DESPITE all the drama involved with coming over to Australia, London police officer Peter Threlfall is looking forward to moving to the country and still has a posting in Ceduna in mind.
The London Metropolitan Police sergeant was originally offered a constable job in Ceduna and was set to move to the West Coast as soon as his visa was approved.
But Mr Threlfall and his family were originally denied visas on the presumption his 25 year old stepdaughter Sarah’s autism would place a burden on Australian healthcare and community services.
But upon hearing this news, Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen reversed the decision to allow the family to move to Australia.
Mr Threlfall said the family wanted to live the ‘seaside and small community experience’ when they decided to move to Australia.
“Having researched all the possibilities such as Port Lincoln, Whyalla amongst others we were completely taken by Ceduna,” he said.
“The idyllic location, many miles from the ‘Metropolis’ was and still is a massive draw.”
Mr Threlfall learned about Ceduna through visiting the West Coast Sentinel news site and viewing the town through Google Maps.
The family put Ceduna as their first preference for a posting and were delighted with the news they would go there after Mr Threlfall’s training.
But Mr Threlfall said when he received the news their visa was denied it was devastating for the family, and didn’t make sense.
“The decision was completely disproportionate, as not one of Sarah’s positive attributes were considered or even allowed to be considered during the DIAC ‘Hypothetical Led’ process,” he said.
“She ‘would’ be, and is a benefit to society rather than a burden.”
Sarah is currently active with two jobs in London and also volunteers with the Scout and Guide movement.
A spokeswoman for Minister Bowen’s office said the Minister decided to intervene when he heard the news.
“The Minister was concerned by the case, decided to intervene and asked his department to facilitate entry for the family,” she said.
With the news the Threlfall family are looking forward to coming to Australia and still have Ceduna in mind.
Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter said South Australia has benefited greatly from recruiting UK police officers.
“Many English police officers have brought with them years of experience and have been very professional in their jobs,” he said.
“If Peter Threlfall is posted in Ceduna, the community would definitely welcome him with open arms.”
His current posting isn’t finalised, but Mr Threlfall said they would still love to move to Ceduna if it’s available.
“We are looking forward to working in a close community, getting to know the local community and building relationships, not wasting hours in traffic jams and commuting to work with elbows and armpits in your face,” he said.
“I can only hope luck continues to shine in our favour and there is a place in Ceduna for us, if not then it will be a continuing goal for us to experience.”
The Threlfall family are expected to arrive in Australia later this year.