Australia. 14th most likely destination for British nationals to need consular help. But what sort of help?
There’s a commonly held perception that the only people who need the help of their embassies and high commissions are people who’ve lost their passports. And Julian Assange. It’s a perception that’s seriously wide of the mark.
Around 620,000 people from the UK travel to Australia every year. In 2013/14, 430 of those needed the help of the British High Commission. That help came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. 23 British travellers were arrested for drug offences (they’re included in the blue wedge of the pie chart below). 51 needed help whilst in hospital. And yes, a few people did need help with documents (they’re included in the green wedge).
Using these figures, released as part of the FCO’s Know Before You Go campaign, travelling Australia brings with it a slightly higher than 1 in 1,500 chance that you’ll need the help of the British High Commission while you’re there.
Those may not be the shortest odds in the world, but if your chances of winning the lottery this weekend were 1 in 1,500 we bet you’d have a flutter.
So before you set off on your Australian adventure, it’s worth storing the number of the British High Commission in Australia (+61 (0)2 6270 6666) and making a note of where the other consulate generals are. You can find them here.