Tens of thousands of Australians are stranded overseas
It’s time for stranded Aussies to unite and demand change
The Stranded Aussies Action Network Toolbox
Our mission is to empower every Australian everywhere to stand up for their right to return home.
If it is safe to bring in a 1200 strong tennis entourage, it is safe to allow Stranded Aussies home. See our facts, figures and explainers, and the plan we are putting to political leaders.
Use our self-advocacy toolbox to register with DFAT, add your name to petitions and contact your elected representatives.
Put yourself out there. Tell your story to the Australian public in any way you can. See our media contact list and tips for speaking with the press.
Living with the uncertainties and challenges that come with being stranded will likely be taking its toll. Use our support toolbox to access up to date information and links to financial, emotional, and emergency assistance.
“You save yourself or you remain unsaved”
A year into the coronavirus pandemic, at least 40,000 Australians remain stuck overseas with over 5,000 on the vulnerable list. This situation was preventable and it’s getting worse.
Australia’s political leaders have expressed no willingness to assist those they have abandoned abroad. Furthermore, over 50% of Australians think that closing the borders entirely is a reasonable solution.
The only way to make Australia’s leaders address this massive political failure and breach of human rights is as a united voice. We are calling on Stranded Aussies and everyone impacted by this crisis to get informed, get loud and get heard.
Who we are
The Stranded Aussies Action Network (SAAN) is an informal network founded by a group of individuals impacted by the Stranded Aussies crisis
Lucy Morrell is a former newspaper reporter and public affairs officer who helped found the network, but now acts in an advisory role only in accordance with her employment guidelines. Her family repatriated in 2021, buying their third set of tickets at four times the price on the day before departure. Read Lucy’s submission to the Covid19 Senate Committee. Read Lucy’s submission to the Covid19 Senate Committee.
Kate and Dave Jeffries’s one month trip to visit a sick relative in Canada turned into a 10 month ordeal after their return flights were cancelled in March 2020.
They were finally able returned to their home in Perth on their 6th attempt and remain committed to advocating for the orderly and safe return of Australians still stuck overseas.
Esther Rockett is concerned for the many thousands effectively locked in or out of the country, prevented from reuniting with loved ones, taking up jobs, resuming studies, or having access to Medicare. She’s seen its impacts on her family and friends. She recognises a critical need for everyone affected to understand the facts and figures, and that safer alternatives are available.
Kym Bramley blogs and has a live podcast in English and Spanish. She found herself stranded in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico when she went to Mexico for a year for love. She hopes to be home on her third attempt to get to Australia in March 2021. When not eating tacos, tweeting about #strandedaussies and trying to avoid covid, you will find her in the kitchen perfecting her salsa recipe.
Pieter den Heten used his UX design skills to create Remove the Cap from a friend’s lounge room in Amsterdam overnight. The website has given a voice to nearly 3,000 individuals and families struggling to return home. Like many others Pieter was struggling to get home, but has made it back to Sydney end of October 2020 from where he now continues his activism.
The Stranded Aussies Action Network mission
The Stranded Aussies Action Network (SAAN) is an initiative that formed in January 2021 when the Australian government halved its international arrivals caps. The government did so at a time when the number of registered stranded Australians had grown to 40,000. The caps should have been doubled to stop the crisis from deteriorating further.
Both levels of the Australian government continue to resist addressing the humanitarian emergency that they have created. Political leaders refuse to acknowledge the numbers of citizens and permanent residents stranded and have ignored solutions recommended by their own experts.
SAAN’s objective is to make the critical facts and figures widely known and to provide tools to help all of those impacted to advocate for themselves and their loved ones.
Importantly, SAAN offers a plan for expanding Australia’s quarantine capacity to sustainable levels. It is modelled on systems provided by two countries leading the world in their humanitarian coronavirus response.
That plan, however, requires a genuine willingness from political leaders to help the Australians they are harming. It requires bipartisan cooperation from both levels of government.
SAAN’s founders – the authors of the strandedaussies.com website and resources – are volunteers, currently in different parts of the world, who have been impacted by Australia’s travel ban. They understand the experience of being locked out of their home country.
SAAN is an informal network that is not politically partisan. It is not affiliated with any other group or initiative other than removethecap.com. Its founders are not involved in any proposed legal actions or rescue flights. SAAN requires no membership and it will not collect or store names or personal information. It will not collect money.
Unfortunately some predatory operators are exploiting the crisis. SAAN recommends that stranded Aussies take care when sharing any personal information or making financial contributions to any proposed initiatives.
SAAN’s objective is to empower those impacted by the travel ban. It provides the informal means for all of those affected to form a unified force that can compel political leaders to act.