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The Forum > Article Comments > Time to act on Australians abroad > Comments

Time to act on Australians abroad : Comments

By Elena Douglas, published 8/3/2005

Elena Douglas explains how the Australian Commonwealth Government should use our expatriate community.

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The UK is the strongest magnet for Australians living abroad. Until the 1970s, all Australians had the right to travel, study and work in the UK, just as all Britons had the right to come here. The same arrangement was true of Canada and New Zealand. Then, in the course of a decade, we all lost our status as British subjects and became “foreigners” to each other. Worse still, we were told that this was somehow a good thing. What a stupid, parochial way to deal with the world.

Australians and New Zealanders now share the right to travel to each other’s countries virtually without restriction. An Australian living in New Zealand is really no more of an ex-pat than a Queenslander living in Perth. If that system was extended to re-include Canadians and Britons, someone born in Melbourne could study or work in Auckland, Vancouver or Edinburgh (and vice-versa) with a minimum of red tape, and it would greatly improve the flow of skills and expertise for all four countries. We all have essentially the same culture anyway, so it would be a win-win-win-win situation.
Posted by Ian, Monday, 14 March 2005 2:34:18 PM
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