Good Neighbor Insurance, www.gninsurance.com, has been involved in providing international health care cover to our clients since 1997. Not only is the Good Neighbor Insurance team knowledgeable in providing great travel insurance medical coverage benefits to their clients but most of the GNI team have also lived overseas for a good part of their lives and still continue to travel overseas on vacation and short term NGO trips.
Australia, known to many, as the small island nation down under is one of the world’s most prosperous, not to mention, beautiful countries today. The nation that once used to be a British prison exile has now emerged to be one global power and a premier tourist spot. However, not many know about the country’s history or what caused its transition from an overgrown island to a booming nation. Here are a few significant events in Australian history:
This act is one that has redefined Australia and its value system. Before this Act, the Australian Nation had no uniform voting system. According to the Australian Constitution, anybody who was eligible to vote in a state was allowed to vote in the federal election. However, different states had different eligibility criteria and this is where the problem arose. States such as Southern and Western Australia allowed women to vote whereas in most other states they were not. Indigenous people or aborigines were restricted from voting in all states. The passing of this Act after a long struggle allowed women equal rights to vote and also made it lawfully possible for them to stand in elections. This was a significant step in ensuring gender equality in the country.
The Sandakan Death March of 1944
The Sandakan Death March is a series of forced marches that were carried out by the Japanese on the Australian and British war soldiers in 1944 during the Pacific Campaign of the Second World War. The Japanese soldiers forced Australian war prisoners to march a massive stretch from Sandakan to Ranau in Borneo. More than two thousand Australian soldiers died during the ordeal while only six lived to tell the tale. This is considered to be the single most gruesome war crime perpetrated against Australia.
The Six-o-clock Swill
The six-o-clock swill was probably one of Australia’s funniest and most infamous phenomena. From the 1915 onwards, there was a law in Australia that ordered all bars to close down at 6pm so that husbands return home to their wives on time and less drunk. However, this law had quite the opposite effect and it was seen that there was a huge rush in bars during the 5 to 6pm time period to get as many glasses of drinks as possible. This was known as the six-o-clock-swill. This led to more drunkenness amongst the men and caused turmoil all across the country. There was widespread protest and the law was finally repealed from all states as late as 1966.
Stolen generation is the term that is widely used to refer to the children of those aborigines who were displaced or removed by the Australian government and ancillary agencies. It is estimated that about 30,000 children were separated from their parents during the time period of 1900-1972. In a Parliament session of 2008, the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, along with leader of opposition, Brendan Nelson, apologized for the atrocities committed against these children and their forefathers.
The history of Australia is one treacherous, heart- rending and inspirational all at the same time. These were a few mere examples. Australian history deserves to be read more.
Doug Gulleson is one of the two principles of Good Neighbor Insurance, Inc and does enjoy traveling the world to scuba dive. He travels overseas throughout the year with his underwater camera in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other but Doug never forgets to have his travel medical insurance with him at all times. Good Neighbor Insurance provides many different types of international insurance including medical and evacuation coverage outside the U.S. Visit Good Neighbor Insurance’s corporate site at www.gninsurance.com and www.overseashealthinsurance.com/trip-protection.asp for different travel medical insurance options that may fit your needs.