A virtual discussion about the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on Australians and New Zealanders living in the United States featuring Australian Consul General in Chicago – David Bushby, New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago – Richard McDonald, and ANZACC Midwest President – Daniel Thomas.
Hosted by me, America Josh!
Covered topics included:
- Should I stay or should I go?
- If I decide to stay, what do I need to know?
- If I decide to leave, what do I need to do?
- How are services like passport renewals being handled now?
- What happens with my visa?
- If I have to leave suddenly, what can I do about my pets?
And many others!
Transcript of ANZACC Midwest Presents “The Australian New Zealand Connection Series”
Transcript is automatically transcribed and may contain errors
[00:00:00] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:00:00] Well. Good evening everyone. My name’s Daniel Thomas and I have the honor to serve as three Enzik Midwest, president here based in Chicago. I’m a Kiwi and, have been living here in Chicago. And great state of Illinois for about 13 years. Now. I’m originally from New Zealand and Chicago, and, firstly and foremost, like to welcome you to today’s inaugural, networking series, presented by Enzik Midwest.
[00:00:31] And I’d just like to take a moment to, to really, on behalf of the board of directors of Ansec, to really extend my best wishes to everyone. And I really do genuinely hope that everyone is in your circle of loved ones. healthy and safe. I know this, is a stressful time and as we can all appreciate, our world got turned upside down.
[00:00:54]you know, weeks, months, days ago. and so, today’s really about a [00:01:00] conversation and a chat. And if I think about, the role of an in the Midwest and the two main points that I really want to make as a, I mean, there’s,
[00:01:10] Really want us to provide new networking opportunities for expats and really collaborate and share ideas.
[00:01:19] And, the other main thing is really raising the profile of Australian and Kiwi businesses here in, America and, namely the Midwest for our. Chamber chapter. so I’d like to say thank you for all joining us here today, submitting your questions. I’d also like to extend my thank you to , the Australian consul general here in Chicago, and welcome him to the check today.
[00:01:44] And also Richard McDonald, the honorary consul general of New Zealand. I know we’ve got a number of Anzac, members on tonight’s webinar. And in particular, I’d like to give a shout out to,
[00:01:57] Morgan Roy, who, has been pushing us [00:02:00] forward and making sure that we, have this webinar and, you know, really the time is right.
[00:02:05] So look, tonight we’re going to be directing to the straight to the point. We’re going to dive into the conversations and answer as many questions that you’ve submitted as possible. And, I would like to. Also think and welcome.
[00:02:20] Josh otherwise, no one is America. Josh. and I’m sure some of you know him, but, Josh is, from Adelaide, moved to New York and in 2017 and he not only has his own digital marketing business, based in New York, but he’s been helping thousands of America, Australia.
[00:02:37] And sorry. in America, and, he’s going to be our moderator for this evening. So, in the spirit of, doing things differently, as you can see, it’s probably an oxymoron. Me wearing my Australian jacket over my all black top. it’s getting pretty hot. So,
[00:02:53] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:02:53] nothing,
[00:02:55] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:02:55] no formalities aside,
[00:02:56] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:02:56] and that is aside, but I thought it was a, a good opportunity.
[00:02:59] And [00:03:00] I think that’s one of the things that. Are these in key ways and times of crisis and made, you know, we were best friends. We come together. And so, Josh, I’ll hand it over to you and, thanks all very much for attending.
[00:03:12] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:03:12] Thank you Mate. So thank you very much. And I like to reiterate, thank you everyone for joining tonight.
[00:03:18] I know it’s been a stressful few weeks for everyone and thanks especially to David, Richard and Daniel, who alternative properly in a minute, and I’ve already skipped the formalities and jumped to first names, but thanks so much to all of you for taking your time out to help us tonight to get a bit of a handle on everything we’ve set up tonight so that we can try and answer as many questions as we can.
[00:03:39] I know some of you are in terribly worrying situations which are stressful and really impact your whole life, and so we’re going to do our best to get you the answers that you’re looking for. That being said, it’s confusing for us to at the moment, and the biggest issue we have right now is that the goalposts keep moving.
[00:03:56] The answers keep changing, and this makes it especially [00:04:00] difficult to give you good advice, but we’re going to do our best. Here’s how it’s going to work tonight. We’ve taken the questions that you’ve submitted and we’ve processed them into something that’s accessible for as many of you as possible. I’m going to ask David, Richard, and Daniel all the questions and we’ll go back and forth to really extract the answers the best we can.
[00:04:20] We’ll start very broadly and then we’ll zoom in on some scenarios that should cover a lot of you. Before we do get too many information, though, we do need to flag that this webinar is strictly for informational purposes only, and it is not intended, nor should it be relied upon as a source of legal advice or opinion.
[00:04:37]it’s important that we let you know that because everyone’s situation is different and not everything we say tonight will necessarily apply to you. Just before we get to the reason that you’ve all tuned in. I want to cover a few of the questions that we want to be going into depth about tonight.
[00:04:52] We’re not here as immigration attorneys or accountants, and our roles are centered around Australians and New Zealand is in this region of the United [00:05:00] States. We therefore won’t be covering us immigration policy too much and we won’t be going into too many details about visa applications or use us consulates reopening or what’s happening with green cut applications in light of.
[00:05:12] The latest information about an executive order. We can, however, point you in the right direction. At the end of this seminar, you’ll receive an email from me and that will contain some fantastic resources that we’ve compiled as well as a link to a seminar that’s been run tonight. 9:30 PM central by Amy Maya of Ozzie recruit in San Francisco, and she’s chatting to an immigration attorney and they’ll be there for the most up to date information on those topics.
[00:05:39] So that’s all the, my formalities out of the way. So hello David. Hello, Richard. How are Daniel? I, the point of tonight is to have, as Daniel said, a bit of a chat where we’re not looking to make things too formal. We want to get to the information and we know it’s a serious issue. We all know we’re going, what we’re going through.
[00:05:55] So David, I’ll start with you. Hello, and thanks for joining us. [00:06:00] If you don’t mind, just letting us know where you are, how you’ve been going in the last few weeks.
[00:06:04] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:06:04] Well, thanks Josh, and thanks also Daniel and Richard and everybody else who’s joined us this evening. Hopefully we can provide you with some of the information that we’re looking for.
[00:06:14] I’m sitting currently in the Australian consulate in Chicago, which is still open and maintaining its normal hours with the skeleton staff that rotates week-by-week. when I’m not here, I’m, I mean, he, one week, not the next, when I’m not, I’m actually working out of the era. The residents at the console of maintains, and, so working their home, one week on, one week off, It means I’m going home nine days straight. I’m on my own. So that does get, my mind. But it does, I do have a limit on that. it’s nice to actually get out of your residence and into the concert, but for that one week that I do that, even though there’s only one other person to talk to and we maintain a very safe social distance, but generally I’m surviving.
