Koku and Eva Wotodzo arrived from the West African nation Togo on student visas. After completing his degree, Koku was granted a temporary graduate visa but changes to immigration requirements resulted in his inability to apply for a skilled permanent visa.
Koku said when the rules changed he had approached the Minister and requested him to exercise his discretion. He provided all the relevant documents that supported his case. However, after one year he was informed by the Minister’s office that he couldn’t stay.
“They said it wasn’t in the public interest and yet I work in a university and my children are going to school here,” Koku told The Southern Cross.
Koku teaches in the business school at Flinders University and Eva has been working as a contract interpreter. The couple has three children, Perpetua, 11, Marcus, 7, and Francis, 4. The youngest two children were born in Australia and Perpetua was three months old when she came here with her parents.
Deacon Nick Kerr, from the Cathedral parish, said Koku and his family had been attending 11am Sunday Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral since the family first came here. The children were baptised in the Cathedral and Perpetua is an altar server at the Cathedral.
Deacon Kerr said Koku and Eva had been great contributors to the community and had integrated well into Australia society despite the long-term uncertainty of their immigration case.
He said people could help fight their deportation by signing the petition.
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