AFR women of influence 2019 letter

Each year, the Australian Financial Review Women of Influence awards ‘recognise the most influential, inspirational and visionary women’. The event is sponsored by Qantas.

This letter is an initiative of Mums for Refugees, the Home to Bilo campaign and the Stop Deportations to Danger campaign.

Read news story here.

A few weeks ago, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told the National Press Club that he will continue speaking out on social issues.

Mr Joyce’s commitment to speaking about issues that matter to employees, customers and our shareholders is very much welcomed. But without action, words mean nothing.

More than a quarter of a million Australians have signed a petition asking our government to bring Nades, Priya and their QLD-born girls, Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, home to the central Queensland town of Biloela.

Right now, this much-loved young family are trapped and isolated at an empty Christmas Island detention facility, 5,000km from their Biloela home.

Since this much-loved family were taken from their Biloela home in March 2018, private charter airline Skytraders has forcibly flown this family over 13,000km on five separate flights between Gladstone, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Christmas Island.

When mobile phone footage revealed the terror and brutality of just one of these forced flights, Australians were horrified.

But Skytraders is not the only airline allowing Mr Dutton to use its planes, pilots and crew to force vulnerable people to fly against their will.

Last week, we learned that one day after Mr Joyce’s National Press Club speech, Qantas allowed Border Force use its planes to force a young man suffering severe mental illness on a forced 5,400km round trip between detention facilities in Perth and Melbourne.

We wholeheartedly support Mr Joyce’s commitment to standing up for what’s right. But as an Australian and global aviation industry leader, he cannot ignore the role Qantas plays in the Australian government’s cruelty towards those who seek our safety and protection.

We urge Alan Joyce to show moral leadership to the aviation industry and end Qantas’ participation in the forced domestic transfer and deportation of people seeking asylum to danger.

In the spirit of Australia,

Linh Do
Lucinda Hartley
Anna Rose
Mikhara Ramsing
Genevieve Clay-Smith
Madeleine Buchner

[2019 nominees can email if you would like to add your name]