[00:06:53]yeah, it’s a great city, Chicago, and so many things to do. It’s a time that I can’t do any of them at the moment, but I’m sure we will get back to that. [00:07:00] Absolutely.
[00:07:00] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:07:00] Thank you. And Richard, how about yourself? Where, whereabouts are you calling in from a
[00:07:05] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:07:05] Cura, everybody, I’m beaming in from, Gleamview Illinois, also my home.
[00:07:11] And, what doubles is the New Zealand consulate in then the waist. so, let’s fun. everything’s going fine. You know, I got a, a wife and a couple of kids at home, and. And my kids are teen and seven, and that’s fun and annoying all at the same time as we kind of like manage ourselves. I don’t know.
[00:07:31] As we’re getting into the mid 30 days, we’ve been working together, right. And living together. but you know, staying positive, waiting for the way that you get about warmer. So we get outside and throw the rugby ball around. We don’t throw the cricket ball around with the rugby ball around in case anyone was questioning there.
[00:07:48] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:07:48] Fantastic. Now, David, if you could just start, because I know a lot of people don’t necessarily know the consulate’s role, and I think it’s important that we, before we jump into what the operating [00:08:00] circumstances are right now, what normally are you doing and what’s your daily activities in a very broad way?
[00:08:09] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:08:09] It’s the responsibility of the Consulate is to look after the interest of Australians and Australia in general, in the Midwestern, so this part of the United States, obviously there’s an embassy in Washington that has responsibility for the entire country, but the, that is like a mini embassy that focuses on the 11 States that we look up there.
[00:08:28]and, has particular interest to have broken off the interest of Australians and Australian interests here. And that varies from at the top dealing with fortune 500 companies and that have interest in Australia or that may have interest in Australia, right down to dealing with Australians that might find themselves in trouble in this part of America.
[00:08:47]looking after passports. and everything in between. So anything to do with Australia, Australia’s reputation. you know, the Australian chamber orchestra comes over here and we try and use that to leverage, positive use of Australia in a [00:09:00] public diplomacy type of way, with, with, the local area of wherever they might be visiting.
[00:09:04]and so whatever it might be to do with the properties for improving. And, it’s not an, not a hard sell generally in America, but improving the, the. The views of Americans about Australia. and I’m looking after the interest of Australians who are here or, Australians back home. If we can do something here that will actually help them back on.
[00:09:22] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:09:22] Fantastic. And Richard, as the honorary council general in Chicago, is that sort of a similar type of role, you know, acting out as the, for the embassy for New Zealand and sort of doing a more hyper local version.
[00:09:34]Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:09:34] it’s a lot similar, except I’m nowhere near as important as David. I don’t get a residence. and I don’t get paid for it either. So other than that, it’s exactly the same.
[00:09:48] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:09:48] Okay. Fantastic. Sounds fine.
[00:09:53] David, what, so with the situation globally that’s happening, like now, what, [00:10:00] is, what work is done to guarantee consular assistance to Australians in a, in a time like this or, you know, any other crisis?
[00:10:06] What have you got set up?
[00:10:08] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:10:08] Well generally the department of foreign affairs and trade has a very comprehensive plan for crisis management. crises do happen around the world from time to time and, and those involve Australians. And so this is a very detailed plan. Authority always there, ready to go. and even to the extent that we now currently have a worldwide crisis, there is, there is a plan that, so the whole focus of the department back in Canberra has changed to support the posts and Australians around the world.
[00:10:35]so we’re getting magnificent support from, from Canberra. and our focus has changed significantly as well. because our primary focus now is obviously looking after Australians who are here, and, and they’re interested in making sure that they are looked after. you know, we’re still trying to maintain networking and context and building up, that the types of things we do.
[00:10:55] We have to do that differently now because we can’t meet, I can’t go up, go off and shake hands with a fortune [00:11:00] 500 CEO now, but we trying to maintain. linkages and can I say those linkages, those networks that we do maintain a being very useful. And during the course of this as well, I’ve just recently managed to secure some using those networks.
[00:11:13]some badly needed parts for what? They’re actually bottle tops for hand sanitizer. It’s made by a company in Australia, that supplies almost exclusively, to medical professionals in Australia. They’re the little ones that they carry around with them in hospitals. And they were not going to be out because their normal supplier in India was closed down by the Indian government networks.
[00:11:33] Here, we could get the replacement props made out of, Wisconsin, and send it into Australia. So, we still doing the Seinfeld thing, but, but a completely different focus now because we are in the midst of a crisis. And, there are people who have particular needs, which they didn’t have before. And my focusing on addressing those
[00:11:51] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:11:51] Wonderful. And Daniel, in terms of Anzac Midwest, if you can just explain to people that might not be familiar with, you know, what, what you do [00:12:00] and what the role is normally, I’d love to bit of an introduction, a top down 30,000 foot view.
[00:12:04] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:12:04] Yeah, look, absolutely. I think, the two main things from a business perspective, we’re all about, raising the profile of Australian and.
[00:12:12] New Zealand businesses here in the Midwest. so, you know, that could be everything from a growth strategy. It could be entering the market, you know, connecting them to, to fellow business people and resources here in the Midwest. From a personal perspective, it really is an opportunity for expats. So, be part of a community.
[00:12:33] And you know, the number one thing that I hear from our members is that they want the opportunity to network. to, to with fellow Kiwis and Aussies. but also, That common connection of around doing business and living and working in, in America. And, you know, we’re a, we’re a completely, voluntary board of directors of people here, based in Chicago.
[00:12:58] And so, you know, it is their [00:13:00] passion for the country. That we originate from doing things. A lot of us are business people and have our own businesses. so we, you know, have appreciation for what it’s like to live, work, and operates, in, in the big global market of America.
[00:13:15] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:13:15] Fantastic. So you’re a bit of a port of coal if you’re a business and you’re looking for a bit of support in the region and just to ask some questions and you can have a conversation with basically.
[00:13:23] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:13:23] Yeah. And you know, an example of that, is, you know, if an airline comes in, like, you know, Quanta city, New Zealand, have been in the market, you know, we were really the door. I cannot wait. We’re happy to, you know, obviously the consulates are there, but we’re a referral source really, to make sure that.
[00:13:41]you know, cause there’s a lot that covers the gamut, right? So everyone has different needs. So we’re, we’re a connector.
[00:13:47] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:13:47] Fantastic. And I guess on that one, how are you seeing businesses at the moment? What’s the sort of discussion that they’re having with you? You know, I understand that all businesses are going to be having a lot of issues at the moment.
[00:13:57] You know, obviously, but do they [00:14:00] feel like they’ve got you to talk to and they’ve got some support around them? Yeah,
[00:14:04] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:14:04] I think probably the perspective that I’ve got, as you know, I’m obviously a business owner and operator in the U S and we have an office in New Zealand, which we are. We were born and. You know, we’ve been here sort of 16 years.
