I have a story to share that came to my notice last night. One of the readers of Love versus Goliath (the book) told me he knew how we felt. He was made to feel like a criminal for falling in love with an “Evil Oriental”.
Was this last year? Five years ago?
It was the early 1990s. Let us say twenty years ago in round figures. Twenty years ago and NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!
Yes, I accept our case was slightly more unusual because Mr O was an asylum seeker. However, citizens DO have rights. This reader and myself had rights.
I asked him to write a guest article for this website. I found his response VERY SAD.
“I would love to, but after reading yours, too many emotions have surfaced and I don’t think I would have your strength to do it.”
The pain of his experience, after twenty years, is still so powerful the emotions were caused to resurface by his reading our experience.
I have chosen not to identify our reader here. He has experienced enough pain already.
I’ll make this very short, just an update on last night for those many people who were supportive.
Although I am yet to see and actual copy of a bill, I am told the amount covered the period January 2010 to June 2010. Mr O was whipped back into detention early April 2010. So at least two months is not his anyway, if anyone else was in the house.
I was reliably informed the “default” will stay on his name for life, even if we pay it, unless either DIAC or Red Cross formally advise they are responsible. Only in that circumstance can the default be lifted. Edit: I’ve just been told they only last 5 years – but that isn’t what I was told, but likely the customer service guy didn’t know any better than I do.
I don’t think I need to write how I feel. Yes, I have taken steps, but how long will this take? Can any reader tell me this is even remotely fair?
Of course, if you ALL go buy the book, that would help considerably.
Just click on the cover image below to buy
Love versus Goliath!
Other retailers will follow shortly.
I invite those followers who have read the book already to leave a comment and of course invite them to give a review on Amazon! Many thanks to our wonderful beta readers!
I DID IT! I took the bull by the horns and epublished. In the hours immediately after I uploaded the manuscript, I was SO damn nervous I’m surprised I didn’t break out in a rash.
I sent text messages to my sister and some of my beta readers. I sent emails to others.
Why did I take the plunge and ePublish?
The reasons are many really. It started back on A funny thing happened. That was back in December 2011. I had a gut feel from that experience that my manuscript was considered a bit too risky. A year later, I still haven’t shaken that belief.
Then Matthew Wright, an author I have a great deal of respect for, suggested that for my particular book, ePublishing might be the way to go in order to attract a traditional publisher.
I started this article on the night of January 25. I plan to update it each day until my book was available on-line. This could be a very long article by the end!
Why did I choose Bookbaby? I had read of another author’s experience using Bookbaby and on further research the choice seemed to be Bookbaby or Smashwords. Let’s hope I made the right decision! I Googled for Bookbaby reviews and I did find a negative review, but I found many positive reviews.
There was the question of setting retail price. I discovered the best return from Amazon was if the book was priced at or below $9.99 but more than $2.00 (I think it was $2.00). I have no intention of giving away our journey, I believe our experience is worth more than that.
I’d like to share with you the words of an advance reader. I call her an advance reader because she got the penultimate version of the manuscript!
I know I read most of your posts but it is easy to forget how you suffered as time moves on.
I feel exhausted just reading – I feel like I’m on a roller coaster and it does not stop and goes on from one problem to the next. Each time I think this can’t be right some other problem is thrown up. I think I’d have throttled the guy in the passport office making you renew your passport – what a tit! Your stress levels must have been off the scale. Well, yes I know they were – and your poor face. The charred picture of the bodies of mother and child made me cry. Bastards!
This reader has been following this website for a very long time. Of course, this is Carole, who tagged me in The Next Big Thing.
I’ve had a turbulent relationship with my country, my Australia, over the last few years. Today I stopped to reflect on what Australia Day means to me.
I’ve gone through having my love for and belief in my nation shattered. I’ve despaired, I’ve raged, I’ve been angered beyond anything I ever thought I could feel.
