The seven protesters who superglued their hands to a balustrade in Parliament House were acquitted on Thursday of intentionally damaging Commonwealth property.
Supporters in the public gallery greeted the verdicts with sighs of relief, and some wiped tears from their eyes. Once outside court, members of the group celebrated with hugs and cries of, "yes".
The jury began deliberating about 9am Thursday and reached the verdict shortly after.
On November 30, 2016, Timothy Buchanan, Philip Evans, Hannah Grant, Samantha Hawker, Chamomilla Hill, Sally Hunter and Jason Ray joined a larger group in the House of Representatives to stage a protest over Australia's offshore detention camps.
Question Time was forced to a halt as security officers removed the protesters one by one.
During the two day trial, the jury saw surveillance footage from inside the House of Representatives. The footage shows staff forcibly lifting one woman's hand free from the leather balustrade. Staff then brought out hand sanitiser gel to dissolve the glue bonding the remaining six protester's hands to the leather.
The seven were later charged with the offence of intentionally damaging Commonwealth property, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail. They pleaded not guilty.
The trial heard that the cost of the damage was $1295, and it took staff more than 18 hours labour to refurbish the leather.
The seven, who were represented by Tim Sharman of Sharman Robertson Solicitors, maintained that they never intended to cause any damage by their protest, and had sought advice from a paramedic who said acetone nail polish remover would dissolve the glue without harming person or property.
Speaking outside court after the verdicts, Mr Evans said the group's intention was always to draw attention to the suffering of refugees.
"We're willing to do whatever it takes. We're willing to stand up for the rights of refugees, and we will not stop until we see an end to this torturous regime."
Mr Ray said the group were on Thursday "rightfully found not guilty of intentionally damaging Commonwealth property".
"We charge that the real damage is being caused by politicians like Peter Dutton, who are intentionally destroying the lives of those guilty of nothing more than searching for a safe home," he said.
Ms Hunter said that while the group felt positive about the verdicts, they remained concerned about Australia's ongoing treatment of refugees. She too said they would continue to protest.
Asked about the possibility of jail if they were found guilty, Mr Evans said, "We took action with full knowledge there may be repercussions. But we also know that the repercussions dealt to us pale in comparison to the treatment of refugees."