[00:14:16] I think my, my slump personally is more from a tourism perspective, because sort of 60, 70% of our business is tourism. so that is attractions, hotels, hospitality. And, Like other industries. tourism just came to a screaming halt. And, you know, I think some of the themes I’m hearing right now is we’re headed for very much a domestic tourism market.
[00:14:43]it doesn’t matter what, Country, you know, you’re from. I think we have an interesting perspective, right? Because I’ve been sort of helping clients and, or people in the Australasian market that also living and breathing it in the U S markets. So we’ve kinda got some [00:15:00] comparisons there. And it’s interesting to watch the different stages of business.
[00:15:03] So, you know, there’s been some really good learnings. you know, Australia, New Zealand is pretty much. A heat of, of things in a global, from a global perspective, and at very, very different stages, of course, of, of the pandemic, compared to, the United States. So for us, it’s been a good opportunity to share some of those learnings and look at some of the opportunities, from that.
[00:15:28]but you know. It really is. And I think, you know, I’m a former airline person as well, so I’ve spent my lifetime and tourism and I had 13 years for an airline. And you know, we have a sighing internally in the agency business that you follow the metal, and that’s a bit of an airline term and a quirkiness, but it is a seam chili.
[00:15:50] You think about the planning. it takes to enter a market. And I think if you’re a business person and you’re looking at opening up the connectivity [00:16:00] between countries, you’re generally, because it’s a decision that has 18, 30, six, 48 months in advance, you know, airlines and these things years and years in advance.
[00:16:12] So, you know. A lot of the things and advice that we’re giving is, it’s not just a permit strategy, is it is a complete reset and into, you need to reengineer your business, your life, your outlook and to a domestic and regional perspective initially, because the lead times that, You’re going to have moving forward, they’re going to be a lot longer.
[00:16:38] It’s going to take a a lot for the international connectivity to come back. And I don’t mean that from a doom and gloom perspective, but it’s just a, it’s just a realistic view. And I’ve talked to. Eli here in the U S I’ve talked to airlines both in Australia and New Zealand. And you know, we all know and see the headlines and the challenges that are [00:17:00] laying ahead, but it’s going to, it’s not, it’s not just about, you know, airlines will continue to fly, but I also also think it’s about the confidence as us as consumers, right?
[00:17:11]and that consumer confidence is going to take a while to come back. So we’re going to see empty planes for a while. It’s heavy reliance on cargo. So that’s kind of the main theme. You know, it’s not just a pivot, it’s a re it’s a reset.
[00:17:24] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:17:24] Okay, fantastic. I mean, that’s a, it’s a great pivot for me, Richard, in terms of, you know, if we switched to individuals, we’ve got a, that’s a great sort of basis for businesses.
[00:17:34] If we look to individuals and if we look to the information coming from the governments of Australia and New Zealand and the U S combined with sort of what, what you feel. If somebody’s thinking about should they stay, should they go, you know, should they be waiting out a couple of months to see what happens?
[00:17:51] What’s your advice to people at the moment?
[00:17:54] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:17:54] Finesse. look, I don’t think these are right or wrong or a single [00:18:00] answer to that. And, you know, everybody’s got their own situations to manage through, into deal with. you know, New Zealand. has done a really good job as a country upon, I guess, crushing the curve to a certain extent.
[00:18:13]and they did that in a pretty aggressive way of shutting down the country. So, you know, it changes every day, week, hour, and you know, the kind of the walls and how things play out. You know, right now, no matter who you are, if you lane back in New Zealand, you’ve got a 14 day, you know, government pay.
[00:18:32] Stay at a hotel. I don’t know what star, whether it’s a one star or five star hotel, but, you don’t have to worry about paying for it, but you’ve got to stay in the same place for 14 days. and I think you get like an hour a day escorted by a security gap to go for a walk outside. so if we’re looking about, yeah, I mean, it was crazy.
[00:18:52] I mean, but in saying that, I, we’ve probably had like 50 this through, you know, covert 19 and. The [00:19:00] curves flattening and new Zealand’s moving down, you know, and it’s serious business, wrong warranty to the next level and things are going to open up a bit next week. you know, so. The difficulty is, you know, not, not any individuals, you know, situations and what they’ve got going on.
[00:19:17] My, my, my personal experience and what the government is telling us, you know, if you can stay in the USA, stay in the USA, if you can afford to, if you can manage it. if things working okay here, then then stay here. You know, going back to New Zealand also adds uncertainty. you know, who knows what happens in 14 days, just because they say the quarantines and 14 days now, I don’t know what it looks like in few days time.
[00:19:42] my, my advice would be be decisive, make a decision, commit to it. and they make the most of whatever that decision is.
[00:19:49] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:19:49] Yup. And David, do you have any other considerations that you think, you know, whether from yourself or, you know, I guess on behalf of Australia, but you think people should be taking into consideration
[00:20:00] [00:20:00] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:20:00] that, look, I agree totally with Richard.
[00:20:02] I mean, essentially each Australian who is in this part of, of America needs to make a decision, what is best for you and your family? And. If you need to look at things like, you know, whether you’ve got access to medical services and health insurance and, and safe accommodation and sufficient funds to see through this, however long it will take, then make a decision.
[00:20:22] And if you decide that you do want to go home, and the Australian government and I agree as well, strongly urges you to do that as soon as possible. because there are still commercial options to get out of the country. and, we anticipate that probably will continue, but there’s no guarantee of that.
[00:20:39] And governments are changing the way they approach rules of, people coming and leaving countries. And we’ve seen new things today with the president Trump and matching, how he’s going to approach some of, some of those issues. so if you are, if you do decide that there’s any chance you want to go make that decision.
[00:20:57]and if it is to go, then we strongly [00:21:00] encourage you to go as soon as you can.
[00:21:02] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:21:02] Okay. And I think that’s a really good point for everyone watching is, you know what you touched on with insurance and healthcare and things, you know, there are, there are bigger concerns than just coronavirus and healthcare concerns and healthcare costs in the United States.
[00:21:15] A lot of, I mean, everyone here I’m sure is very aware of that, and it’s something that should be at the forefront of your mind. If that’s a concern for you, then you should. Yeah, really take that at your top priority because it’s going to change for you and your family. You know, it can make a big impact on your decisions.
[00:21:32]so if we do decide to stay, and I think this is the easiest way that we’re going to navigate, tonight’s seminar is to divide it. So to start, and, and I’ll go back to you again, David. what do you want people to know? So if you have decided to stay, you know, what, what should they be doing? What should they know about.
[00:21:48]you know, should they be following particular things, should they be, should they know something about their rights and responsibilities as an Australian abroad?
[00:21:54] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:21:54] Well, essentially, if you do stay, then, take the advice of your local authorities and follow the [00:22:00] instructions and, the rules that are put in place, they’re all, you know, presumably put in place for the right reasons.