Through all of it, I’ve learnt more about how our Indigenous people feel about Australia Day and more of our history. As I was schooled overseas, my Australian history was somewhat lacking.
I’ve watched us lock up Ranjini and her children, snatching her from the loving arms of her new husband with 5 minutes notice. I’ve argued about this case with a woman who clearly knew NO details at all, yet felt it her duty to argue Ranjini’s incarceration was the right thing. Frustrating.
I’ve watched our politicians become less and less professional and more about personal attacks than policy by some. I created a small furore by announcing I would not renew my Liberal Party membership. I’m publishing a book that may be considered highly critical of my country by some.
At what point does one just give up the fight against injustice? One minute I think it is just about my case so what the hell, just give up. Then I remind myself it isn’t just about me, it is about all the others out there, not just in Australia but globally. I remember the poor young father who ended up committing suicide fighting the USA system. I wrote about it somewhere but I can’t find it now – too many articles here to search through. The cases become more numerous as the population of the world becomes more mobile. Legislation doesn’t keep up with the the realities of life.
It seems I fight alone, however, and that is damn hard work. I don’t mean alone when we were fighting for the visa, we had a wonderful support team then. I mean now, fighting for recovery of the costs of the fight. It is impossible, really, to fight on alone, but there is no more money to fund yet another legal battle. Justice, it seems, is only available to those who can afford justice.
The other day I wrote:
Paper warfare. It becomes paper warfare and I understand why people just give up. Let Goliath win. The battle for fairness, respect and recompense is just too hard, takes too much time, too much effort. We poor taxpayers have jobs to go to, children to raise, homes to run. Battling Goliath just becomes another problem we don’t need, so we give up and they win. So it continues and nothing changes.
Today I feel like giving up. I feel I am just fighting a losing battle. This was said to me today, “ … it’s the Australian people you are contending with. Politicians reflect sentiment“. True statement perhaps, when you consider this comment, below, I received on this site some time ago and didn’t allow through moderation. I was never going to publish it, but it fits with the statement made to me today, “politicians reflect sentiment”. Read more
A shorter version of this article by me has previously been published on Independent Australia, titled “Toss a coin, get a visa”
During 2010 – 2011 I fought a mammoth battle against the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). My husband, a removed asylum seeker, applied for a partner visa: I was his sponsor.
The visa was denied, I appealed and the decision was remitted back to DIAC. The visa was subsequently granted. I strongly believe the original decision was wrong; wrong due to defective administration. There were factual errors together with strains of both racism and sexism, amongst other issues. I will give one example. One of the reasons given was that my husband had not sent me any money. Let me share the reality. My husband had been kept in Australia for two years with no working rights and was returned to a third world country; he had four children to take care of and was in hiding. I am professionally qualified and employed in a first world country, yet he was supposed to send me money? I am positive had my husband been the wife and I the husband, this “reason” would not have been considered or mentioned. He had been back in his country a whole two months when we lodged the application. A person with NO complications would find it hard to find accommodation, employment and set themselves up within TWO months! We had complications!
I will say once I appealed, thankfully our case was resolved in an acceptable timeframe. This doesn’t mean the original decision wasn’t defective. It doesn’t mean the whole process didn’t cost us thousands of dollars we should not have needed to spend.
When I discovered there is an avenue for claiming minimal compensation, a scheme for Compensation for Detriment due to Defective Administration (CDDA), I lodged a claim. I lodged a claim for about half of what I estimate I should be able to claim. Why only half? Not knowing this process was available, I never kept a detailed record or receipts for every expense. The scheme is limited to financial loss, aimed to place the claimant back in to the financial position they would have been in had the defective administration not occurred. Nothing for pain and suffering, lost sick leave, lost holidays, fear or trauma.
I didn’t claim for the decisions related to my husband’s protection visa, it was just all too hard. I want to make clear the fact I didn’t try to claim for that period is not an indication of how I feel about that decision. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the fight emotionally or psychologically.