Ministerial reprieve means ECEC is saved in the the town of Mungindi

Ministerial reprieve means ECEC is saved in the the town of Mungindi

by Freya Lucas

April 29, 2022

Two years ago The Sector shared the story of Rebecca Ellision, the sole provider of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in the New South Wales/Queensland border town of Mungindi. 

 

At the time Ms Ellison was seeking support to remain in Australia after starting a family day care service to respond to overwhelming need in the region while being employed as a nanny on a working holiday visa. 

 

Based on the overwhelming need for her services, Ms Ellison had applied for permanent residency, but faced the threat of deportation when her application was rejected in 2018 based on a “technicality” in that she was self employed as a family day care educator, rather than being sponsored by an established approved provider. 

 

Her first appeal into the decision was declined as it was not considered to be in the public interest, however with a two year wait list for her service, and with parents having literally no other ECEC options, she initiated a second appeal for support. 

 

After a two year wait Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has intervened, granting Ms Ellison’s application which will not only allow her to stay in the country and continue to provide her vital service, but will also allow her to take out loans, travel, and return to the UK for a visit, which she has been unable to do while on a bridging visa. 

 

The decision has been well received by Mungindi parents who use the service including Holly Orton, who is a teacher at the local school who said that without Ms Ellison’s care being available “it would probably mean that I wouldn’t be able to work.”

 

Ms Ellison’s application was approved after the ABC, who broke the story initially, contacted the Minister’s department about the case. Nationals Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, helped to lobby Mr Hawke in relation to the case telling the ABC “I‘ve been in this game for quite a while now and ministerial interventions don’t happen very often.” 

 

To read the ABC coverage of this story please see here

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