[00:22:06]if you say here, then you need talk to what, you know, you’ve obviously worked through the process of ensuring that you, you do have the resources to be able to feed yourself. and my tweet about the accommodation. so basically just stay safe. He’s his ass phone. This recommendation, follow the advice, do what you’re supposed to and and, and say it out. that said, if you do come in, you get into problems. we can’t necessarily guarantee that we can fix them all, but if there are issues that you think that the consulate could assist you with, then obviously we are here. and we intend to stay open throughout the entire time unless we are forced to close.
[00:22:40]and, so I certainly, you know, stay safe, do what you do, follow the advice. But if you do get into trouble, then we are, he’s talked to me. If there’s anything we can do to assist.
[00:22:50] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:22:50] Fantastic. And Richard, similar advice from, from New Zealand, are there any tools that the people should be looking at or, or subscriptions or anything?
[00:22:57] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:22:57] Nothing different. I mean, anyone stuck [00:23:00] at home, so maybe you want to watch some replays at some world cup finals between New Zealand. And the rest of the world. Don’t watch the last few years, but watch the previous two.
[00:23:10] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:23:10] One other thing if I can, Josh, you mentioned subscriptions. we would encourage it. There’s no formal registration process for Australians. I mentioned it’s the same for New Zealand does in the United States. but certainly we encourage everybody to sign up to smart traveler. are you through smart traveler, you will get any advice that is relevant to you in the United States.
[00:23:33]and that’s on the department of foreign affairs and trade website. so we would encourage you to do that. And also anything that we think you need to know or that is relevant to you, we will also put out on our social media. So the Chicago consular has a Facebook account or so it has an Instagram account.
[00:23:49]the U S you started embassy in Washington. also has a Facebook, Twitter, and an Instagram, Instagram account of leads as well, Twitter and Facebook. So, sign up for all of those [00:24:00] and anything that is the week that you should know and we’ll get out there on those as soon as we possibly can.
[00:24:05] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:24:05] Richard, the same for you.
[00:24:06] For New Zealand, people should be following some as social media is probably the best Avenue to keep up to date with the information that’s coming out.
[00:24:12] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:24:12] Social media. we’ve got the same kind of safe traveler, you know, program that people should kind of pay attention to and sign up for you know, and like, you know, for those who have been paying attention, you know, in New Zealand was flying a lot and you enter the USA, you know, over the last kind of maybe a year, you know, Chicago included.
[00:24:31] And now it’s down to just one flight, three flights a week, sorry, from LA back to Oakland. So, you know, leaving the country is, you know, you’ve got very few options as a New Zealand and now to kind of get back to New Zealand. and. I, you know, David and I haven’t talked about this, that one of the recent conversations I’ve heard from folks is New Zealand is going through Australia to get to a New Zealand and you’re going to get quarantine in Australia and then you’re gonna get quarantine in New Zealand as well.
[00:24:58] So I think [00:25:00] things are tough to kind of get out of the country, back to New Zealand if you need to get
[00:25:04] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:25:04] Richard, there are actually still some transit options are there is route through Australia to New Zealand. You need to. Ryan said in events, but it’s, it is still possible for some New Zealand. You know, if you’re a New Zealand citizen, and depending on the time that, you’d be lying over and all those sorts of things are at least possible. but it’s more complicated than it used to be.
[00:25:28]Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:25:28] David, if, if someone is here and they’ve decided to stay, are there any supports, you know, financially, I know we had some questions around financial support from the Australian government. Is that something that. Is available or just sort of as a general rule that’s not the operations of yours
[00:25:42] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:25:42] As a general rule? No. that’s one of the reasons why we encourage you to, when you consider whether you’re going to go home or stay, that you, you look at your ability to support yourself for an extended period here, on the assumption that you may not have the option to go home for some time. but, certainly, Australians who are in trouble for [00:26:00] anything.
[00:26:00]you know, at, at, at the extreme, if it’s when they’ve exhausted all options, suddenly talk to us. they may or may not be things that we can do or directions we can appoint you Wheaton, but, but generally, we don’t provide, assistance for Australians who are, they’re living overseas to continue to live overseas.
[00:26:18] Okay. And Daniel, in terms of businesses at D, does Anzac have any, potential recommendations for what people should be doing, whether it’s from a business or a personal sense?
[00:26:28] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:26:28] No, I think we
[00:26:29] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:26:29] probably
[00:26:30] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:26:30] defer to the consulates and obviously, you know, the various social media support channels that are out there.
[00:26:36]you know, I think it, it really is a case by case basis. So, you know, if there’s anyone out there that would like to have a conversation with us or any of our board members, I think, as I mentioned before, a lot of us are active, businesses. So we, more than happy to share learnings and conduct. The process in which we’re living through ourselves personally.
[00:26:56] So I’m, you know, really happy to facilitate that as well.
[00:27:00] [00:27:00] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:27:00] Fantastic. Richard, if hypothetically, and I know this isn’t the most optimistic outlook, but if things do get worse, is there sort of a strategy around what people should be doing, you know, is, does the operations of the of New Zealand in the U S I change and sort of support people directly?
[00:27:17] Or is it sort of, again, it’s a support network. Someone you can call and just ask for questions.
[00:27:22] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:27:22] I mean, we were very much set up as a support network, you know, and everything for New Zealand as essentially routed through DC where, you know, our main kind of conduit, embassy, you know, kind of all sets. you know, I think as a whole you’ll get a lot of emotional support from the New Zealand, situation here in the USA, but not any financial support.
[00:27:45] I’m happy to help me. You know, we can point you in the right direction and if things change, I don’t actually know. I think Daniel kind of see this, that everything’s up to be reinvented right now. I’ve had a few questions around [00:28:00] repatriation flights and that type of thing. I haven’t heard of any of that happening.
[00:28:04]you know, from a New Zealand point of view right now. so, you know, all of that is very fluid. Like I, I think there will be a change in the role that the embassy plays in . If this does continue cause there’ll be a need for it to change. and it will become less about being business centric and politic, you know, focus then will be a little more about helping individuals in their individual circumstances.
[00:28:29] But there was any change right now that I think it would change of, you know, things continue. What’s going on with you. David has. You guys hadn’t had any net conversation about how things change, you know, this continues.
[00:28:42] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:28:42] well, we’ve, we’ve actually had some conversations about how, how we actually operate as a consulate as we move forward, in the near to medium term.
[00:28:51]and, we’re constantly testing the processes that we’ve put in place to make sure that it’s working as well as it possibly can. I know that, And we were already a school post [00:29:00] here. there’s not, there’s only seven normally working in the department of foreign affairs and trade part and another four in, the tripod.
