By Cristina Lazo
The annual International Research Forum on the Philippines (IRFP) has been forging education and research links between the Philippines and Australia for seven years in a row.
The IRFP, a joint initiative of the Filipino-Australia Student Council (FASTCO) Victoria and the Philippines Australia Studies Network (PASN) of La Trobe University conducted the annual International Research Forum on the Philippines (IRFP) on 11-12 November 2019 at La Trobe University in Melbourne. It is FASTCO’s flagship academic program that aims to encourage Philippine studies in Australia and collaboration among research scholars.
With the theme, “Constructing Philippine Modernities,” the forum highlighted keynote speeches of Dr. Caslon Chua of Swinburne University of Technology and Dr. Greg Foliente of University of Melbourne. Roundtable discussions and breakout sessions featuring academics, scholars, and students sharing their research that touch on modernity and informality in Metro Manila and on Philippine disasters and nationhood were also conducted.
The Philippine Ambassador to Australia meanwhile, extended her continued support for FASTCO and PASN. In the remarks delivered by Her Excellency Ma. Hellen Dela Vega as delivered by Philippine Honorary Consul in Melbourne Felix Pintado, the Ambassador reiterated the significance of strengthening further the education and research ties between the Philippines and Australia through academic undertakings.
“Our cooperation on education over the years has built a relationship of mutual respect, a culture of collaboration and a robust partnership that reflects our shared values of democracy, social justice, rule of law and open market economy,” the Ambassador said.
The Philippine Embassy in Canberra estimates the number of Filipino students studying in Australia at 10,000.