Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Passports Round 2 - Section 9

From a letter to my lawyer
However.... it's now been totally clarified in the APD that the gender
on the passport is *always* that shown on the Australian Birth
Certificate, or for those born overseas, the gender in the Department
of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) database, as evidenced by the
Citizenship Certificate. DIAC only issues a new one in a new name if
the citizen's gender changes.

Now in August last year, two months before I got the final knock-back,
I'd had my details changed by DIAC (DIMIA as was at the time). DFAT
had been given a copy of my new citizenship certificate.

Furthermore, the now super-secret MAPI (Manual of Australian Passport
Issue) is a section 9 document according to the National Archives.
It's on the record that the MAPI is available for inspection at any
Passport Office. When I confronted the APO with the DFAT section 9
list showing this, I was still not able to be granted full access.
There had been a directive that certain parts are not to be made

However, and in a total contrast to the whole atmosphere before, I was
given a printout of the sections I was interested in, free of charge.
Not only that, but a photocopy of the MAPI as was in force at the time
of my application, and until May this year. The attitude was one of
helpful co-operation, no longer adversarial. I may be disappointed in
future, but I have hopes that matters will be resolved for me soon.

A Cynic would say that they were just glad that I didn't insist on
seeing the whole thing - that would have put them in a very difficult
situation, in direct contravention of the FOI act. My evident goodwill
in not putting them on the spot was followed by a change in attitude
on their part. It may be causal.

If I had applied today, the case would have been straightforward, and
a passport issued immediately. The problem is that my case lay outside
the guidelines before. It is arguable that it should have been granted
anyway, that the new amendment merely clarifies matters that already
existed. In any event, it was certainly a case that should have been
recognised as outside the usual, and kicked upstairs so someone human
could make a reasonable decision, rather than be shackled by
administrative guidelines.

DFAT were astonished that they'd already received the citizenship
certificate. I think this snuck under their radar, they'd already had
months of trouble with this "turbulent priest" and were convinced I
was trying to pull a fast one of some kind. That I could have gotten
the DIAC records changed was an impossibility (so they thought) as I'm
married, and they *knew* the Marriage Act prevented that.
By the current rules, my reading is that they definitely should have
issued a passport when they received the DIAC data. Certainly everyone
at Immigration was astonished and horrified that they didn't, seeing
it as blatant discrimination.

The Saga Continues. Hopefully Reason will prevail. If not, well, not only I know
how shamefully I've been treated, but DFAT knows now as well.

It's important to step back, and think about what this whole situation is about.

It's about simply getting a Passport, something that by the Australian Passport Act,
every Australian has a right to. I'm no Criminal, nor someone with dodgy citizenship,
nor a Passport Trafficker or Terrorist. I already had a UK passport with the same
correct details in. I needed to go overseas for surgery, there was a growing risk
of cancer. I have a congenital medical problem, nothing particularly unusual, and
that's all.

At a time when I was under great stress, when I was most vulnerable, I was treated
worse than a Murderer - they can get passports. I was ordered to Divorce before a
passport would be granted, something that was a gross abuse of power, and blatantly
discriminatory. Had I not recorded it on my blog, as it happened, it would seem
unconceivable that anyone could be treated this way.

For many months I faced the possibility that I would not be allowed back in the country
to see my little son. The sleepless nights, the vast amounts of time spent writing
letters, or waiting (sometimes for hours) at the Passport Office, all that was
totally un-necessary. Pain and Suffering is an exact description of what was inflicted
on me. I think many in a similar situation would not have coped. I came very close
to losing it, as was reflected in my writings.

Now that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, I can let my outrage at
being treated like dirt show. I'm crying now, trying to get rid of the pain, the
anguish, the frustration at the unreasonable and unconscionable conduct of some of
those who had me at their mercy. HOW DARE THEY DO THIS TO ME? I'm Human.

I'm Human. I'm human. No human being should be treated like that.

I intend to make sure they don't ever do it again. That they never order anyone to
Divorce. Victimised, I refuse to be a Victim. They don't have my permission to
de-humanise me. Revenge is not in order, but Recompense, and Retribution, is. If I
can swing it.

A good Barrister has been recommended. Hopefully it won't come to Court. I have no
wish to see people suffer, but I do wish to give such aversion therapy that they
never, ever, do anything like this again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:-) Now Zoe, you KNOW, just as Little Johnny and Alexander "Fishnets and High Heels" Downer KNOW, that we non-normborns are most certainly NOT human, and that our being born subverts God's Natural Order, and thus we must be persecuted and eliminated so that we no longer pollute the gene pool and deplete Johnny and Alex's precious bodily fluids, and so that we do not upset the cats. ;-)