[00:29:07]and so we ask them all and, and if, you know, if we got sick and we had problems being able to keep the place open, there are, there are processes or plans in place to, to run the post from Canberra. that’s not something we want cause we want to make sure we keep the, the, the, on the ground, the presidency.
[00:29:23] so, we are working very hard to justify the, our presence here and Michael worthwhile. But, but certainly, yeah. And it is, the world is going to change out of these that those, that’s an unprecedented event, in so many ways. And the way we do things now because we have to, we’ll have a legacy when we come out the other side in why is it hard to be at this point?
[00:29:45] But things will, will be different. but just, hard to pick up where that will be. But I know there are a lot of people, yeah.
[00:29:53] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:29:53] David if my visa, so I have decided to stay, but I have, you know, a visa [00:30:00] that’s expiring. Do you know of any, you know, considerations for people at the moment of, and I realize this isn’t necessarily your particular department, but I imagined some people, getting in touch, sort of worrying about their legal status in the country.
[00:30:14] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:30:14] the American visas, like
[00:30:16] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:30:16] US Visa, so the person Australian who’s living here and having a visa that might be expiring,
[00:30:21] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:30:21] it’s not something that we generally deal with. We generally, if people contact Consolo with queries about their, these are in their rights to stay in the United States. We usually refer them to a department of state here.
[00:30:33]so, we have seen. Information that we get through from the office of foreign missions, which is part of the department of state, just giving us occasional updates. But I think that the reality is that I know actually what I’ll cook is what I know. And that is in Australia, Samsung, I know that if there are foreigners in Australia who visas are running out and they can’t leave, we’re making provision for bridging basis.
[00:30:57] Yeah, I would imagine, and I don’t know this [00:31:00] for a fact, but I would imagine the United States is looking at doing similar things. I know that their processing times have blown out for some reasons, you know, for enough variety of reasons and that some of those would be to do with work practices now.
[00:31:12]but, but I would imagine that they would be a bridging visa equivalent to, to ensure the people who. do Whiting outcomes have a legal right to be extended, will be put in place for them, at least discuss with,
[00:31:27] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:31:27] yeah. Okay. So that takes us to, you know, if I decide to go, so I, I’ve made the decision, as we discussed earlier, it’s important to make a decisive decision.
[00:31:37]David, in terms of passports, is that, how’s that been handled at the moment in Chicago?
[00:31:43] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:31:43] We’re still taking passport applications here. we had to be run, about five or six weeks ago and on passport, but it actually sort of plateaued off a bit now. But we’ve, we’re still having a consistent, a number of passports that are being dealt with through the consulate in Chicago.
[00:31:58] We would encourage [00:32:00] people who would like new passports to, to only make appointments to come in if your travel manner. Like if your passport is running out in September. there’s probably no need for you to come in right now. part part of that is, that, you know, minimizes the, the risk to consonant staff and also to those who come in with, with the personal contact and that the passing of documents and so forth, if it’s not needed, applications are also being taken, online at the moment as well.
[00:32:31]so there’s an alternative way that you can do it. but, certainly we are still, we’re open. We’re still taking applications, for normal passport, normal for passports, but also emergency passports, which, we can give you in the, at, extenuating circumstances when somebody needs to travel very quickly.
[00:32:46] Just so I understand, just to confirm, emergency passport, how quickly can they be turned around?
[00:32:50] Do you know? They can be turned around in 24 hours. Okay.
[00:32:54] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:32:54] Yeah. So it’s, it’s a proper emergency. Richard. Yeah, Richard is, how does [00:33:00] someone go about if they’ve got a New Zealand passport or need a New Zealand passport motor, the point, what should they be doing?
[00:33:05] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:33:05] Yeah, it’s a, it’s a trickier situation. Is a New Zealand, New Zealand moved to not doing any passports in the UAC probably about a year ago. So they’re either done in, London or back in New Zealand. So, you know, it say online, you know, VDX mail in process right now. And there’s no other way to kind of, you know, shortcut bet.
[00:33:25] So it’s pretty darn pretty responsive. You know, the online processes slick. It’s you know, not hard to kind of follow your nose and figure it out. But nothing gets processed here. So don’t come to my house expecting me to give you a new passport cause it was retro.
[00:33:43] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:33:43] On that note, I actually personally went through renewing my passport, under the new process.
[00:33:49] And. To be honest, I was super impressed with how slick, as you say, I mean, it’s a, you don’t even have to go to Walgreens and get your [00:34:00] foot photograph done by someone. You do it on your cell phone and it’s validated online. and I know my, my passport was issued. I think it, I submitted the application 10 minutes, and four o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday, and I hit it.
[00:34:17]I had it back with me. four days later.
[00:34:20] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:34:20] Yeah. Okay. So similarly, kind of a rapid turnaround. So if people are in a, what I’m to, I’ve got to come in from Pedro, who’s watching, who’s saying the have three around us, right. I turn around. So it can happen pretty instantly, even though it’s being shipped.
[00:34:33] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:34:33] The normal passports, you don’t happen that quickly if you’re getting a full passport.
[00:34:36] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:34:36] Yes.
[00:34:37] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:34:37] A matter of weeks before a camp will be that void, but put certainly an emergency passport, we can, yeah. I don’t think I should probably mention as well. although this is not something that you should assume it’s the, it should be trying to get your passport renewed, but there is a limited scope for Australians to travel on an expired passport at the moment.
[00:34:54]you need to get clearance on an exemption through the department of Homer face before you do that. and, [00:35:00] but that is possible. So you still traveling and your kids are passports aren’t UpToDate or there are some circumstances where you can actually travel, returned to Australia, with an expired passport you need to plan on in advance within that.
[00:35:13] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:35:13] And that was the department of Homeland affairs. You said that they should be looking to claim a face. Sorry, I’m a face. Sorry. I’ve been watching the clip too much. Good. okay. So, David, in terms of, flights, and I know we had a few questions because there’s a little bit of differing information around what flights, and I know you mentioned it a little bit earlier and I, again, we know that we should be leaving sort of as soon as possible, but do we have any insight into, how many flights are going to be leaving the United States in the coming months?
[00:35:41]do we know if it’s going to extend beyond May?
[00:35:43] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:35:43] well, what the, the Australian government is keen to ensure that there is a, a, a backbone to flights for people to be able to move around the world, particularly Australians to move back to Australia. and that that option remains. and that’s why they did a lot of work with Virgin and [00:36:00] Quantas to, to ensure that there were flights continuing out of Los Angeles on a regular basis.
[00:36:05] And they still are. And that’s guaranteed for April. my, my expectation, although I don’t have confirmation at this point, is that they, the government will continue to negotiate to ensure that that continues into may. And if they been to June, So that provides regular flights out of LA. There were connecting flights that you can still work.
[00:36:24] There are connecting flights, but there are also a number of other flights that you can still get into LA, to, to be able to catch those planes. My understanding is on this, planes are generally reasonably full, but the Virgin option is flying with a lot of empty seats. In addition to that, out of Chicago, there is a, there are flights to Qatar, through Doha.
