Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar was conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Federation University of Australia (FedUni), formerly University of Ballarat in Victoria.
In the awards ceremony held at the Caro Convention Centre in the university’s Mount Helen Campus on 31 August, Andanar was recognised for his outstanding contribution to his chosen field of endeavor and continuous pursuit of excellence, both as a government official and as a private citizen.
In a report by the Philippine News Agency, Andanar took up a bachelor’s degree in FedUni, during which he juggled studies and took part-time job as carpet installer, waiter, radio producer in SBS Melbourne and volunteer in Triple B FM, a community station.
In his acceptance speech, he said, “it was a season of serious learning and self-discovery until my graduation in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Political disciplines, including Film and Media Studies. Sadly, however, I was not able to get my diploma because I was already working in my home country, the Philippines, chasing my dreams.”
He added, “it is therefore with great pride, honor and humility that I accept this Distinguished Alumnus Award the way I would have marched for my graduation diploma 18 years ago.”
The 43-year-old communications chief acknowledged that his years at the university serve as the foundation on which his present career is anchored and from which he draws “the strength to manage the media, communication and information programs for the government of a strong leader like our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte”.
He shared his award with his colleagues in the media, friends, and family, particularly his wife Alelee and his children, Alexa and Vince.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from FedUni, Andanar went on to complete his Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). He also pursued doctoral studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman but decided to focus more on his career.
In 2008, the US State Department granted Andanar and 30 other Filipino youth leaders a one-month fellowship at the Northern Illinois University. A year later, he participated in a leadership seminar at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
He also completed a Senior Executive Fellows Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University in March 2010 and attended a Public Communications Executive Course at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore in 2015.
This year, he attended the “Countering Violent Extremism” executive course at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and participated in the University of Hong Kong’s APAC news literary executive course.
Before joining the Duterte administration, Andanar was a multi-awarded television news executive, news anchor, radio commentator, podcaster, audio blogger and voice-over artist at TV5.
During his visit to Melbourne, Andanar also addressed the members of the Global Filipino Alliance for DU30 as guest of honour in a social gathering which was held on 1 September at the Langham Hotel. (Source: PNA)