In 1961 Three Malayan nationals were laid off from pearling jobs due to a downturn in the industry and therefore required to return to their homeland as it was a condition of their residency.
Jim Bowditch and others including a young Dawn Lawrie rallied the multicultural Darwin community behind the cause. A protest march was held and petitions presented to the Administrator Roger Nott who agreed to pass it on to the Federal Immigration Minister Alexander Downer (senior).
The Malays went into hiding twice to prevent deportation and searches by and on behalf of the federal government failed to locate them. After a good deal of national debate the federal government allowed them to stay in Australia
(Darius bin Sarus who had been in Darwin for 14 years, Jaffa Madunne who had been here for 9 years and Zainal bin Hashim who had been in Darwin for 5 years)