LESS than 24 hours after their release from Villawood Detention Centre, Virginia Leong and her three-year-old daughter Naomi were enjoying the unbounded freedom of a Sydney park.

"It's a dream come true," Ms Leong, 31, said yesterday after the federal Government's surprise decision on Monday night to grant her and Naomi bridging visas, allowing them to live in the community. For Virgina, the decision ended four years behind the locked gates of Villawood, where she gave birth to Naomi in May 2002.

Audrie Scott, author of the petition, Plea to Free Innocent 3 year old Naomi, offers her thanks, "Well done everyone! Shows Democracy still works..."