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New to Sydney?

Here you will find some practical information on living in Sydney

Before you move to Sydney, it is recommended that you do as much research as possible. Cross Care Migrant Project provides a range of advice for people considering a move abroad. Other useful websites include the Australian Embassy in Dublin and City of Sydney

If you have recently moved to Sydney, you may wish to meet with other Irish citizens who are part of a local organisation or business network that can provide you with general advice, information and guidance. Below is a list of some of the active Irish groups in New South Wales. This list is provided for information purposes only. Please note that the Consulate is not responsible for the content of external websites or activities of groups/societies.

If you wish to add a group to the list, please contact the Consulate.

The Irish Support Agency provides support to anyone in the Irish Australian community who find themselves in circumstances of distress or crisis. There is also the opportunity for those who wish to contribute to the community to volunteer with the ISA.

The Lansdowne Club is a business networking club which organises events on a regular basis for its members. Two of their annual feature events include a St Patrick’s Day lunch, one of the largest in the world, and a golf day, usually held in August.

The Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce organise a wide range of business-focussed events throughout the year including the Irish Australian Business Awards. The Chamber also provides a range of support programmes for its members including a mentoring programme and a returning migrants programme.

The Irish Language School Sydney was created to promote and carry out Irish language education in New South Wales. The ILSS organises weekly classes, weekend conversation groups and the annual Scoil Gheimhridh in Sydney.

Sydney Queer Irish was established in 2010 to support the Queer Irish Community in Sydney and New South Wales. Various events are held throughout the year for the LGBTQI community. SQI also participates in the annual Sydney Mardi Gras Parade.

New South Wales GAA is a division of the Australasian Gaelic Association and is responsible for Gaelic Games in New South Wales. Currently, there are 9 clubs within NSW GAA. Further information on all the clubs and their contact details can be found on the NSW GAA website.

The Australian Ireland Fund is a registered Australian charity which funds community level projects in Ireland and in Australia. The Fund organises a number of fundraising events throughout the year and runs a Young Leaders Programme.

Sydney Irish Rugby Football Club was established four years ago, and has already grown considerably, now competing in Division 4 of the NSW Suburban League. Mixed tag rugby teams compete in regional Sydney Oztag competitions, and also meet on Sunday mornings in Centennial Park for Social Tag Sunday.

Australian Irish Dancing Association is the association governing Irish dancing in Australia. There is a dedicated branch of AIDA in NSW, made up of qualified teachers registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha in Dublin.

The Irish Brekkie Club provides an opportunity for Irish people in Sydney and local Aussies to come together for a quick fix of brekkie, tea and banter and celebrate the best of both cultures. Meet ups are scheduled by members themselves living all over Sydney.

The Aisling Society is an Irish-Australian cultural society who focus on Irish history, heritage and culture and the effect of Irish culture on Australian life. The society holds a talk every fourth Wednesday of the month in the Irish Consulate in Sydney.

The Irish National Association of Australasia promotes Irish culture and interests through the support of activities such as Irish dancing and Irish music at the Gaelic Club and other venues throughout Sydney.

Tinteán is the magazine of the Australian Irish Heritage Network and carries articles on the Australian Irish identity.

There are many festivals around Australia which showcase the best of Irish music, language, poetry, art and dance. Two of the largest Celtic festivals are The National Celtic Festival and the Koroit Lake School of Celtic Music Song and Dance. Irish artists are also regular participants at the National Folk Festival.

Health Care

Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA) that entitles visitors from Ireland to Australia to receive medically necessary treatment as public inpatients or outpatients in Australian public hospitals, on the same terms as Australian residents (i.e. free of charge). Further information on eligibility and what is covered is available here.

Driving Licences in New South Wales

In October 2013 the process for issuing driving licences in Ireland changed. Applications for licences can no longer be made by post and applicants for driving licences must present themselves at a National Driving License Service (NDLS) office where a photo will be captured. The new licenses are in a plastic credit card sized format. If you lose your credit card sized license, you need to contact the NDLS to obtain a replacement.

If you lose your licence and your licence was an old style paper licence, you cannot be issued with a replacement licence unless you are physically present in Ireland. However, depending on your visa status you may be able to obtain a NSW drivers licence. To do so you need to take the following steps:

• Contact the NDLS - info@ndls.ie or +353 96 25000 and request a “Driving Licence Statement”
• Bring this driving licence statement, along with your passport and visa status letter, to your nearest Service NSW branch and apply for an NSW driving licence

Service NSW are able to authenticate NDLS Driving Licence Statements without reference to the Consulate. However, if you do have difficulties having your NDLS Driving Licence Statement accepted, contact us and we can provide a letter stating that the NDLS is the appropriate licencing authority in Ireland.

An information sheet is also available for download.

Garda Clearance Certificates

When applying for a job, you may be asked to provide a Garda Clearance Certificate. To obtain a certificate, you should contact your local Garda station in the area where you last lived in Ireland. Please note that the Consulate cannot provide this certificate or apply on your behalf. Further information is available at: https://www.garda.ie/en/About-Us/Online-Services/Data-Protection-FOI-Police-Certificates/Police-Certificates.html