There have been distraught scenes at the Brisbane airport as four sisters at the centre of an international custody battle left for Italy.
The Family Court ruled yesterday that the children be immediately returned to their father.
The ABC reports the sisters flew out of Brisbane about 3.30 (AEST) this morning, escorted by police and an official from the Italian embassy.
They girls wailed 'mum' as their mother looked on, telling them 'Baby, I love you', the ABC is reporting.
The Brisbane Family Court ruled that the girls were wrongfully being kept in Australia and there were insufficient exceptional circumstances to allow the girls - who are aged between nine and 15 years old - to remain here.