Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee Took The Government To Court And Won After Being Told He Was Not An Aussie Citizen When Trying To Renew His Passport

Wow, what in the hell is this? In 2016, Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee applied to renew his Aussie passport, and didn’t expect that his application for renewal would be denied and he was told that he was not an Australian citizen.

Lee was born in pre-independence Papua New Guinea, and for those who know how pathetic and rigid The Australian immigration and citizenship laws are, you would know very narrow interpretations get made at every opportunity by bureaucrats and Ministers. This is pretty much what happened to Lee. The department notified him that he stopped becoming an Aussie citizen, when Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975 – Lee was born just months before this and that made him an automatic Aussie citizen.

In 2017, h3 received a letter from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to notify him of this, and he tells SBS that he was shocked when he got the news. All Lee knew was that he grew up in Brisbane. So what did he do? He took the department to the Federal Court and won.

Troy (second from right) at the federal court with (left to right) lawyer Matt Black, father Gordon Lee, mother Amy Lee, barrister Kim Rubenstein and lawyer Michael Chan. Source: Stefan Armbruster/SBS News

The full bench of the Federal Court ruled that Lee is an Aussie citizen and that the department made significant mistakes and that Lee needs to be adequately compensated for time lost etc. Lee had a great career in Taiwan with Mitsubishi, and had to give that up to return to Australia to fight his case. He is hoping for a 7 figure payout.

You would think that this is an isolated case, but it is more common for many Aussies who were born in Papua New Guinea pre independence 1975. We all know that Australia locks up refugees and asylum seekers, so it is no surprise that there are situations like this one.

To read more about Lee’s case, please click on: When Troy went to renew his Australian passport he was told he wasn’t a citizen. This is what happened next .

Header image via SBS News

1 comment

  1. What’s the difference between myself and Troy Zen Lee?I was born in Papua Possession of the Crown.Before independence 1975..

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