Consul News & Activity – March 2023

The first quarter of 2023 has gone by – so amazingly fast. It has been an extended period between Blog posts covering the consulate work & public diplomacy activity. I do these posts to chronicle happenings and to archive activity.

Here in the north of Thailand we have transitioned from the cooler, pleasant days of winter to the very hot summer days, with the accompanying & unwanted burning/smoke season & bad air pollution. The Songkran Holiday will soon be with us in mid-April and followed by Anzac Day on 25 April. 

Consular Services

Here are some quick facts:

  • 1st quarter (January to March) of 2023, provided 132 hours of consulate service time + some after hours commitments. 
  • Provided 450 clients with service during 1st quarter operating hours.
  • Provided services to 893 clients in the previous 6 months (July to December 2022)

The Honorary Consulate role & client services involves: (1) taking passport applications; (2) providing information & referrals regarding notarial services; marriage in Thailand & other consular services; (3) supporting Embassy consular case work – such as client visits in hospital, in goal or prison, liaising with local officials, etc. (4) referring Australian visa inquirers and (5) providing other general consular information & assistance & (6) undertaking some public diplomacy activities & engagements.

Passport services by mail (a new option)

Renewing your passport?  You may be eligible to submit your application by mail directly to the Embassy in Bangkok. No need to send your passport – you keep it. For more information on eligibility and how to lodge by mail please see:

You can still lodge in person at the Consulate in Chiang Mai with an appointment – email for detail –

Embassy Consular Outreach

Next notarial outreach program to Chiang Mai is on Friday, 5 May – 9 to 12 noon (click here for location & details)

Community Outreach & Public Diplomacy

Invitations from the Thai Government, private sector and other agencies to events around Chiang Mai have been limited over the post covid recovery period. The following highlights some of the public diplomacy and other activities I was involved with over the past number of months. All part of this volunteer role.

Witchai Wittaya School – It was fun attending and supporting the Australia booth at this English Program school for their International & Children’s Day event. Students and teachers created innovative displays that allowed students to learn about other countries and their cultures. I enjoyed some homemade Lamingtons & sausage rolls.

Australian Alumni Association – I confess to enjoying afternoon tea with the President of the Australian Alumni Association, Thailand who was in Chiang Mai on holidays. We were jointed by a few local alumni to chat about the AAA’s work and plans. Not a bad venue on the Ping River.

Consular Corp – My foreign Consulate Corps colleagues & I gathered for a year end celebration at – Phi Suea House – hosted by its owner and innovator, the German Honorary Consul. It is a world first solar-hydrogen multi house which has been off grid since 2015. We learned a little about hydrogen power and enjoyed a variety of delicious German Christmas food.

Celebration of Life – I represent the Consular Corps at the celebration of life, for Nancy Lindley – a long time Chiang Mai expat, Expat Club supporter & volunteer who was the spearhead of the Lanna CareNet support group – I was honored to shared a few words about Nancy, on behalf of our Corps, along with others attending.

Australian Teacher of Dance – It was wonderful invitation to attend a charity performance of the Nutcracker 2022 with contemporary dance, presented by Australian Teacher of Dance, Thailand representative, ML Preeyapun at the Performing Arts Center in Chiang Mai – At the conclusion of the performance I was invited to present flower bouquets to some of the dancers. A great show for sure.

Aus Embassy Visit – toward the end of last year, we travelled to Bangkok to visit with the Embassy consular section & to attend an Ambassadors’ reception. It was great to chat with our Ambassador, some Embassy staff and discuss consular service matters with members of Consular services team.

Remembrance Day Service – It was November 11 at 11am – The British Embassy together with the local British Honorary Consul arranged the annual service of remembrance at the Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery. There was a very good attendance now that covid restrictions had been lifted. Thanks to Thai Army bugler – Lest We Forget. After the service guests were invited to the Gymkhana Club for lunch.

Austcham Sundowners– Enjoyed catching up with people at this Chiang Mai social networking event. Prior to the networking event there was Joint Chambers Briefing about dementia management from a Chiang Mai specialist. This event was hosted by the Australian Thai Chamber of Commerce (Austcham) at Melia Hotel.

QEII Commemoration Service – I was very honored to be invited to recite a touching poem, by Joanne Boyle – at the nicely presented Chiang Mai Service, that was arranged by the British Hon Consul and his many supporters. The service was very respectful, with a large group of attendees. Pictures courtesy of the CM Mayors Office.

Australian Alumni Association – The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Dr. Angela MacDonald PSM, was the host at an Australian Alumni networking reception at the Anantara Resort Chiang Mai. It was a wonderful evening and an opportunity, in the post covid recovery period, to mingle and chat with a number of Thai & Aussie Alumni who had studied in Australia, but now live and work in Chiang Mai. More pics on…/australian-alumni…/

Tourism Award – It was a pleasant invitation to attend the joint press conference by the Governor of Chiang Mai and the President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), at Ratilanna Resort, to announce the launch of a new tourism strategy for Chiang Mai, as a “Festival City”.

Creative Lanna will be the new policy pitch for tourism growth. Chiang Mia was selected as 1 of 5 – “World Festival & Event Cities” at the 65th IFEA Conference in Texas. As well as chats with attendees, I met the Chiang Mai Governor & the new Director of Tourism Authority Thailand Chiang Mai, who recently arrived after 4 years in Sydney.

Up Coming Events

ANZAC Day – This year’s official Anzac Day Dawn Service in Thailand will be held at Hellfire Pass in Kanchanaburi on 25th April 2023.

Members of the public are welcome to join from 0530hrs onwards. No registration required. For more information, please visit –…/ANZAC%20DAY

If you are looking for an organised tour to get there, accommodation & meals – check out the Australia/Thailand Chamber of Commerce (Austcham) event package –…/24-25-apr-anzac-day…/

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