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Old 04-22-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
Seth Warren
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Default Woman too thin to be an Australian

From http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/con...6/s1619973.htm

Quote:
The World Today - Woman denied entry to Australia based on weight

The World Today - Thursday, 20 April , 2006 12:50:00
Reporter: Matt Wordsworth
ELEANOR HALL: Now for any you struggling with your weight - take heart. It seems you can be declared too skinny to be an Australian.

That's according to British woman Helen Evans, who says she's been denied permanent residency on the grounds that she's too thin.

Mrs Evans moved from the UK to Brisbane four years ago and married her Australian boyfriend. But since then, she's struggled to pass her medical check to gain permanent residency because immigration officials say that at 37 kilograms, she's just not fat enough to become one of us.

In Brisbane, Matt Wordsworth reports.

MATT WORDSWORTH: In the home of Yorkshire puddings and Turkey Twizzlers, British woman Helen Evans has always been regarded as a little on the slim side.

At 37 kilograms she admits to being skinny, but it wasn't until she moved to Australia and applied for permanent residency that she discovered that being that thin is just un-Australian.

HELEN EVANS: Okay, we arrived here in Australia in 2002 in March and then we put our application in September and then it all went downhill from there, basically.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Why? What happened?

HELEN EVANS: They refused to grantÖ you have to clear certain things and part of it is health and they said that my BMI was too low and so they basically said that unless I put on near on 10 kilos that they were going to deport me.

MATT WORDSWORTH: How heavy were you at the time?

HELEN EVANS: 37 kilos.

MATT WORDSWORTH: That is fairly thin, but do you think that's too thin to become an Australian?

HELEN EVANS: Well if you could see me, you wouldn't think that it was. I'm not exactly big built anyway. I'm only small for my size. To physically look at me, I don't look as old as what I am.

MATT WORDSWORTH: That must have given you a surprise, coming to Australia and being told you're too thin?

HELEN EVANS: Well to be honest, everybody all along my life, that is what I have suffered with, is that people have continually said oh, you're weight causes this and your weight causes that and you know. And yet I have never considered it to be a problem, itís just everybody else seems to.

And immigration actually denied me residency on the 24th of July 2004 and then it went to the Migration Review Tribunal in the August of 2004.

MATT WORDSWORTH: So what did the tribunal say when they saw it was because of your weight that you weren't getting allowed residency?

HELEN EVANS: They then pushed it through that I've got to prove that there was nothing wrong with me, so after another $1300 dollars down the road and all that came back is that I've got gluten intolerance, which means I've got to change my diet.

MATT WORDSWORTH: So you moved to Australia to find out you had a gluten intolerance?

HELEN EVANS: Basically yeah.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Did they set down a goal for you to achieve to become an Australian resident?

HELEN EVANS: Once it was submitted that I've got a gluten intolerance then basically my doctor said that was the major cause of everything else that was going on, that they just cleared it straight through.

And once I get this letter back from police check, then Iíve got to send that back to immigration, then immigration will decide whether I meet all the other characteristics that I need to. And then when they finally decide whether I do or not then they'll grant me permanent residency. If they decide that I donít then Iíve got 28 days to leave.

MATT WORDSWORTH: So you think you're going to become a resident by the end of the year?

HELEN EVANS: Hopefully. I've then got another two years before I can actually become a citizen.

MATT WORDSWORTH: What do people say back home in the UK when you tell them why you can't become a resident?

HELEN EVANS: Everybody that I tell when I tell them I've been denied permanent residency they look at me and go why, and when I tell them I am too thin they look at me and go yeah, now tell me the real reason.

They just think it is so laughable the fact that you know, you can be too thin to become Australian.

MATT WORDSWORTH: The Immigration Department has welcomed the decision of the tribunal and says with the new medical information it can get on with processing Mrs Evans' application.

And for the record, she now weighs 43 kilograms.

ELEANOR HALL: Matt Wordsworth in Brisbane.
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Old 04-22-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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In fairness, the woman in question would have been just over 81lbs. I'm also quite sure the same regulations would routinely deny residency to people who are only somewhat fat and I doubt those people would be as likely to get a press write up over it.
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Old 04-22-2006, 02:57 PM   #3
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How awful. It's descriminatory either way. Some people are naturally skinny and some naturally fat, and that should be recognized.
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:00 PM   #4
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So if they had a high BMI they would be rejected also, despite any health tests proving they were healthy?
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:14 PM   #5
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That would be correct. Unfair immigration policy is nothing new down this way. At the time, it was argued that this person would pose a burden on the health system or something.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:48 PM   #6
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43kg = 94 lbs.

Ridiculous either way. What about embryos? I bet they weigh less than that.

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Old 04-22-2006, 08:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Warren
37 kilos
Sweet sassy molassy! She's only 84 pounds?!? Unless she's four foot something, I'd be worried too.

Thankful he can only count some of his ribs,
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:37 AM   #8
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I went through this kind of crap when I was younger....the school nurse always sent notes home to my mom, saying I was "underweight" and she needed to take me to the doctor.

SOME people are just NATURALLY thin and SOME people are just NATURALLY fat!
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:43 AM   #9
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While I haven't heard of a person being refused because they were too thin, but it's not surprising.

And, this is not the first time, I heard of country doing it, in the name of protecting their health care system.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:12 AM   #10
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I tried to find an old news article about it but...I recall a few years ago,after a devastating earthquake, some movie stars were in Canada for a film festival.

Some of the British ones went to the Red Cross in Canada to donate blood, and were turned away for being too thin.
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