The first requirement for this elusive 'Gold Card is that, you were born in Australia, or if you migrated to Australia and served in the armed services and faced the enemy in the defence or in the interests of Australia; in or overseas.
You dont have to be wounded in action or become the holder of a distinctive decoration, you may be a non combatant in a designated war zone, and of course you must be an Australian citizen at the time of qualification and at the time of the receipt of the award and more than 72 years of age.
I am a ex British serviceman who served in the British Navy for nearly four years during WW2, Korea and middle east conflicts.
Based in Sydney Australia during WW2, the last nine months was spent at sea in the Pacific serving with Australians and the United States forces until the surrender of Japan.
At the end of hostilities, a vast number of British servicemen stayed on in Australia, some illegally I am told, most of whom became Australian citizens, some for nearly sixty years.
Myself, well I being a career Navy man, I was unable to return to Australia until 25 years later.
My main concern is for those British men who have given their all for this country and consider their home to be Australia, Some of these old guys really need this entitlement as much or in some cases more than some of the healthy looking true blue Dinky di Aussies, maybe its more important that an OZ vet gets a new set of gnashers and a face lift due to the sun than an even older ex Brit guy needing a knee replacement. An Australian friend told me he arrived in New Guinea just as the war ended and had to wait several years to see his first Japanese, A tourist in Sydney, good old Al gets the gold card for that overseas holiday, however, most of those vets who served in New Guinea deserve a heap of respect and much more than a bloody Gold card.
I am uncertain as to when this Gold Card was first awarded, however, to my knowledge; it was certanly not around even when I returned to Australia in Aug 1971 and it could not have been one of the many incentives to persuade me to return here. I did not have to rely on charity on my arrival here, my family and I had enough funds to purchase a residence, also a steady income from England, in fact 60% of our income is sourced from the U/K. I have never drawn any Dole payments.
FAQ " Why do other commonwealth citizens ie British not recieve the gold card" ? "answer, I believe its just the rules you know".
In other words it is blatant discrimination, there can be no possible excuse. The costing would be minimal compared to some of the present governments grants to arts weirdo's and other bludging work shy organizations, unnecessary overseas aid and the constant wasteful updating of those outdated Collins Class Submarines, Or the money could be well spent updating the salaries and pensions of some of our more notable Chicken Hawks who escaped overseas during the time Australia was at war, like Malcolm Frazer who became PM by default, our present PM little John, and of course Billy Bunter- Alex Downer Our Foriegn Minister.
The likes of those blokes will have a Gold Card in every pocket.
More to come in my next post. VEST DAILY GAGGLE.