In the week since I launched Australia’s COVID Response Feedback I’ve received over 170 in-depth stories and some incredible feedback from the community which has been greatly appreciated. I’ve only just started diving into the details but wanted to give you a quick snapshot of what we’ve found so far.

The point of starting this survey was to ensure that we were getting an accurate picture of what is happening when Australians try to return to Australia and how the experience is when they do.

I’ve read some uplifting stories and I’ve read some stories that have really been difficult to stomach, and I will be going into further detail about those in the coming days and weeks, but for now, here’s a summary of the information we’ve received.

Who is attempting to travel to Australia?

Importantly I wanted to know who exactly was filling this form in as there are two distinct groups: Those who are attempting to travel and those who have successfully traveled and are reviewing the process.

The majority of respondents were trying and only 29.9% had successfully traveled.

I am starting this week with the information about those who have not been able to travel and will go into more detail about this group and others in future weeks.

Have you already traveled to Australia successfully?

For those who have not traveled, the follow-up is around where they are in the process.

Where are you in the process of traveling to Australia?

This shows us that the plurality of respondents have already planned travel and a significant number of those who had plans haven’t been able to go yet (22.1%).

What was especially telling was the group of those who had attempted to travel back to Australia but have decided to stop (9.8%). For this group we asked why they ultimately decided not to travel:

Why did you ultimately decide not to travel to Australia?

This limitation of flights was the primary reason that people stopped flying and “Other (44.4%)” reflected this as well with people wanting to go into more detail about their situation.

These stories will be posted in the future (with the submitter’s permission) but I can definitely say that there are some harrowing stories about those who were simply trying to get back.

Why are people trying to travel to Australia?

I wanted to dispel the myth that people were simply traveling because they wanted to, and the idea that they could have gotten back sooner.

What was the main reason for your travel to Australia?

As this shows, the majority of situations were personal or family-oriented (I have read many stories of sick and elderly family members) and then visa/immigration requirements, loss of employment, financial situations all accounting for 60.6% of responses.

I am curious as to the 9.6% who selected holiday and will go into more detail about them soon.

How difficult has it been to get back to Australia?

For those attempting to get back, their self-reported score was an average of 3.9/5 where 1 was easy and 5 was difficult.

How has your experience getting to Australia been so far?

The primary issue people have faced has been around flights (85% combined respondents selected issues) however it’s important to note that 29.9% of respondents reported no issues.

Users could select multiple options which accounts for over 100% of responses.

Have you faced any issues getting tickets?

I’ve got lots more analysis to do and plenty more information to share, but stay tuned!

How can you be involved?

Everyone can be involved, even if you are not actively trying to travel to Australia.

I have built a form that will take about 5-10 minutes to fill in which runs through your personal situation and what you planned/were planning/have done.

If you have already traveled, then you can use this to share your story for others.
If you want to travel in the future, then you can use this to add your voice.
If you have been having trouble getting to Australia, you can use this to tell your story.

To get started, simply click the button below and you will be presented with a form to go through.

All information can remain anonymous (or you can provide me with a name at the end that you’d like to be known by).

What will I do with the data?

I will publish the information I collect anonymously and with that, we can start to build a picture to tell the true story of those who have traveled to Australia, and of those who are trying to get there but haven’t been able to yet.

How you can help even more

Share this page, fill in the form, and we can gather as much information as possible!