[00:36:44]which connect to Melbourne, and I think also to Sydney. and that’s there, two or three times a week. So there’s an alternative way of getting back to Australia at the moment as well, which isn’t supported by the Australian government. and also there’s a flight out of Detroit, to South [00:37:00] Korea, which then connects to a flight into Melbourne.
[00:37:02] So there are commercial flights that still are available if the Australians are looking to get out of this part of America and back into Australia. And. As I say, the Australian government has an interest in ensuring that, options continue. they’re looking at four different places around the world that they’re working on, making sure those options continue.
[00:37:21] And LA is one of them. So I anticipate that we’ll keep that going East.
[00:37:25] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:37:25] I can’t. And Richard, I think you mentioned that there were flights three times a week going back to New Zealand at the moment. Is that out of LA as well? It sounded
[00:37:35] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:37:35] okay, David,
[00:37:38] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:37:38] I was just gonna mention there’s also United flight. I think it’s going daily out of San Francisco right here as well. So an additional option.
[00:37:46] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:37:46] And I, I think to recap what we discussed a little bit earlier, there are ways to facilitate travel through Australia to New Zealand as well, at a, at a stretch, but you need to give a bit of home affairs again, or
[00:37:57] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:37:57] you need to plan that one in advance. [00:38:00] Yep.
[00:38:00] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:38:00] Okay. so if people are planning on going back and they have a non-Australian spouse, David, can they come back to Australia without a visa?
[00:38:10]David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:38:10] Australians, the only people allowed into Australians now, Australian citizens and people with permanent residency rights and their immediate families. there are some other very minor exceptions. but, but generally that’s the basic goal. So there, if, if an Australia needs American marry as an Australian American spouse.
[00:38:29]then, if I don’t have a visa, then they, you know, either way, if they’re not Australians, I don’t have a residency ride. They’ll need, once again to till the ice through the department of home affairs, to ensure that they’re allowed onto the plane when they actually get there. and the department of climate phase is the icing with the airlines.
[00:38:48] So they’ll have paperwork when you, if you do it, everything, if you do all the planning in advance, when you arrive at the LA or San Francisco or Detroit or wherever it is, you look into, fly out off to get back to Australia [00:39:00] in the airline, they will have the appropriate paperwork saying that you are okay to fly.
[00:39:05]and that’s why I needed to do that in advance. But certainly immediate family of an Australian or somewhere in Australia or of a person with residency rights will be entitled to travel to Australia as well.
[00:39:16] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:39:16] And I do understand on that, that it doesn’t have to necessarily be a married partner. There are exceptions.
[00:39:22] And again, it just comes to that I’m to reaching out to home affairs prior to traveling because you can explain a situation and potentially get, get in with someone that’s not your married partner
[00:39:30] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:39:30] that’s right, making the case. Yep. Yep.
[00:39:33] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:39:33] Richard, if we were going back to New Zealand, is there a similar accommodation for family members of, of citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand?
[00:39:41] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:39:41] You know, it’s a big important question that I should know the answer to and I don’t, I’m sorry.
[00:39:47] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:39:47] That’s alright.
[00:39:48] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:39:48] Well, part of it is, it’s a fluid situation. You know, I’ve got an American wife and two half New Zealand kids. I don’t know whether I could take them back right now. you know, so I don’t actually know for myself what the [00:40:00] situation is and, you know, getting on a plane and doing that so.
[00:40:04] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:40:04] That’s alright. What we’ll do is we’ll find some information, prior to sending an email out and we’ll, we’ll make sure that everyone’s up to date with the situation in New Zealand. Cause I know that we, there are probably people in your exact situation that just want to know if they need to, they can make a dash.
[00:40:19] David, so looking to Australia now in terms of health coverage and Medicare, are you aware of, sort of, if someone’s holding a Medicare card right now and they’ve been living abroad, but it’s still a valid Medicare card. If they arrive in Australia, and I, and I realized this is a very specific question, but some people are obviously worried about health issues at the moment and going back to Australia, that’s a concern for them.
[00:40:42] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:40:42] I think. I’m not an expert on this particular field, but my understanding is that if you’re an Australian living overseas for five years or more, or your, your rights to Medicare basically just a seat. but if you’re an Australian that returns to Australia, they, they can be immediately reinstated. what you [00:41:00] will need to do though, when you get there is proof that you’re moving back to Australia.
[00:41:03] So you need to try to do, you know, you’re, you’re not just back for a break basically. So then that might require you showing that, you know, you’ve sold your house and American oil, you’ve now you’ve taken it, he bought a house in Australia award, signed a lease for, to live in Australia, but some, something that’s just as far as you’re re-establishing yourself in Australia and therefore they’ll actually re bring site immediately or Medicare rights from that point on.
[00:41:28] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:41:28] Okay, fantastic. And we’ll stick with Australia and then we’ll come to you in a minute, Richard, to, to sort of assimilate quite range of questions for New Zealand. But, David for reentering the USA. So leaving Australia. So if I’ve gone back and I, I now, you know, I do still. I live in the USA and I, I’ve gone back to Australia for a period of time.
[00:41:47] Do we have any idea about, just to explain the, is a ban on departures from Australia, and I just want to clarify for people listening about exactly what that includes and what it does not include.
[00:41:58] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:41:58] Well, you’re right at the [00:42:00] moment. That’s, other than the limited exceptions, which are, basically, flight crew and, and people who are in essential services that need to travel for the purposes of what, what they’re doing and that logistics people or freight or healthcare professionals who are doing it for traveling for official purposes, defense personnel, et cetera.
[00:42:18]Australians are not permitted to leave the country at the moment. now that is, In place, that’s a temporary thing. I don’t actually have the date of when that expires, if it does, but, consideration of, of when that will end will, will be made on the basis of, of advice from health experts and, and others.
[00:42:37] And obviously you probably all aware that like New Zealand, Australia has done an excellent job of containing, covert 19. just I was talking to consulate staff here just in the last couple of days. Illinois bought roughly half the population of Australia. I think it’s got about six or seven times their positive cases and something like 25 times the number of Coban 19 deaths that Australia has had.
[00:43:00] [00:42:59] And so the, the, the outcomes in Australia have been excellent. And the, if you look at the curve of new cases, that’s rapidly falling. the curve was well and truly flattened. so, you know, things are going well in Australia. and I know that the government there is looking at how they can actually start.
[00:43:18] Lessening progressively opening things up, and to some extent, at some point, that will include allowing people to leave the country guy. But when that happens, decided on the place on the air of sound advice and yeah.
[00:43:32] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:43:32] Well, with those great outcomes at so, so the Australians understand, can an Australian always returned to Australia?
