Bush Summit
Bush Summit

‘Pray for compassion’: Boarder’s mum’s letter to Premier

Dear Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk,

I write to you with tears in my eyes and in absolute despair.

I am the mother of a 13-year old boy who is in boarding school in Toowoomba. I live just over the border in NSW, on a farm, in an isolated area.

Warialda farmer Sam Barwick with his wife Amanda and their sons Harry, Hugo and Max. Harry is at a boarding school in Toowoomba and unable to see his family due to COVID border restrictions. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Warialda farmer Sam Barwick with his wife Amanda and their sons Harry, Hugo and Max. Harry is at a boarding school in Toowoomba and unable to see his family due to COVID border restrictions. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

Due to the restrictions you have put in place, I am now trying to grapple with the situation ahead of us - months of separation from our 13-year old son Harry.

Harry is sitting in a boarding school in Queensland with a broken leg and ankle and now has to somehow come to terms with not seeing his family for months.

I understand that you are attempting to keep "Queenslanders" safe, as we all try to navigate our way through this global pandemic.

Your fortitude I applaud.

But as Premier, I would ask you to do just one thing. Please find the 13-year-old girl within you and ask her this question.

If you were in the midst of a global pandemic, where the tragedy is being flashed over every media outlet incessantly; at a time when you needed your family the most - how would you feel if you couldn't see the people that made you feel most safe?

This is the feeling my son has right now. As do I.

We don't have a single COVID-19 case in my LGA, nor have we had any throughout this entire ordeal.

But still I am considered a risk to you. This is a situation I just cannot understand.

We have not sent our son to boarding school to climb the social ladder. As a hard working farming family, we have made huge financial and personal sacrifices to give our child the best education we can - an education that is not available based on our location.

I know that I am not in your jurisdiction and I know that you do not deem me as your responsibility, but my son is!

My son's name is Harry. He is 13-years old and he needs to see his family. We need to see him. You have the power to make that happen.

Our country is facing dual crises - one is economic, the other health. I feel there is a third one looming, and that is a mental health crisis.

Please Premier, I pray that you show compassion and allow our family to reunite.

Kindest Regards

Amanda Barwick

(Mother of Harry -Age 13)

Originally published as 'Pray for compassion': Boarder's mum's letter of despair to Premier



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