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Please be advised that the Embassy of Ireland, Australia website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Embassy website is now available at Ireland.ie/canberra.

Emergency assistance in Australia

If something goes wrong while you are on holiday in Australia and you need help, you can contact the Embassy in Canberra or your local Consulate or call the Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 4082000.

  • Travel Advice
  • Contacting the Police
  • Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement
  • Crime
  • Death or illness abroad

Travel Advice

Before travelling to Australia, you should read our “Know Before You Go” travel advice for tips on road safety, local laws and customs, precautions against petty crime, and more.

Consular Duty Service Out of Hours

If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +61 2 62140000. If you call outside normal working hours, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.

You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin directly at 00353-1-4082000.

Please note that the Duty Office cannot deal with routine passport queries. The Duty Officer cannot issue Travel Documents except in exceptional circumstances, such as the serious illness or the death of a family member.

Please note that the Embassy cannot offer assistance relating to problems with Australian visas. If you require help of this type, please make contact with the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Please find the link attached for more information https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us 

Contacting the Police

The number for emergency services in Australia is 000.

Australian States and Territories each have their own police force, in addition to the Australian Federal Police, which polices the Australian Federal Law.

Making a police report

A list of police stations is available on the website of each State and Territory Police Force.

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia

Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement

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 eligiblity and what is covered is available.

For Irish citizens in Western Australia further information is also available

The RHCA is not a substitute for travel insurance and does not cover ambulance services, medical repatriation or out-of-hospital services.

It is essential to acquire comprehensive travel insurance before travelling to Australia. Your travel insurance policy should cover the entire period you are abroad until you arrive home. Working Holiday Makers who apply for a second year visa should remember to renew their travel insurance for a second year. Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy; most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Your policy should at the very minimum cover the following:

  • medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad, including medical evacuation/repatriation
  • 24 hour emergency service and assistance
  • personal liability cover (in case you are sued for causing injury or damaging property)
  • lost and stolen possessions cover
  • cancellation and curtailment cover
  • cover for activities that are often excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing)


Accident/assault victims

We will do everything possible to assist you if you have been the victim of an accident or assault.

We can provide information on where to find a lawyer, but we cannot give you legal or medical advice, or formally recommend or pay for doctors or lawyers.

All cases are treated in complete confidence. We can also help you to contact friends and family and assist with arrangements to get you home, if that is your wish. All persons who have been assaulted or in an accident must report the incident to the Police.


If you are arrested, you may ask the Australian authorities to inform the Embassy of your arrest by signing a consular access form.

The Australian authorities do not automatically inform us of the arrest of an Irish national, but they are legally obliged to inform all detained foreign nationals of their right to consular assistance. It is therefore your right to ask the arresting officer to inform the Irish Embassy or your nearest Irish Consulate of your situation as soon as possible.

The Embassy can:

  • Advise you about your entitlement to visits, mail and other facilities
  • Bring details of any medical condition you may have to the attention of police or prison officials
  • Pursue with the prison authorities on your behalf any complaints about ill-treatment or discrimination
  • Pass messages to and from your family

However, the Embassy cannot:

  • Secure better treatment for Irish citizens than local or other nationals receive
  • Give or pay for legal advice
  • Recommend specific lawyers
  • Interfere with or influence the proper operation and application of the local judicial system
  • Provide any financial assistance while you are in prison
  • Pay bail bonds or fines

Legal Representation

Each Australian State and Territory has a law society which can provide a list of lawyers specialising in different areas of the law.

If you do not engage your own lawyer, you may be eligible for a Legal Aid solicitor free of charge. Legal Aid is a Government legal service dealing mainly with family law and criminal legal matters. They provide free legal advice as well as court representation, and grants of legal aid funds to pay for a legal aid solicitor or a private solicitor.

Legal Aid in Australia is ‘Means tested’, and you must meet the Government’s strict criteria in order to qualify for Legal Aid. Your income and financial means will be taken into account, as well as the merits of your case, i.e. whether or not the case is likely to succeed. Your nationality is not a factor.

Every prison keeps a Legal Aid register book. Request a Prison Officer to add your name in this register and a Legal Aid lawyer will visit you, when next available.

For more information about Legal Aid, please see https://info.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/public-safety-and-law/legal-aid

Death or illness abroad

Death Abroad

If a member of your family dies while abroad, the Irish Embassy will provide all possible assistance in dealing with the formalities that arise in these situations.

The Embassy can:

  • Arrange to have the next of kin of the deceased informed by the Garda Síochána
  • Assist relatives to appoint a local undertaker
  • Assist with procuring documents such as death certificates or medical or police reports
  • Assist relatives to communicate with the Police and other authorities

However, the Embassy does not:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the death
  • Pay expenses relating to local burial or cremation
  • Pay the cost of repatriating the remains
  • Pay for relatives to travel to where the death occurred or to accompany the remains to Ireland

If the deceased was covered by travel insurance, it is important for next of kin to contact the insurance company without delay. If there is no insurance cover, the cost of repatriation or burial will have to be met by the family.

Families should be aware that the time required to repatriate remains to Ireland varies depending on the circumstances of a death. A minimum of two weeks is quite usual from Australia. However, there may be circumstances where repatriation can be delayed for longer.


In an emergency, please go to the nearest public hospital. Under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, Irish residents can 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). You should bring your Irish passport or Irish driving licence with you as proof of your residence in Ireland.

Further information on eligiblity and what is covered is available.

For Irish citizens in Western Australia further information is also available

If you become ill or require hospital treatment while in Australia, you or your friends/family can contact the Embassy/nearest Consulate for assistance if you need help in dealing with the situation.

The Embassy can:

  • Offer general advice on the local medical services
  • Assist in liaising with doctors or hospitals
  • Advise relatives or friends about accidents or illnesses
  • Assist in arranging repatriation to Ireland

It is important to stress that the Embassy does not have funds to pay hospital bills or meet other medical expenses on your behalf.

Also, the Embassy does not:

  • Provide medical advice
  • Pursue insurance companies about payment of or refund of the cost of medical treatment
  • Pursue claims for compensation relating to negligence, injury or any other matter
  • Pay for visits by relatives