By Steph McNicol –
THE Hyde family of Seymour will have their four-year battle with immigration authorities broadcasted nationally after taking part in an SBS documentary Who Gets To Stay in Australia?
The episode, premiering Wednesday July 1, will tell the story of the Irish family’s journey as Tony, Christine, and their son Darragh fought for their place in Australia after being denied residency in 2015.
The couple were told they no longer met the criteria for permanent residency when Darragh was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after he was born.
The premiere marks almost one year since the family was granted permanent residency after receiving a ministerial reprieve from deportation in July 2019.
Ms Hyde said she was interested to see how the television series would capture their ‘unique story’ and summarise it in one hour.
“I think it’s a unique story on the grounds of compassion and people wanting us to stay. [The SBS crew] followed us everywhere and they were around a lot,” she said.
“They came to the playground when we were there, came to have lunch with us and came to the tribunal courts but weren’t allowed to film inside.
“I think they wanted to show that we were just part of the community. We’re very quiet people so for our story to go public was big for us.
“They’ve got every up and down moment, the horrible parts of our experience and when we got the phone call to say we could stay.”
Ms Hyde said she hoped their episode would encourage change in the immigration system.
“I’m only one person, but I hope the system will get looked at with people getting refused on medical grounds,” she said.
“Not everybody fits in the same box, and there was no need for us to go through that. We knew from day one it would get to that point, but to drag it out for four years was not fair.
“Someone will know how to change it. I don’t know how I would do it, but putting our story out there, maybe someone might know.”
Ms Hyde said the family’s life had changed significantly since being able to call Australia home.
“[We’re] able to make different choices. Tony moved jobs and works in Seymour now, when before that was considered taking a risk during the application,” she said.
“We never had a weekend and now we do, and life is completely different. Darragh turns five in August and will start school in Seymour next year.
“Darragh always says now that he’s Australian and Seymour is his home. He’s the healthiest he’s ever been and doing really, really well.”
- The Hyde family will appear on episode four of the series.