By Anthony Mandap
Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo recently met with the Lord Mayor Sally Capp of Melbourne to formally inform her of the opening of the permanent office of the Philippine Consulate in Melbourne at the city centre, as well as to discuss a range of other concerns. She noted the importance of the reopening of the career Consulate after more than 30 years, and the services it brings to the growing Filipino community in Victoria.
Mayor Capp thanked the Philippine government for re-establishing the Consulate, and foresees relationships between her city and the Philippines to flourish. She considers this a bridge for business, education, and cultural sharing. She underscored Melbourne’s character as a “very multicultural” city, which prides itself as a centre of cultural diversity, the arts, culinary excellence, coffee culture, music, education, among others.
Mayor Sally Capp is the first woman to be elected directly as Lord Mayor of Melbourne (previous ones were elected by the City Council). She was first elected in 2018 and re-elected 2020. She had served as Agent-General for Victoria in the United Kingdom, Europe and Israel, CEO of the Committee for Melbourne and COO of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also a solicitor, and previously occupied senior positions at KPMG and the Australia New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).
The third woman in the position since the first Lord Mayor was elected in 1900, Mayor Capp is also focused on promoting business both ways. “Economic relationships are very important,” she said. For her part, Consul General Salcedo expressed keen interest in promoting trade and investment, especially in key sectors like mining, electronics and renewable energy.
Consul General Salcedo thanked the Mayor for hosting the Filipino community, particularly students and skilled workers who contribute substantially to key sectors like health and aged care. The Mayor acknowledged the importance of these essential workers in Victoria, including the extraordinary risks they faced during the COVID-19 crisis.
In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Philippines-Australia diplomatic relations Consul General Salcedo invited Mayor Capp to participate in some of the events lined up for the occasion.
Feature image: Consul General Salcedo and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, joined by Deputy Consul General Anthony Mandap.
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