By Felix J Pintado
The Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency Minda Calaguian-Cruz conducted an official visit to Victoria from 3rd to 8th March 2017.
The Ambassador’s busy schedule included courtesy calls with the Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Hon Linda Dessau AC; the President of Legislative Council, the Hon Bruce Atkinson; the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, the Hon Phillip Dalidakis; Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, the Right Hon Robert Doyle; and the State Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Jenny Bloomfield.
In addition to meeting with business leaders in trade and investment, Her Excellency met with Filipino students and academic leaders from various universities at the La Trobe University Melbourne Campus. The Ambassador delivered the opening speech at the Philippine Festival of Music, Arts and Culture at Rowville where meetings were held with members of various Filipino associations to raise and discuss matters of mutual interest.
The Ambassador also took some time in her visits to attend the World Day of Prayer service and dedication at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Frankston and the Mass for Filipino elders at the Raleigh Centre in Maribyrnong.
The Ambassador’s visit was well-timed as 2016 marked 70 years of bilateral relations between Australia and the Philippines. Both countries continue to share perspectives on many regional, economic and security issues, supported by strong people-to-people links encouraged through trade, investment, cultural exchange, education, tourism and migration.
Australia is home to over 250,000 people of Filipino heritage, with 50,000 of those living in Victoria, and over 10,000 Filipino students enrolled in Australian universities and vocational institutions.
Special Visit of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar
The Philippine Consulate of Victoria had the honour of assisting the Special Visits Program of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on 15-19 February 2017. The successful visit by the Communications Secretary helped promote stronger bilateral ties between the Philippines and Australia as we pursue the full implementation of our Comprehensive Partnership.
World Day of Prayer
The World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a global ecumenical movement initiated originally by Christian women for prayer and action for peace and justice.
Each year the WDP National Committee nominates a country to dedicate the year’s prayers and the WDP of the nominated country decides on the theme for the prayers.
In 2017 the nominated country is the Philippines and the theme selected is “Am I Being Unfair To You?” (referring to women who are victims of abuse, such as domestic violence, human trafficking, calamities, discrimination and the like.
I thank the many members of the Filipino community who participated in the World Day of Prayer on Friday 6th March 2017.
Temporary Closure of Melbourne Consulate Office
I will again be visiting the Philippines from Thursday 20 April until Monday 01 May 2017.
During this time, the Philippine Consulate office in Melbourne will be closed on Tuesday 25 April (for the ANZAC Day public holiday) and Wednesday 26 April.
During this time, all enquiries may be directed to the Philippine Embassy in Canberra Phone (02) 6273 2535 and Fax (02) 6273 3984, or via www.philembassy.org.au. We apologise for the inconvenience.
Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.