A charity social worker who was an ambassador for the New South Wales city of Wagga Wagga is facing deportation.
Stina Constantine’s supporters say she is being deported due to an administrative error on her visa application form.
Constantine, a former Miss Wagga Wagga Quest, has called Australia home for 20 years.
But two weeks after being given the title in late 2019, she was told by the Department of Home Affairs she was being kicked out of the country in 30 days.
She has opted to fight her visa cancellation, taking her battle to the Federal Court.
“This is my community. These are my people. This is what I’m a part of,” Constantine told PRIME7 Wagga.
“But to be told, ‘leave now, you have 30 days to pack your life up and go’, – awful.
“There’s no other way to put it. It’s awful.”
Constantine and her supporters claim despite the administrative error being corrected, the immigration department’s decision to cancel her visa has stood.
The mistake was an incorrect date made by the educational institution she was studying with at the time, she said.
Constantine works for Country Hope, a not-for-profit organisation which provides support for rural children diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
She has been flooded with support by the Wagga community in her fight to stay in Australia.
A co-worker told PRIME7 he was “absolutely shattered” about her predicament, while a friend said Constantine is “family to me and family to many other people in Wagga”.
“I can honestly say she is one of the genuine, kindest, selfless, honest, giving and most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet,” a friend said on Facebook.
Constantine says she has run out of money as she fights deportation in the Federal Court.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for her legal fees for her ongoing court battle.
Almost $14,000 has been raised for her.