Matthew Mitcham launches fundraiser to move back to Australia

Olympic gold medallist and cabaret artist Matthew Mitcham has launched a fundraiser to assist in moving back to Australia with his British husband Luke Rutherford.

After revealing his marriage to Rutherford on Instagram in February, the pair are now asking for donations to move from the UK to Australia.

The GoFundMe page cites high visa costs and long processing times as the reason for the newlyweds launching the campaign.

“So Luke and I just got married in Belgium. We worked very hard to be able to achieve a wedding that would bring both our families together for a week to blend. It was important to us to do this, as being from opposite sides of the world, we realised this would be the only opportunity for both our families to meet and get to know one another,” Mitcham writes.

“Now we are married, we really want to start the next phase of our life and that is settling down back in Australia. Instead of wedding gifts we are asking for money to our “move back to Oz fund!” Unfortunately due to immigration laws, being married does not allow Luke residency rights in Australia.”

“We have to go through a very lengthy visa process which can take up to 2 years and costs thousands. We would love to meet our goal and move back this year, and want to start the ball rolling.”

“People have already been so kind and gifted us money towards a honeymoon and that’s why we are setting this page up, so we can put the money towards something that’s really important to us and will help get us to where we want to be.”

The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website cites costs for partner visas ranging from $1,285 to $7,715. Processing times can range from 24 – 31 months for a temporary visa, with an additional 12 – 20 months of processing for a permanent visa.

Fans of Mitcham have given a mixed reaction on the former diver’s Facebook page, with many asking him to reconsider the campaign in light of Australia’s recent bushfire disasters.

“Oh dear. There are so many people in this country struggling after the drought and bushfires,” one commenter wrote.

“You might want to rethink this GoFundMe.”

Update (4:59pm): Matthew Mitcham has now deleted posts promoting the GoFundMe from social media.

OIP Staff

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