Last weekend the 3rd annual African Festival was held at the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne.
The two-day event, sponsored by Smartraveller – the Australian Government’s portal for Australians planning and travelling overseas – saw around 10,000 people dance, eat and enjoy African culture.
Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tim Watts, attended the event and remarked on the incredible sense of culture and community shown at the festival.
“The African Festival was a wonderful celebration of culture and diversity – with people of all backgrounds joining in the event”, said Assistant Minister Watts.
“Events like these demonstrate Australia’s diverse heritage, bringing together people from across the world.
“They’re also excellent avenues for travel inspiration and sparking that wanderlust.
“That’s where Smartraveller comes in. It helps Australians prepare and plan their trip, so they can make informed choices while overseas.”
Smartraveller provides advice on passports, visas and travel insurance through to detailed travel advice on over 175 destinations. It also offers essential resources in multiple languages.
Assistant Minister Watts encourages everyone to make Smartraveller.gov.au their first destination when planning their next adventure and subscribe for updates.
“Smartraveller is an essential part of planning an overseas trip, even if you’ve never travelled before, or travel regularly its important to stay-up-to date with the latest information”, said Assistant Minister Watts.
Smartraveller’s top tips before you go overseas
- Follow the local laws, which may be different to the laws in Australia.
- Respect the cultures and places of significance you visit. This includes wearing appropriate clothing at places such as temples.
- Be careful how you use social media overseas. In some countries posting revealing photos or commenting on local or political issues can get you in trouble.
- Keep your bags and belongings close – don’t leave them on the ground or the back of a seat. This gives thieves a perfect opportunity to steal them.
- If you’re hiring equipment, such as jet skis or a quad bike, check it before you use it and if something seems off, ask for a replacement.
- Make sure you have the correct license for any equipment you hire.
- If you’re travelling solo, take extra precautions – use official transport and don’t advertise you’re travelling alone.
- Remember your travel insurance and read the fine print on your policy.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary and travel insurance with loved ones in Australia.
- If you don’t already have a passport allow six weeks to renew or apply.
To access essential travel information to better prepare for your overseas trip and know what to do if you encounter problems, visit Smartraveller’s Filipino community information hub.