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Cornelia Rau was briefly detained in a detention centre for illegal immigrants by Australian offcials four years ago. She did not appear to speak English, said she did not have Australian citizenship, had no identification, and could not explain how she came to be in Australia. It was soon recognised that she had a mental illness and treatment was provided.

Her family, who seemed to appear out of nowhere, made a thundering row about her having been illegally detained (it turned out she had dual German and Australian citizenship) and Cornelia was granted $2.6 million dollars in compensation. It was never quite clear to me how the government or people of Australia (the compensation money comes from tax payers) had done anything wrong.

Now she has travelled to Jordan, where her behaviour has caused her to be arrested. She has refused Australian assistance. Yet somehow this is all still Australia’s fault.

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