Friday, 1 November 2013

Australia wipes out Great Britain.

Before the Australian states federated, each state decided its own immigration policy and issued passports. Even after federation in 1901 this practice continued until the outbreak of the Great War at which point passport issue became the responsibility of the Governor General. 
Australian passports bore 
the legend, 'British Passport', on their covers and the holder's nationality was described as, British Subject'.

 As the country became more confident in itself, this became, 'Australian Citizen and a British Subject'. In 1967 Australia decided to remove the 'British' from their passports altogether. I can quite understand the wish of a country to affirm its own identity but have they now gone too far by expunging Great Britain entirely from their cognizance?

When I applied for my Australian visa recently, I trawled through the list of countries from which Australia declared that it would be delighted to receive visitors and was nonplussed not to be able to find mine. Every other country in the world was listed but not the United Kingdom. Nor was it described as, 'Great Britain'. I eventually discovered that my country is called, 'British Citizen'.

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