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Asia Pacific leaders converge in Brisbane to shape urban futures

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The 2023 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors’ Forum which took place last October 11 to 13 in Brisbane, Australia brought together leaders, innovators and city officials from across the Asia Pacific region, providing a platform to connect and engage as well as share key learnings shaping the future of our cities.

Heading the Philippine delegation were Governor Matthew Manotoc of Ilocos Norte and Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu as well as the National President of the League of Cities of the Philippines. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner warmly welcomed the Philippine delegation with an exclusive afternoon tea organised in conjunction with the Honorary Consulate of Queensland headed by Consul Sheryll Gabutero, a.h. attended by select Filipino-Australian Community leaders. 

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner (left) with Brisbane Philippine Honorary Consul Sheryll Gabutero, and Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner (left) with Brisbane Philippine Honorary Consul Sheryll Gabutero, and Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc

The Philippine Times secured an exclusive invite together with the Melbourne delegation composed of Alfe Roder of Roder lawyers, one of the leading migration lawyers in Australia and Oliver Barbosa, CEO of Gsync Solutions, a social entrepreneurial tech consulting firm focused on digital transformation and reinvesting in local communities. 

Queensland Philippine Honorary Consulate
Edgardo (Alex) Aclan, Consul Gabutero and Shemaiah Louise Buenvenida
Edgardo (Alex) Aclan, Consul Gabutero and Shemaiah Louise Buenvenida
From left to right, Nikki Domingo, Oliver Barbosa, Consul Sheryll Gabutero, a.h., Raine Cabral Laysico and Alfe Roder
From left to right, Nikki Domingo, Oliver Barbosa, Consul Sheryll Gabutero, a.h., Raine Cabral Laysico and Alfe Roder
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner with Filipino community leaders in Queensland
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner with Filipino community leaders in Queensland

Boasting over a thousand attendees, the 2023 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (2023APCS) delivered an outstanding and dynamic agenda, providing invaluable networking opportunities for individuals keen on urban development and city planning.

The event began with a powerful message, “This is an unmissable opportunity to re-engage with the world at a significant scale and at an important and unprecedented time as we shape our cities for our future.” This welcome address by Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner underscored the urgency and significance of the event and had further set the stage for discussions and collaborations among Asia Pacific city leaders.

The Lord Mayor identified a unique connection between the people of Brisbane and Filipinos. “Genuine friendly people who have a positive outlook on life,” he expressed admiration for the friendly and welcoming energy that both share, fostering a sense of kinship among the residents of Brisbane and the broader Australian community. This connection was further highlighted by the city engaging a Filipino interpreter underscoring the value of cultural exchange. This year, the Lord Mayor noted that the Filipino delegation was the largest of any delegation at the Summit. Approximately 40 Filipino mayors and decision-makers from the Philippines actively participated in various discussions and shared their insights and experiences.

READ  Philippine Airlines to relaunch Cebu-Bangkok route in December

The Queensland Consulate also organised a  Mayors of the Philippines Meet and Greet that took place on  the 13th of October, hosted at Littles Lawyers on Level 31, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane. The event provided an ideal setting for networking and knowledge sharing among the Filipino mayors and international counterparts. 

The Philippine Times and the Melbourne delegation met with Consul Gabutero and her team namely Shemaiah Louise Buenvenida, Edgardo (Alex) Aclan, and Nikki Domingo and they were warmly welcomed providing insights into the comprehensive services offered by the Consulate as well as the current profile of Filipino-Australians in Queensland. The upcoming Queensland Filipino Excellence Awards was also discussed with Rejoice Guevara-Thomson and Fely Rosantina Christiansen.

The team also had meaningful discussions with Governor Manotoc and the following Mayors – Michael Rama, Josef Cagas, Susano ‘Bimbo’ Ruperto, Kevin Macanlalay, Elvira Alarcon, Eduardo Villanueva, Vicente Paguyaran, Karl Vega, Karen Rosales, Zenaida Lim and Janette Colada to name a few – all of whom have a genuine desire to uplift the lives of their constituents for a better Philippines. 

2023APCS was more than just a conference; it was a platform that allowed leaders to engage with the world and address critical urban challenges. As urbanisation continues to reshape our cities, it is heartening to see leaders from the Philippines and beyond come together to create cities that are sustainable, connected and poised for a prosperous legacy.

View more photos on this 2023APCS Photo Gallery.

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