The memory of holding her two daughters as tightly as she could during four nights and three days at sea to Christmas Island still brings Ronak Vahedi to tears, six years later.
Her husband and 13-year-old son had come the year before, finding themselves in a fishing boat that took 13 days from Indonesia to Darwin, including two days broken down at sea.
With nothing left for her in Iraq and both her daughters under 10, Ms Vahedi followed in a frightening journey in 2013.
"All the way I just bring them in my heart," she says of the boat journey with her daughters. They made it to Christmas Island, and from there spent two months in detention in Perth before their release. But it is what has happened since that has left the family broken-hearted.
They were among hundreds of refugees, mainly from Sydney and Melbourne, who rallied in front of Parliament House on Monday, calling on the government to end the limbo of temporary protection visas.
Organiser Samir Kafaji, an Iraqi leader from Melbourne, said Monday's rally was the beginning of a campaign against harsh treatment. Even those who had secured permanent residence had been denied family reunion, and others had had visas cancelled for minor issues, he said.
Now in Melbourne, Ms Vahedi's family has been on bridging visas for six years, still waiting for the outcome of their application for a temporary protection visa two-and-a-half years ago.
Their visa limbo has meant their son, Hussein, now 20, can't attend university, and he has been unable to find work. Ms Vahedi struggled for years to find work, with employers reluctant to recognise her unclear visa, but has finally found causal work this year in aged care.
The family received support through the Status Resolution Support Services Payment until it was cut off for reasons they don't understand last year. Mr Maleki Faili now supports them as a painter; and daughters Hadis, 15, and Homa, 12, are in school.
She said she simply wanted the family to be accepted as Australians, and for the government to end its discrimination against them because they came by boat.
"I want to feel I belong here, not for me. It's important for my kids. We're Kurdish people, we don't have any country ... but I came here because many years ago I heard Australia was a really good country, no racism, all the people living together. This was my wish."
One of the consequences of having no visa is that the family cannot leave Australia, so Ms Vahedi has not been able to see her mother, 67.
Others at Monday's rally also made a plea to be allowed to see their families overseas. One man from Brisbane, who lost a leg in a car bomb in Iraq and says he came to Australia eight years ago, said he saw no point in living without being able to see his wife and child.
Nawahed Albaheli brought a framed photographed of her son, who died in Australia in 2017 aged 16, after complications from treatment for thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. He was sent back to Iraq for burial and his mother now wants the right to visit his grave, but her temporary protection visa doesn't allow her to leave the country.
The rally came as One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson moved in the Senate for photographic identification on Medicare cards, saying people were sharing their Medicare cards with people who were not entitled, in a widespread fraud.
She blamed refugees who she said were applying for refugee status to obtain a bridging visa then doctor-shopping.
"Then they get their scripts filled, take the medication back to their own country and sell it on the black market ... Even those people out there who care to wear a burqa should actually show their face on their Medicare card," she said.
Senators Hanson and Roberts moved for a national plebiscite on the question "Do you think the current rate of immigration to Australia is too high?" Their call was quashed by the rest of the Senate.
People on temporary protection visas cannot apply for citizenship or a passport, but can apply every three years for another thee-year visa. They can work, study, get Medicare and Centrelink benefits, but family cannot come to live with them and they cannot travel overseas without permission and never to the country from which they fled.