Tourism Australia is looking for the first ever Irish people to use the Australian Working Holiday Visa 4 years ago

Tourism Australia is looking for the first ever Irish people to use the Australian Working Holiday Visa

The visa has been available to Irish citizens for over 40 years.

Heading on a working holiday to Australia has become something of a rite of passage for thousands of young Irish people in recent times.

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It might not surprise anyone who has been there to learn, for example, that Ireland ranks in the top 20 of countries visiting Australia for a holiday and that in the year ending June 30, 57,300 Irish people visited the country.

As far as the Working Holiday Visa is concerned, meanwhile, the number of Irish people availing of it peaked at a whopping 18,200 in 2012.

Although Irish people travelling Down Under in their droves is a more recent phenomenon, the Working Holiday Visa has been available to Irish citizens from as far back as 1975, so your parents or even your grandparents may well have been the first people to use it to go off on an adventure.

Tourism Australia is holding a special event in Dublin later this month and they are seeking to honour the first Irish people to have used the Working Holiday Visa four decades ago.

We’re talking about a time before the Internet and before the likes of Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee, Skippy and Home and Away gave us more of an insight into what life was like Down Under, so while it’s still something of a leap into the unknown now, imagine what it was like back then?

If you know of anyone who could well have been one of the first Irish people to have travelled to Australia on the Working Holiday Visa, then Tourism Australia want them to get in touch by sending an email to ireland@tourism.australia.com.

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Commenting on the relationship between the two countries, Denise von Wald, Regional Manager UK, Ireland and Northern Europe for Tourism Australia, said: "Irish people have been coming to Australia, since the early 1800s, with the two countries enjoying particularly close cultural ties.

"Australians warmly welcome the Irish backpackers who arrive year-round and it’s never been easier for them get here with increased air capacity out of Dublin and a straightforward visa service.

"When they arrive, they can live like a local exploring the country’s beautiful beaches, national parks and some of the world’s most liveable cities."