be there to take care of me too.
We the family need Mark home with us, here and now.
Both myself (Richard Basa – Mark’s father) and his mother have been severely affected by the long delay in the Minister’s personal decision, according to law, as recommended by the Federal Court on two occasions, and the Arbitration Tribunal.
In all three decisions – Federal Court and AAT recommendations, it was recommended that the Minister ‘reconsider’ Mark Basa’s Protection Visa application…as we arrived to Australia as a family, we would like to remain here in Australia (as protected citizens) as a family.
The Minister is asked not to …Split my family… and endangering my son Mark.. we the family sought protection as a family, and were granted protection, and so should Mark Basa be given the same Protection we got. The AAT and the Federal Court have made their decision recommending Mark be granted Protection, so he can remain here with us in Australia, as ONE Family unit..
This statement has been prepared by Richard Basa, for and on-behalf of my partner and BASA family.
Let me finish off with a few well published quotes by our Prime Minister – Scott Morrison, in his speech in April 2021, denouncing ‘identity politics’.
“You are more than your gender, you are more than your race, you are more than your sexuality, you are more than your ethnicity, you are more than your religion, your language group, your age,” he said.
“When we reduce ourselves to a collection of attributes, or divide ourselves, even worse, on this basis, we can lose sight of who we actually are as individual human beings – in all our complexity, in all our wholeness and in all our wonder.
“We then define each other if we go down that other path by the boxes we tick or don’t tick, rather than our qualities, skills and character.
“And we fail to see the value that other people hold as individuals, with real agency and responsibility.”
He said “human dignity” was at the heart of everything.
“Seeing the inherent dignity of all human beings is the foundation of morality. It makes us more capable of love and compassion, of selflessness and forgiveness,” he said.
“Because if you see the dignity and worth of another person, another human being, the beating heart in front of you, you’re less likely to disrespect them, insult or show contempt or hatred for them, or seek to cancel them, as is becoming the fashion these days.”
I sincerely hope that the current minister would have take something from the Prime Ministers speech and address our concern on Marks situation and my family’s situation, as a citizen and as a ‘human being’.