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I’m an Australian, get me out of here: the high cost of consular services 2014-133.1

5 March 2014



In August 2011, Foreign Affairs Department head Dennis Richardson delivered an address in Canberra where he discussed some of the major challenges facing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), along with likely directions for the future. One of the issues highlighted was the growing strain of providing consular services to Australian expatriates and tourists experiencing difficulty overseas. More and more Australians were travelling overseas but only two-thirds took precautions such as travel insurance, the rest assuming that DFAT would come to their rescue; funding for the department had not kept pace with its global expansion while the general public were not aware how stretched its resources were.

This case updates the original version published in 2011, which has been withdrawn and should not be used in teaching. The update includes issues considered in the review of consular services instigated by new Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and an excerpt from the reworded Consular Services agreement. This case can be used to discuss a possible strategy for repositioning the department in order to attract greater funding and public support. It can also be used to discuss if there are ways the department might more effectively communicate the limits to its consular services and encourage greater uptake of travel insurance.

Authors: Marinella Padula
Published Date: 5 March 2014
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Featured Content Length: 2
Content Length: 7
Product Type: One-part case, Primary resources, Update