• Share on facebook
  • Share on twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share on Google+

Other common queries

When are the public holidays in Australia?

Public holidays in Australia are designated on a state and territory basis with the exception of national public holidays such as Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The Public Holidays page on this site links to the various state and territory sites which have information about public holidays.

The Public Holidays and School Terms page on this site has information about our national public holidays.

I have received an email about a lottery prize in an Australian lottery. What should I do?

A number of organisations are promoting what purport to be 'Australian lotteries' to people overseas. Some of these organisations claim that the lotteries are guaranteed by the Australian Government. This is false. The Australian Government does not operate any guarantee in relation to lottery prizes.

If you receive material from organisations promoting Australian lotteries you are advised to treat this material with caution. Some of these organisations do not have official accreditation and the material supplied by them may be misleading. As the activities of some of these organisations are occurring offshore, they are outside the jurisdiction of the Australian Trade Practices Commission.

For more information on scams in Australia, please visit the following government web sites:

Can I use my existing licence to drive in Australia?

In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence. Other states request you carry your current foreign driver's licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English.

As a general rule, you are able to drive in Australia, as a visitor, on a valid overseas driver's licence that covers the same vehicle class for a maximum of three months after arriving in Australia.

To find out what the driving licence laws are for each state, please contact the relevant Road and Traffic Authority.

How do I obtain a police (criminal history) records check?

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) provides National Police Checks (criminal history checks) for:

  • residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and other external Commonwealth territories
  • people seeking employment with the Commonwealth Government
  • people requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation, e.g. Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Immigration purposes
  • overseas employment
  • adoption, including overseas adoption, and
  • visa applications.

All other applicants should contact the Criminal Records section of their relevant State or Territory police service. If you are unsure whether you should apply to the AFP or your state service, contact AFP Criminal Records.

State Police Records Checks:

Can you send me information about Australia? does not send out tourist information or Australia packs but you can find out more about the country by reading information on our site.

For Tourist information we suggest you also visit, Australia's official tourism website.

Can I get my documents certified for an overseas government?

Overseas governments sometimes need proof that Australian documents are genuine before they will accept them. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can certify that a signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine and stamp the document with an Authentication or Apostille.

I am looking for a missing relative (or friend) in Australia does not provide information on people currently residing in Australia. If you are seeking to contact a friend or relative, the National Library of Australia provides a list of sources for locating a missing friend or relative that may be of assistance.

The Australian Federal Police also provide a list of search agencies that may be able to help you locate relatives or friends you have lost contact with over time.

What is the Hutt River Province?

In 1970 A Western Australian farmer re-named his property Hutt River Province' in a unilateral declaration of independence. The Australian Government does not legally or otherwise recognise the so-called Hutt River Province'.

For more information, please visit the following government websites:

Wills and Powers of Attorney


A Will is a document that states how you would like your assets to be distributed when you die, and the person or organisation you would like to be responsible for carrying out your wishes.

You can find out more from the Public Trustee in your state or territory

Powers of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document where you appoint a person of your choice to manage your assets and financial affairs if you are unable to do so due to illness, an accident or your absence.

A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you become mentally or physically incapable of deciding for yourself.

You can find out more from the relevant agency in your state or territory.

Anticipatory directions

An anticipatory direction is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment if one day you cannot decide for yourself. It will only apply if you are in the final stage of a terminal illness or in a persistent vegetative state. It can be used as a stand-alone document or accompany the medical power of attorney or enduring power of guardianship.

Further information on advanced care plans is available through the Advance Care Planning Australia website.

Back to top