International students who are facing issues with their entry into Australia can finally rejoice. Julian Hill, Australian MP, makes a formal statement with strong words stating his displeasure over how Scott Morrison’s government handles the situation, where international students are facing barriers to entry into Australia.
Most students have been using social media to draw attention to the crisis, and Hill now responds to their plies. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the Australian government states that international students are no longer getting access into Australia to return to their respective schools. However, this barrier is causing an immense crisis amongst international students who are waiting eagerly to return.
Australian MP Hill’s Support For International Students
In his recent speech at the Parliament on February 18, 2021, Julian Hill voices his support for international students who cannot return to the country due to government restrictions.
His formal statement is as follows – “We have hundreds of thousands of students offshore right now, unable to come into this country, who are still paying those fees, studying offshore and online. I want to say very clearly to those students and to the international students who are here right now, paying top dollar: Thank you.”
He continues by saying, – “Australians are a better people than the way we’ve been represented by our Prime Minister, who has not shown any care, any empathy, any recognition of the plight that you have suffered, the destitution that you have faced, seeing, potentially, the life savings of your families threatened, being chucked out of work, being unable to pay rent, literally starving and relying on food vouchers.”
Hill adds that he believes international students coming to Australia to make a bright future for themselves and the country deserve “a lot” more. He emphasizes that “this mean, miserable government” refuses to show any empathy towards the talented students who are deserving of their place back in the country.
Furthermore, Hill feels deeply hurt and angry with the government, where he says in a further statement – “There has been not one word of care from the Prime Minister, just a dismissive, arrogant, narcissistic ‘Go home!’ That embarrassed me, and I was ashamed as an Australian at his lack of care.” Not just that, he is one of the few people who are taking an active interest in helping the students return to their everyday lives in Australia.
In his empathetic speech, he also makes the following statement – “It does not represent the views of Australians. You are welcome here, and we look forward to the day where students can come back onshore and study in our communities.”
How Are The Students Reacting To Hill’s Statement?
As we can expect, international students are taking social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to express their relief and joy at Hill’s remarks. A student called Rezanur Rahman has taken this opportunity to comment on the official account of MP Julian Hill to thank him for his unconditional support for their situation. A direct quote taken from Rahman’s comment states – “Thank you, Hon. Julian Hill, for your kind consideration and speech. It is a fantastic speech, and we are very grateful to you. At least one of the Australian politicians has shown empathy and compassion and respects international students’ emotions! Could you please keep trying to get us into Australia to resume our studies?”
But it doesn’t end there. Another enthusiastic student, namely Mark Thomson, makes a sweeping statement on Facebook. It states – “Julian Hill, you hit any subject on the head with accuracy … well-spoken … you are a force and a voice desperately needed in our Parliament right now … keep up speaking the truth … The Australian public is in desperate need of the truth..” Sandeep Kaushik said: “I don’t know why but when you were telling our truth in your speech, I was crying. Each and every word is true. I’m stuck overseas for the last year, struggling with finances and depression. The way this government treated us is not good for the PM who represents a country. I really appreciate your efforts Mr. Julian Hill MP, for being our voice.”
Another student has used Twitter to express their concerns on this effort made by Hill. This post on Twitter states – “In fairness, he can’t do much. He has zero control over the borders nor any control over visa extensions. I’m just happy that he’s spoken for us because almost no other politician has done that yet. Him spreading awareness could change the government’s minds (hopefully).”
A local student in Australia, Andrew Symonds, expresses his strong views against the system put in place by the Australian government. He says with hope, “International Students are raising serious concerns. Don’t ignore them and their requests about international borders. You have to give this matter your sympathetic considerations. As a developed nation, we should bring our students back.”
Muhammad Shahzaib, yet another young student, uses his social media account to thank Hill for his efforts gracefully. As per his Twitter post, he states, “Thanks, sir, for your voice in favor of all depressed international students. We hope this will start something positive in Australia’s decisions for international students. More powerful people should help to raise the voice of students.”
What Will Happen Next?
Several Australian students have put forward a petition where they request the government to allow travel exemptions. Their primary concern lies in the fact that online classes do not offer the same quality and experience as regular classes. This is seen globally, as students are continually struggling with keeping up with online studies and the demotivation that follows.
As of March 20, 2020, Australia officially closed its borders, restricting students from coming back into the country to continue their students. This has adversely affected students’ lives, and they plead with the government to allow them to return.
The good news is that 63 students have been allowed to enter Australia and resume their studies on November 30, 2020. We hope to see more students flying back into the country and returning to their everyday life and schooling.