Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Australians Meet in Fez

The Consul General from the Australian Embassy in Paris, Anthea Griffin, undertook a consular visit to Morocco in March. During the visit resident Australians were invited for an “Australian Evening” in Fez. Anthea was accompanied by the Austrade contractor in Morocco, Oussama Alaoui, Regional Consul, Tricia Martino, and Paris-based Consular Officer, Peter Cullen.

The evening provided an opportunity for the Australian community to meet each other, to share information about living in Morocco and to raise any issues with the Australian government representatives.

There was good attendance at the evening from Australian residents working in a range of sectors including tourism, mining and education. Some travelled from as far as Agadir, Marrakech and Essouira. The evening included a traditional Aussie Bar-be-que with a Moroccan touch. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and to enjoy meeting a diverse group of fellow Australians.

As one Fez resident reported to The View from Fez "It was a great night that was deemed a success by all. It was a chance to network, meet other Aussies, discuss common issues we all faced and seek solutions. Some of us with children were also able to organise our Austrlian passports for them, others were able to discuss visa issues for spouses etc. I feel most of us came away feeling like their was a sense of support that would continue (let's hope) and were happy to have at least contacts in the Embassy in Paris for future reference."

Peter Cullen, Anthea Griffin, Oussama Alaoui, Tricia Martino

Mr Alaoui provided an overview of Austrade services and Australian business interests in Morocco. He mentioned the growing number of Australian agricultural and mining projects under consideration. He revealed official Moroccan statistics more than 30,000 Australians had visited Morocco last year.

The Australian consular team encouraged Australians to register their details on the Australian government web site:

The register allows the Australian Embassy to maintain contact with Australian citizens through group e-mail communication. The Embassy in Paris uses the register mailing list to pass on information such as Australian elections and changes to travel advisories. It is also used to notify Australian residents of visits by Paris Embassy consular staff to Morocco. The register is an invaluable tool in assisting to locate Australians in a crisis situation or emergency.

The Australian Embassy Paris has non-resident accreditation for Morocco which can make it challenging to provide consular and passport services for Australians on the ground. Under the consular sharing agreement with Canada, the Canadian Embassy in Rabat provides some consular services to Australians in Morocco.

Further information on consular services can be found on the Smartraveller website.


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