P1020457.JPGI and my cosignatories appeal to the Australian government to redress wrongs to which I was subjected in your country. My name is Gabriel, and I am a French citizen from Guadeloupe. Previously, I have worked as a sergeant for the French federal police force and had an excellent service record. I moved to Perth in January 2016, arriving alone, to obtain Australian citizenship. Starting in January 2018, my ability to work and study in consonance with my visa requirements was compromised by setbacks from businesses, courts, the police, and educational providers. I request that the government redress my grievances regarding these decisions—not only on my sake, but on behalf of all immigrants experiencing systemic discrimination.

In short, I have experienced the following:

  • I was sold a car in poor condition at the Car Giant WA car dealership in Jandakot in January 2018. The mechanics at the car dealership did not inform me of the mechanical failures which they themselves identified—and which had existed also previously. The dealership refused to reimburse me for earlier unsuccessful repairs, provide a new vehicle, conduct the necessary repairs, or compromise. The losses, including the price of the useless car and incomes as a driving instructor, cost me more than 50 000 AUD.
  • My lawyer at Cullen Macleod in Nedlands, who at first told me that I had strong evidence, decided after a few months that my case was legally complicated and refused to reimburse me. When my case against Cullen Macleod arrived in the court in Fremantle in January 2021, I was not provided with a French interpreter as I requested, meaning that I was not afford­ed equal protection under the law. The judge refused to postpone the hearing or review the evidence that I had against the dealership and former lawyer, and then dismissed my claim. The losses cost me more than 6 000 AUD.
  • On July 15th of 2018, while working as a rideshare driver, I was racially assaulted by one of my customers, who told me to “go back to your country” and hit me in the face badly enough so that I sustained bruises (which was documented in photographs taken by the responding police officer). Before the police arrived, however, my clients had fled. The police closed my matter because the customer, although identified by my employer, declined to talk to them. The losses I suffered, in psychological damages, cost me more than 30 000 AUD.
  • I was involved in a car accident in November 2019 while working as an independent driver, with a vehicle from Northside Rentals in Welshpool. I was charged the full rental fee for the new vehicle, despite not being at fault according to the police report. In March 2021, my car was not given back after scheduled service. I ultimately was unable to work as a driver for a duration of two months, and forced to rent a vehicle from another company at much higher cost. The losses from this illegal termination of contract and loss of work amount to more than 20 000 AUD.
  • On September 6th of 2020, again while working as an independent driver in Fremantle, I was accosted by two police officers who told me I would be fined for the alleged violation of having stopped my car at a traffic line in the road. The first officer’s badge number was never given to me, and the second police officer pushed me repeatedly while telling me to leave the scene. A month later, the police decided to initiate criminal proceedings against me. The CCTV footage of the incident that I requested from the city of Fremantle was provided to me with inexplicable deletions, and the incident report was never provided, despite a Freedom of Information request. The cumulative losses—partly in payments for non-provided service, partly in psychological damages from being assaulted—amount to more than 20 000 AUD.
  • I was pursuing a diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care with Australian Learning Group (ALG) at Perth College Subiaco (2018-2020), and was consistently mistreated in that program. My classmates were given privileges which I did not have. For example, during my internship period at South Lake Early Learning Centre (SLELC), my supervisor informed me that there was no child with special needs in their center and that I had to talk about it with my teacher. My teacher then told me that she was going to find me another center that had one, but refused to give me additional time in the program due to this incident. Back at my place of internship, an educator then told me that there indeed was a child at the center with special needs. Due to the high stress from this and other incidents, I was forced to end my work placement. My Caucasian classmates doing their work placement at the same center were never subjected to the treatment I was subjected to. My classmates obtained their diploma, which is necessary to obtain Australian citizenship. Later, I submitted a complaint and internal appeal that were rejected by the one and the same person, the school manager (in violation of school policies). I made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission—an e-mail from the commission confirmed that conciliation should be attempted based on the evidence I provided. However, more than a year later, the commission terminated its investigation, denying me conciliation. The losses amount to more than 50,000 AUD.

Despite six years of hard work both at studies and in gainful employment, I was ultimately unable to obtain Australian citizenship, and am now on a bridging visa which only avails of my continued presence in the country. All of my attempts at seeking redress—from a great variety of bodies, including the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Ethnic Communities Council of Western Australia—have been met with repeated refusals to properly investigate my claims and significant money losses which had the consequence that I could not attend either my mother’s and grandmother’s funerals. I have been subjected to refusal of service, erroneous terminations of contracts, improper job placement, and physical assaults none of which have been followed up. Taken together, all these incidents speak to inability or unwillingness among local businesses and local police forces to treat Australian denizens fairly, and to resulting human rights violations. This in turn leads to detrimental educational, economic, physical, psychological and citizenship outcomes for those affected.

My equality under the law with other Australian denizens was compromised. I appeal to the Australian government to recompense the damages caused, by an act of grace payment. I also appeal to the government to grant me Australian citizenship as full recognition of equality under the law. Legal precedent stipulates that act of grace payments can be made to effectively compensate individuals, in special circumstances, where the decision maker determines that the commonwealth has a direct moral responsibility to provide recompense.[1]

Please sign and share my petition.

[1] See Senate Community Affairs Committee (2004),, pp. 226-28, logdate 2022-08-19.  

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