A New Start for a Little Mermaid (and Her Family)

by | Dec 17, 2022

Group-photo-with-Belando-Nicholson-family beside the window

Every single day I feel lucky and grateful to get to do my job. One of the biggest privileges are getting to meet and spend time with my clients – people who choose to migrate overseas are normally both interesting and interested in the world, brave and adventurous – you have to be to choose to go through the challenges of going out into the world.

Today I had breakfast with the Belando Nicholson family – who epitomise these exact qualities. I have been working with this amazing family for over two years now – first on their permanent visa and now their applications for Australian citizenship.

Ewan is Australian (from Brisbane!) and his wife Susana is Spanish. They adopted their beautiful girls Destiny and Victoria from an orphanage in Malta. Destiny and Victoria’s migration journey is little short of a miracle – the two tiny girls were fished out of the Mediterranean Sea after their refugee boat capsized in 2008. Destiny was 18 months old and Vicky was just 6 months old. The girls were placed in an orphanage, stateless, with no records or family to show where they were from. On top of everything, Vicky has a physical impairment – fibular hemimelia which causes one of her legs to be 14cm shorter.

From this challenging start, with tragedy and trauma, displacement and statelessness, to a happy home in Brisbane, a close knit and supportive family, and 3 nationalities (we are working on their Australian citizenship as their 4th!).

Destiny is going into year 11 and plans to become a teacher for people with disabilities, and Vicky is going into year 10 and is an incredible athlete (with plans to represent Australia in water polo and swimming). The girls are happy and thriving.

My sister Libby came along to breakfast to say hello and to show the girls her Olympic gold medal for swimming (I have a feeling Vicky might have one of her own one day).

Susana and Ewan are lovely people and amazing parents, and I am so lucky to have gotten to be part of their migration journey for them and their family.

Australia is lucky that they have chosen to settle here.

#migrationstories #thisiswhywearetheluckycountry
#migration
#migrationlaw

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