As we welcome the New Year, as a time of hope and opportunity, we are also overwhelmed by the devastation caused by bushfires and the significant effect that this disaster is having on families and communities across so many areas of Australia.
We are also most grateful for the amazing and courageous efforts of emergency services personnel, and the truly charitable work of members of the community. The Filipino-Australian community, in particular, has shown its generous spirit yet again in heeding the call for aid in supporting affected families.
I thank them for their selflessness and tenacity in the face of an enormous challenge. May I take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of staying safe and looking after your own wellbeing over the coming weeks and months, as the danger remains for some time yet.
2020 will see my tenure as Honorary Philippine Consul come to completion as the office of a new Philippine Consul General in Melbourne becomes a reality over the coming weeks. The Philippine Government’s decision to establish a fully-functional Consulate General office in Melbourne is a blessing for the many Filipino residents in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.
The new Consulate General in Melbourne, like the New Year, brings hope and opportunity – the chance to start over in so many ways, to look forward to how much we have yet to achieve and to plan ahead for growth and development. Now is a time for renewal and refreshing our approach and our relationships.
As I bid you farewell, I invite you to lend your full support to the incoming Consulate-General to promote a positive attitude in how you meet new challenges and to exhibit an unwavering hope that everything will turn out alright because faith, hope, and love conquer all.
A huge thank you to all those who have made my time in your service a very pleasant and active one. If there is one thing I have learned during this time, it is that when Filipinos come together, good things happen, and these good things happen in harmony, peace, and unity.
Maraming salamat po, sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay!
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