And the winner is…

So, we fronted up at the MRT at the appointed time, along with a couple of dozen other hopeful and nervous would-be-Australians.

The closer we got to the moment of truth, the tighter the knot in my stomach became. I know it was the same for Brent and I’m sure for all the others in the waiting room too. If you can imagine a room full of people quietly wringing their hands and shitting themselves with fear, that’s where we’ve been.

The whole of our future, and of all these strangers, turns on one word. The word is either “affirm”, or “remit”, depending on whether you’re successful or not.

So well filed into the tiny hearing room. Not enough chairs for everyone there, so we stood against the wall. At this point I was dreading one thing more than most: the prospect of watching the other applicants get their news — “affirm”, “remit”, “remit”, “affirm” — and bearing witness to their particular denouement. Luckily, we were the first cab off the rank and were spared that.

Brent’s name was called. He signed for his documents. The officer said, “The Tribunal has decided to remit your application.”

Smiling, then she added, quietly, “That means you won.”