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Tears flow as girl, 12, reunites with step-mum at Sydney Airport after 'very tough' year apart

Emotions were high at Sydney Airport today as families separated by the pandemic, reunited for the first time in months. 

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Isabella Lauaki hasn’t seen her dad in 16-months, making a trip across the Tasman to surprise him. Source: 1 NEWS

It’s been well over a year since 12-year-old Isabella Lauaki last got to hug her dad, separated by border closures for the past 16-months. 

Touching down on the first flight in Australia as part of the bubble, she and her step-mother Bianca organised a surprise trip to reunite the pair. 

“It was very exciting, I’m very excited to see my family here.. I’m really just going to hug him, hold him tight,” she told 1 NEWS. 

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The Prime Minister said she was "disappointed" to miss seeing the emotional reunions in what she imagined was "like a scene" from the classic 2003 romantic comedy. Source: 1 NEWS

Bianca Lauaki says it’s been “very tough” to be separated for so long from her step-daughter, calling and emailing each other every day. 

“I guess through emails and calls. I get along really well with her mum so just calling her while I’m at work,” she says. 

“It’s easy for us to say it’s unfair but I understand. It’s just so good that it’s over.” 

Isabella’s planned to stay for the next four weeks, allowing her some long-awaited quality time with her Australian family.