The Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne conducted the first Post Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS) in Melbourne for Filipino students on Saturday, 12 March 2022. The event was held in conjunction with the celebration of International Women’s Day on 08 March and Philippine National Women’s Month for the entire month of March 2022. Forty-five Filipino students and community leaders attended the Seminar.
The seminar provided practical advice and information to Filipino students in Victoria on important aspects of living and studying in Victoria, including various resources and support services available for students living and studying in Melbourne, community and occupational health and safety, workplace rights and entitlements, and briefings on COVID-19 safe practices, consular services, and pastoral care.
Philippine Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo opened the PAOS with a short message acknowledging the significant presence of Filipino students in Victoria. She emphasized the importance of being well-informed and knowing their rights and privileges. She further acknowledged the celebration of National Women’s Day and Philippine National Women’s Month and noted the pivotal role of women in leadership and decision making.
Mr. Xavier Tagubat, VP for External Affairs of FASTCO provided an overview of living conditions for Filipino students in Melbourne, as well as the work of FASTCO providing various resources to assist Filipino students in their academic life in Victoria.
Ms. Melba Marginson, Chairperson of the Silent Witness Network (TSWN) spoke on community health and safety, in particular the vital role of community engagement in the prevention of family violence.
Mr. Dennis John Sumaylo, Multicultural Ambassador of the Migrant Workers Centre briefed participants on Australian National and State labor and employment standards. Ms. Florence Macusi Dato, Multicultural Safety Ambassador of the MWC provided an overview of workplace occupational safety rights, including case examples on how to pursue recourse and compensation for workplace-related injuries and the avoidance of unsafe work practices.
Consul Jan Sherwin Wenceslao provided an overview of the various services provided by the Consulate General. He underscored the PCG’s role in the protection of the rights and
promotion of the welfare of Filipinos in the states of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, as well as urged all registered Filipino overseas voters to vote during the Philippine National and Local Elections from 10 April to 09 May 2022.
Mr. Mohamed Mohideen OAM JP, Head of Priority Communities Engagement in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program of the Victorian Department of Health briefed participants on COVID Safe Practices. He invited participants to avail of the various resources afforded by the Victorian government, including free vaccination and testing to all individuals in the state. He also took the opportunity to distribute free Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits to all participants.
Rev. Msgr. Joselito Asis, Catholic Chaplain to Filipinos in Victoria briefed on pastoral care
and the various services that Filipinos may avail of to attend to their spiritual needs while in Victoria.
The Philippines belongs in the top 10 sources of international students in Australia, with
14,235 Filipinos studying in Australia as of September 2021.
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