Apollo Bay man’s deportation cancelled at last minute

Apollo Bay’s Christian Feetham was reunited with his daughter Rivah Feetham-Stone, 7, when he was released from an immigration detention facility yesterday.

“Would you believe that I signed the documentation on Monday to go to New Zealand… I think we’re all still a bit shell shocked about it all.”

Apollo Bay’s Christian Feetham says the past week has been “crazy”, having caved under the weight of being held in immigration detention on Monday, before being released on Wednesday afternoon as a free man.

“Would you believe that I signed the documentation on Monday to go to New Zealand; I’d had enough of detention, so I signed and was expecting to see the removal team Wednesday,” Christian said.

“Instead it was Immigration saying the minister has intervened and you’ve got your visa.”

The Herald first spoke to Christian in August, when he shared his experience of being detained by Australian immigration officers on April 27, 2018, and being held in the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne.

Christian was born in New Zealand to an Australian mother and moved to Australia when he was 17 months old.

His visa was cancelled this year because his criminal record meant that he didn’t pass the character test imposed to all potential Australian visa holders; section 501 of the Migration Act (1958).

Christian told the Herald yesterday that he was surprised to receive a call from Australian immigration officials, informing him that Immigration Minister David Coleman had intervened in his case.

“I was a bit confused actually, because I’d signed the paperwork with Immigration on Monday, and then I had to see the ADF removal team, and so I thought it was a bit strange that it was Immigration coming to see me again, I was a bit rattled by that actually,” he said.

See Wednesday’s Colac Herald for more.

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