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Zaharah's story

Next week, Zaharah* will go to Canberra – to meet with politicians and beg them to bring her dad here, and allow her family to be reunited.

Zaharah, her mother, and her siblings all live in Sydney. Her dad has been held on Manus Island for nearly four years.

As Peter Dutton hides behind the Trump resettlement deal - he's said nothing about the future of split families like Zaharah's. This could be her last chance to bring her family together, here in Australia.

So Zaharah is going to Canberra, to tell her family's story. And we can make sure she isn't going alone.

Thousands of GetUp members have already signed the #SafetyForAll petition, calling on the government to provide safety for everyone held on Manus and Nauru – and that means reuniting families in Australia.

Can you sign the petition now, so that Zaharah can show politicians how many voters support her family?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has conceded that Manus and Nauru are dead-ends, and has announced that some refugees currently in offshore detention will have the option to resettle in the United States.

This deal could be good news for some people, but we simply don't know enough details yet. So we have to turn all our energy into ensuring whatever comes next, it's a plan that includes safety and fairness for everyone.

That means we have to be clear to the government: the camps must be evacuated immediately, and the plan to make that happen must ensure everyone is given safe, humane pathways to safety – including in Australia.

Here's what we know so far – and what it means:

  • There are at least 675 people who may not be covered, or want to be covered by this deal, who will be left to suffer on Nauru and Manus. They must be immediately brought to safety in Australia.

  • The government is still pushing for the bill to ban for life anyone who arrived by boat from ever coming to Australia. That bill must be blocked.

  • And Peter Dutton has said that the 370 people currently in Australia, including children born here, will be deportated back to Nauru. They must be allowed to stay.

We need to make sure any resolution brings safety to everyone the government has illegally imprisoned.

It's looking more and more likely the future of the offshore camps will be decided in the coming weeks, before Parliament is over for the holidays.

We must get out on the front foot and keep the pressure on, by making it clear to the Turnbull Government that not a single person must be deported from safety, or left behind on Manus or Nauru.

Add your name to the petition, and let's ensure there is fairness and safety for all.

*For legal reasons, Zaharah is a pseudonym.


To the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister,

It is a positive step that you have acknowledged the camps on Manus Island and Nauru must be emptied.

However, it is critical that every person your government has imprisoned is given access to safety.

There must be no one left behind, and there must be no deportations from Australia.

We the undersigned demand that every person currently on Manus and Nauru, or in detention in Australia under threat of deportation, is treated fairly and provided with a safe resolution to their imprisonment.

A plan for evacuating the camps must:

  • Leave nobody behind on Manus or Nauru

  • Offer people fair options for safe resettlement, reunite families, and not force anyone to take deals that would leave them vulnerable to further harm

  • Bring anyone who cannot take up an offer of resettlement in the USA to Australia

  • Reject any amendment to the Migration Act to ban those arriving by boat from entry to Australia

  • Allow people currently living in Australia, including those born here, to remain here with friends and family in our community

Anything short of the above will be no resolution at all.