BALLARAT refugee Justin Wani waited four years in an Egyptian camp for his visa’s approval to come to Australia.
Although Mr Wani endured those years waiting in a camp, his escape from Southern Sudan and resettling in a new country, he is not opposed to offshore processing, currently being discussed in federal parliament.
“If they don’t have a visa and any paperwork and Australia cannot take on any more immigrants, it is fair to send them to another country,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be sent back to where they came from, but they didn’t follow the law.”
The treatment and future of refugees and asylum seekers have been been highlighted in parliament after a boat sank, killing 90 asylum seekers, north of Christmas Island.
“Asylum seekers are fleeing because they’re suffering — maybe its the government or maybe its police, their country is suffering.”
Mr Wani said the Australian government should not send them back to their home country.
“Maybe they could be killed if they go back.”
Mr Wani, his wife and then two children were grateful for the opportunity to come to Australia.
“Processing visas can take a lot of time. We were just happy to come.”
When Mr Wani first arrived in Australia, he lived in Dandenong, before moving to Ballarat in 2006.
“Everyone has their own story,” he said.
“It was hard coming to Australia. You have to start from the beginning.”
Mr Wani had to relearn his trade of a mechanic technician again to meet Australian standards.
He also spent many hours learning to speak English.
Mr Wani has just opened up his own automotive repairs workshop, fulfilling a dream.
“Ballarat is nice, my kids love it here — it’s a great place to live,” he said.
Three of his children attend St Alipius primary school, with one baby at home.
“Now I’ve lived in Australia for eight years, so it really is my home.”