‘The Embassy’, a new television documentary series, is set to feature a range of consular cases handled by the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. The series will be broadcast on Channel 9 and premieres on Sunday, 19 October 2014.
Nearly one million Australians visited Thailand last year. While the vast majority of these trips are enjoyable and trouble-free, things can go wrong.
The series highlights some of the problems and risks Australians face when travelling overseas and in what circumstances Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) consular officers can assist.
Australians are resilient travellers and in most cases can manage difficulties on their own. Consular officers are there to assist when other avenues have been exhausted, but there are limits to that assistance.
Australians travelling overseas are subject to local laws and penalties for various offences can be different than in Australia, so it pays to be informed. Many incidents can be prevented by checking country-specific travel advice on smartraveller.gov.au, subscribing to receive free updates and taking out the most appropriate travel insurance.
The Australian Government has a global network of embassies, high commissions and consulates. Providing consular services is just one of several core functions fulfilled by these missions, which serve as the representative office for a number of different Australian Government departments and agencies.
DFAT’s consular services are outlined in the Consular Services Charter on the Smartraveller website.
DFAT’s agreement with the producers of this documentary series was the first of its kind. The Department had no role in identifying the stories covered in the series. The series is not an official Australian Government program.