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Commission Website: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

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Submission to the National

Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from

Michael Hall: Supplementary


Further information

provided to the Inquiry by Michael Hall, ACM Health Services Manager at

Curtin, for two years, 2000-2002.

The disabled child

[age removed], had cerebral palsy and from memory his family was [nationality

removed]. I think his Curtin ID number was [removed] and his name [name

removed]. His family arrived [date removed]. He had a couple of siblings,

[age removed, name removed]. [Identifying details removed]. Last I heard

was that the child was being cared for at Curtin (now closed) in the Health

clinic by the nurses as the mother had refused to look after him anymore

as she had exhausted all visa application processes and was still refused.

There was never any

coherent policy by ACM or DIMIA for the care of the disabled. I wrote

recommendations to have the family moved to a city centre eg Villawood

as Derby did not have the infrastructure to care for a child who was [age

removed] and had a disability that he had never had any treatment or assistance

with. The reply from ACM Head Office was that the mother making this request

(she never did) was probably only for "secondary gain" and the

transfer was refused.

We had another child

who was deaf and I had great trouble getting DIMIA to allow this child

into Derby where the school actually had someone trained in education

of the hearing impaired child unlike the Curtin school. DIMIA refused

this to happen citing they did not have a memorandum of understanding

with the primary school. This is despite the fact that the high and primary

school were on one site, with one administration ([name removed] being

the boss) and the teacher in question happy to take the child.

The [girl] was around

[age removed] and arrived sometime late in [date removed]. ACM School

were reluctant to do anything with this child. They insisted that a nurse

take the child to school as if she was a medical case requiring supervision.

The senior teacher called [name removed] was most uncooperative. When

the school did take the child she sat in class for an hour with colouring

pencils while routine classes carried on. Then she went over to the recreation

office where she watched videos (no subtitles) with other kids for an

hour and then played under supervision for an hour. This was recorded

as a three hour education session for the girl.

She was eventually

released to [place and date removed] be with her father without any real

help given except for an audiology appointment and a hearing specialist

test. Because of bureaucracy I was unable to obtain finance and supply

of hearing aids before she was released. I only hope [an agency for the

hearing impaired] was able to track her down and supply the hearing aids

I had fought to supply her. At least I achieved this for her although

she received no educational assistance while in Curtin. Her name was [name

removed] and her number [removed] and her father was [name removed].

It was well known

that the whole school at Curtin at best supplied English lessons and kept

the kids occupied. As far as an education being provided it was well known

that it was not happening.

For example there

was a child who had been in Curtin for almost [period of time removed]

and the Curtin school did not pick up the fact that he was severely visually

impaired ie he couldn't have caught a ball tossed to him! It was only

when he went to Derby High School in [date removed], that they picked

up that he had congenital cataracts and commented that he would have had

difficulty catching a ball! I think was number [removed] although I cannot

recall his name.

The Pathology work

I performed was HIV / Hep B / syphyllis / malaria screen for all adults

on all individuals over 15 years plus any unaccompanied minors. Under

this age bloods were not done. The malaria screen was dropped as a routine

test in February 2000 although Port Hedland carried on doing them for

another year according to [name removed], the acting Health Services Manager

there. Routine screening for Hep C was added some time in 2000 by DIMIA

for all individuals over 15 years plus any unaccompanied minors.


Updated 30 June 2003.