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Submission to the National
Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from
Michael Hall: Supplementary
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.