Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes is one of several people appearing in a new advertisement motivating the hundreds of thousands of Aussie expats who are eligible for the same-sex marriage postal survey.
The ad urges the estimated 200,000 Australians living and working in the United Kingdom to take part in the vote.
Australian actor Doug Hansell came up with the concept for the video, released by the Equality Campaign this weekend.
“I’ve lived and worked in the UK for the past two and a half years and had been thinking of ways I could get involved with the marriage equality campaign back home,” he said.
“Given there are more than 200,000 Aussies living in the UK at any one time, I thought it would be great to shoot a targeted video campaign for the expat community at large, providing info on how to vote, the reasons for doing so, and raising awareness of the campaign in general.”
British-born Margolyes, who divides her time between living in the UK and Australia, tells voters in the video that “your participation is vital”.
The Equality Campaign’s Janine Middleton said Aussies abroad likely knew about the postal survey from social media but might be unaware they can participate.
“If you are on the electoral roll in Australia you need to fill out the postal survey form and return it,” she said.
“Many overseas Australians are LGBTI themselves and are already married in one of the 25 jurisdictions that recognise same-sex marriage.
“This is so important to them as they want to know that their marriages will be recognised when they arrive back home.
“At present, they face the prospect of their marriages being declared void as soon as they step off the plane. That is a terrible injustice that can’t be allowed to continue.”
Eligible Australians who are overseas can participate by using a 16-digit Secure Access Code to submit a response online or by phone, or ask a trusted person in Australia to fill in the form on their behalf. Those eligible who haven’t received a form or code can request a new one by October 20.
More information about participating in the survey while overseas is available at the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.
The ABS have strongly encouraged survey forms to be returned by October 27 before the deadline on November 7. The result will be announced by the ABS on November 15.