[00:43:40] So an Australian citizen. Well that do we foresee any, and I, again, this, you know, you can’t be held to it because we just don’t know the situation moving forward. But as a general rule can of Australian always returned to Australia,
[00:43:52] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:43:52] I would be very surprised if any decision was ever made stopping Australians returning to Australia.
[00:43:58]yeah. I will be at the [00:44:00] moment is 14 day quarantine period for every Australian at the point of entry. Excuse me. Who does return. and there may well be other restrictions depending on what might happen from here on, but I would be very, very surprised to see a ban on, or a restriction that actually stops Australians from returning to Australia if and when they choose to.
[00:44:19] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:44:19] Yeah, we had to, just to follow up on the previous question, we’ve had a question coming in regarding, you know, visiting, for example, unfortunately for a funeral, I. I guess I’ve spoken to a few people myself and unfortunately they haven’t been able to travel. you know, even for dire circumstances and family related issues.
[00:44:37]and that unfortunately is not an extenuating circumstance for sort of anything at the moment from a governmental perspective. Am I right in saying that? You know, really, unfortunately at the moment it’s, it’s realistically you might not be able to attend.
[00:44:50] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:44:50] If you need to leave Australia to attend a funeral, I believe the U S to go back to Australia for a fall, what might happen if you then.
[00:44:58] Like, are you able to [00:45:00] basically for Australia, you’ve returned to Australia at the moment, your, your opportunity to leave is, is I think Lynn. Very,
[00:45:10] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:45:10] yep. Okay. Yeah. Richard, to go back to the healthcare question, and I’m sorry, I, I don’t know the name of the Medicare Medicare equivalent, but in terms of health care for New Zealand, is that something that has a similar sort of scenario where returning to New Zealand.
[00:45:26] Puts you back into the system.
[00:45:29]Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:45:29] I don’t exactly know the kind of lit, you know, the right specific answer. very similar to the Australian sitation.
[00:45:39] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:45:39] Yeah. Fantastic. And in terms of the other questions regarding, you know, re-entry and, and leaving, is there currently a limitation on New Zealand is leaving New Zealand?
[00:45:48] I know that there’s some strict quarantine about entering, but. All right. I
[00:45:52] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:45:52] haven’t heard that you can’t leave New Zealand other than the fact, why would you, jokes aside, but, you know, I mean, other than her being [00:46:00] paradise, no, I, you know, like getting in there is very difficult right now. Like, I’m leaving, I’m not sure.
[00:46:07]I wouldn’t go there and expect to Gridley and come back to the U S for being, you’re dealing with the waste in the grocery issue, right?
[00:46:14] So the leading part, I think it’s country by country we are leading through with you can get into that country. So it’s a very complicated situation right now. and to your point about funerals and that type of thing, you know, the thing that sucks with all of this is.
[00:46:31] You know, you, you can’t sometimes do that, do that stuff. you know, so I know of situations where, you know, people have wanted to leave to go to funerals and they count. and that’s kind of one of the byproducts of, that’s a critical situation right now. but I do have a tape stand right now that said, as a new Zealander, you will be Kevin with New Zealand health care.
[00:46:50] If you land back in New Zealand.
[00:46:52] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:46:52] Okay, fantastic.
[00:46:54] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:46:54] Josh, I just want to just kind of add as well. the notes I’ve got on [00:47:00] people who are Australians looking to leave Australia does actually say that. if you think that trevally restriction exemption might apply to you and you, and it’s not clear, then they do invite you to actually make an application for an exemption with the commissioner of the Australian border force .
[00:47:16] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:47:16] State your case, basically,
[00:47:19] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:47:19] you state your case, you’ll need to get it or you won’t. But, but I do actually say if it’s not clear, you’re not sure, then apply. But there is a bit of a high volume of applications apparently. So it will take time. So that invents it. It’s useful, but they’re not saying don’t bother that they’re saying that.
[00:47:35] If you think you might and then ask, you never know. It’s worth it.
[00:47:38] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:47:38] Yeah. And I think that does overwrite the overarching message though, is still that, you know, if you can limit travel and even though it’s, it’s devastating for someone. I know there are some really personal issues. I’m from a lot of people I’ve spoken to.
[00:47:48] Unfortunately right now it’s just, you know, this, the globe is in a state of confusion. And I think limiting travel where absolutely possible is a, is a good idea. [00:48:00] the, what we have, we’ve had a few questions actually around pets. Because obviously we’ve got family members that we were considering before.
[00:48:06] And, I, I’ve seen actually a few people in videos just light up. do we know about getting pets back to Australia at the moment? cause I know that we’ve heard sort of stories of people unable to get on to a plane with a pet.
[00:48:20] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:48:20] The only thing that I’m aware of that’s changed from the normal processes for taking animals back to Australia is that they’ve now limited.
[00:48:30]the quarantine, opportunity to just Melbourne. So, now, and that as a, I, I haven’t been able to research this to the nth degree, but what I do know is that, you know, once upon a time or until recently, you could fly into Sydney, that’d be a part of opportunity there. And you’d offer your dog, your pet could be, quarantined in Sydney or Brisbane, wherever you’re flying in.
[00:48:53] The department of ed cultures are neat, overriding one quarantine facility at this point, and that’s in Melbourne. So if you [00:49:00] are going to try and take a pet back, and you haven’t been going to Melbourne, that may be worldwide. you’ve, you’ve had your application to take an animal rejected, objected.
[00:49:09] But if you, if you find Melbourne, and my understanding is you should still be able to do it.
[00:49:14] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:49:14] And I, we’ve just had a comment saying that a United has stopped all pet travel. So it sounds like it’s more than logistics of actually getting your pet onto a plane more so than you know, our limitation on pets coming in.
[00:49:25] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:49:25] As I say, I’m not, I haven’t looked at all that, but I do know that if you arrive in Melbourne with a pet on a, on a plane, then they can deal with it there. But that won’t, except from a government perspective. Yeah. The slide to any other port other than Melbourne, with a, with an animal, what the airlines are doing, I’m not actually sure, but
[00:49:47] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:49:47] yeah, and I believe there are limitations on how long you have to in advance, you have to notify Australian government about bringing pets back and things.
[00:49:55] And at the moment, from what I’ve heard, and I don’t know, David, if you’ve had any differently, but that [00:50:00] has not changed there.
[00:50:01] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:50:01] There’s the notes I’ve got about, about bringing animals back. All it says from a government perspective is that Melbourne is now the only option.
[00:50:09] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:50:09] Okay. Richard, do you have anything?
[00:50:13] Yeah. Okay. Richard, do you have anything?
[00:50:15] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:50:15] All I know is you have to pre apply, and ms probably, I don’t know if that’s with the government or with the airlines or both. and you know, everything’s quarantined in Oakland and you’re not going to be quarantined with your pit in Oakland, so, it’s probably going to be difficult to fly back to New Zealand.
