our everyday life

How to Find a Long Lost Friend in Australia

by Contributing Writer

"G'day, mate!" It's been a long time since you've heard that voice. Your long-time friend who moved to Australia many years ago has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth, and you can't seem to track him down. Short of getting on a plane to Sydney and standing outside the Opera House calling your friend's name and hoping that he happens to pass by, what can you do to track your old buddy down? Here are a few ideas.

Call your friend's family, her former place of residence and the last known job she held. It's possible somebody else in their lives does have the information you need to reunite you with your cherished comrade. Don't assume that just because you've lost touch with her, that everyone has.

Do an internet search of your friend's name. It's quite possible that you can find someone listed in his current company directory, or perhaps you'll stumble across his profile on a networking website like Myspace or Facebook. And even if you don't find him directly, you may be able to acquire a contact name or two that can help you go back to Step 1 and make a few more phone calls.

Run a profile search on these instant messenger service directories, and you may well stumble across your friend. Australians, in general, tend to use MSN, Yahoo!, and ICQ chat clients.

Sign on with a people finder registry such as Australian Registries, and search for your friend there. This task can be made easier if you know what school your pal went to as a child (assuming it was in Australia).

Hire a private investigator. But know that the laws in Australia are a touch more restrictive than other countries when dealing with issues of personal privacy. The Information Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act of 1988 will make this task a bit more complicated and expensive an undertaking. Before you decide to shell out any money to someone on the opposite side of the world to assist you with your search, make sure you've exhausted all your other avenues.

Tip

  • Don't keep your search to yourself. The more people who know you're looking for your friend, the better the chances of someone stumbling across some information that could help you find her.

Warning

  • If somebody doesn't want to be found, they probably won't be. Australia has a lot of undiscovered country in which a person may choose to seclude themselves from society.