[00:50:33] We’re all kind of is the only point of entry. Yeah. Period. so it’s probably going to be difficult to give back to New Zealand with APA, in any future.
[00:50:42] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:50:42] Okay.
[00:50:43] Richard McDonald (New Zealand Honorary Consul General in Chicago): [00:50:43] From what I’m reading,
[00:50:45] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:50:45] one, one last question in regards to Australia and just getting back the, if you land in Australia in the state that you are not resident of any want to move to another or you want to keep continuing on to another state, is there a chance that you will have to quarantine twice. [00:51:00]
[00:51:01]David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:51:01] it depends on which way you’re going to and the, the restrictions that have been put in place, in the state that you’ll end up in. But if you say find a Melbourne, Melbourne being your first port of entry, you will be quarantined in Melbourne for two weeks at the expense of the Australian tax payers, before your, and then, if you’re medically fit, after the end of those two weeks, you will then be allowed to move on to your next place.
[00:51:26] And if that’s in a different state. What happens to you? They will depend on that stuff. I’m actually Tasmanian, so I’m quite familiar with the different types of, if you went from Melbourne to Tasmania, you wouldn’t need to be quarantined the guy in for another two weeks because they have a separate, regime in place where anybody coming into the state needs to quarantine for two weeks.
[00:51:46] But that will be so important to you rather than, in full, spontaneous, government provided facilities. So like, you’re going to want one.
[00:51:57] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:51:57] Yup. Okay. Fantastic. Daniel, with [00:52:00] regards to moving forward, you know, do you have any particular suggestions for what businesses should be or an individuals should be doing to start re-engaging with the community? Is Anzac, sort of having any overarching advice for people?
[00:52:12] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:52:12] You’ve given me the opportunity for a shameless push to become a nimble organization, Josh, so thank you for that unexpected.
[00:52:21] And I look, I mean, as I sit on the, on the outset, at the beginning where we are a volunteer board, we are business people where professionals living and working in America. Ozzie. From Aussie and Kiwi land. So, it’s only a $50 membership for individuals. And, obviously if you are, if your company wants to look at joining them, there are different, levels that you can engage at.
[00:52:45] And I think that sort of, gets you into our network of people. You know, right now we have. A database of about 500 individuals, right across the Midwest. if you’re not already a member, and thinking about it, I would [00:53:00] encourage you to do that. you know, I feel bad because $50 in current times, but, you know, it covers 12 month membership.
[00:53:07]we obviously engage with you. frequently, we also have a networking opportunity. And then in January, we have a soiree that’s coincide and celebrates Australia day and a Y Tony day, of course. So, while that’s a little bit more fanfare and what have you, but we still plan, on, on, hopefully being back to back to some type of, you know, celebration where we recognize people.
[00:53:31] So that network of people,
[00:53:33] yep. Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you, Richard. I, I don’t have a particular question for you, but is there anything you’d like to add before we close up? you know, nothing in particular, to be honest. it’s nice to see a bunch of people. I recognize some of the names that have popped up.
[00:53:52]I’m disappointed that Nick’s story is not as a camera. Oh, I can’t see what you’re specifically doing. but, hang in [00:54:00] there. You know, we’ll figure it out right. whatever the future holds or beating new Zealanders and Australians will make the most of it cause that’s what we do. So, enjoy eating your Vicki, Mike and Marmite on toast.
[00:54:13] Next story is just next door. Just turn this camera on for your Rich.
[00:54:16] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:54:16] Daniel, In terms of ANZAC Day coming up, is there anything that we should know? Oh, David or Richard, you know? Anyway.
[00:54:28] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:54:28] Yeah, look, absolutely. I mean, I think, it’s, I’ve decided, and everyone probably knows this, but the formal ceremony in person has been canceled. but it’s been turned into an online experience.
[00:54:39] So we’re encouraging and we will do an eblast. That will come out after this. But also we’re encouraging people to stay connected with the social channels of the Australian consulate. and, the link is going to be on told, posted probably Thursday. so that everyone can stove what it is that we [00:55:00] do and, and be together early.
[00:55:02] Yeah. Wake up early and then, and, you know, still to continue to see faces and, and have some comradery. And, and. The true ans expert is all about.
[00:55:13] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:55:13] Fantastic. Thank you. And David, any closing remarks or anything you’d like to add?
[00:55:17] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:55:17] just, one thing that I know is of interest to a lot of people is the , which had mentioned it in passing as well.
[00:55:25] And that’s, repatriation of, Australians and New Zealand is back to our countries. the. the fact is that the Australian government isn’t looking to do that anywhere around the world unless it is absolutely necessary. And there will be two criteria that would need to be met before that would be considered.
[00:55:40] And one will be that, firstly, that there are no commercial options. but secondly, also this security and safety of, of Australians in the country. So, and that would need to be under three legal considerations.
[00:55:53] Yeah. So, so at this stage, you know. There is no consideration in America of repatriating [00:56:00] Australians.
[00:56:00]and just underlining that until they’re, both those conditions were in place. And I hope that they never would be, that they won’t be any sort of government funded repatriation. But obviously if circumstances got to the point when there were no other options in Australia. welfare was immediately threatened, then that would be something that would change.
[00:56:17] But until, and unless we will be doing everything we can to facilitate the continuation of the commercial options, and in the meantime, look after Australia’s interests, who remained here. and on that, I also like to wish everybody the best and, joy your warranty. I know, as I mentioned, I am.
[00:56:34] Living alone at the moment. So, I’ve enjoyed my own company and, and, I, I’m getting sick of that, I think which is indicated that, enjoying other people’s company. You can get a bit sick of that too. but, you know, make the most of it and try and learn new things and do what you can and then hopefully come out the other end at a better and happier person.
[00:56:51] So, best of luck to everybody.
[00:56:53] Josh Pugh (America Josh): [00:56:53] Fantastic. Yeah. I can only read or write the same thing. And thank you, David, Richard and Daniel for taking your time this [00:57:00] evening. It’s a very much appreciated and there’s, I’m sure we’ve answered a lot of the questions that are on people’s minds and thank you everyone for tuning in.
[00:57:06] For tuning in. We will be sending out an email, as I mentioned at the top, which we’ll have some resources for you, some links that we’ve spoken about. it will also include information about the webinar referred to with the immigration attorney that’s happening in a few hours. I’m on the West coast. and if especially we’ve got some feedback forms that, so you can let us know what you thought.
[00:57:27] If there were any questions that you’d like to follow up, we’d love to hear from you. So thank you very much to the three of you and thanks to everyone who tuned in tonight. We really appreciate it.
[00:57:35] Daniel Thomas (ANZACC Midwest President): [00:57:35] Thanks very much everyone. Be safe. Take care. Thank you. You, yeah. Wash your hands. Yes.
[00:57:42] David Bushby (Australian Consul-General in Chicago): [00:57:42] Perfect.