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WA Premier Roger Cook Praises Filipino Migrants at PH Independence Day

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Perth, WA — Western Australia Premier Roger Cook joined the Filipino community in a double celebration on Philippine Independence Day on 8 June 2024, commemorating the 126th anniversary of the Philippines’ independence and the 150 years of Filipino migration to Australia.

The Araw ng Kalayaan – Philippine Independence Day Ball is a traditional event hosted annually by the Filipino Australian Club of Perth Inc. (FACPI), Perth’s oldest Filipino community club.

This year, it saw its grandest and most well-attended celebration yet, with around 450 attendees, including notable guests and members of the Western Australian Government, among them Western Australia Premier Roger Cook.

In his address, Premier Cook highlighted the significance of the event, which not only commemorates the Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spain in 1898 but also celebrates the valuable contributions of Filipino migrants to Western Australia over the past 150 years.

“In commemorating this historic day, we also take the opportunity to acknowledge around 150 years of migration to Australia. So, I also want to take the opportunity to recognise the enduring contributions to the Western Australian community by Filipinos to the development of the State. It’s important to celebrate the hard work of past generations who have helped make us who we are today. As a skilled workforce, Western Australian Filipino professionals have made a significant contribution across various sectors in our State. This includes hospitals and healthcare, engineering, information technology and education, the arts, and sport, to name just a few… I wanna commend the contributions of the Western Australian Filipino communities that you’ve made to WA’s development in every facet of life,” Premier Cook said.

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126th PH Independence Day in WA
126th Philippine Independence Day in WA
126th Philippine Independence Day in WA
126th Philippines Independence Day in WA
126th Philippine Independence Day in WA
126th Philippine Independence Day in WA

Other prominent members of the WA Government in attendance included Liberal Senator Dean Smith, Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel, MLA, Bayswater City Mayor Filomena Piffaretti, and Bayswater Councillor Dan Bull. They all expressed their appreciation for the vibrant Filipino community and the multicultural fabric of Australia.

The event was further enriched by the presence of Filipino organisations, business and industry leaders, and community members.

FACPI President Rod Alido emphasised that they worked hard to provide an avenue for the growing Filipino community in Perth to gather, dress in their national costumes, and celebrate our vibrant culture. Highlights of the evening included a tribute to Philippine National Hero Dr Jose Rizal, a processional march and flower offering, community singing of “Bayan Ko” (My Country), a presentation of traditional cultural dances, live Pinoy band music, and a dance party.

The Perth Filipino Dance Troupe Inc. showcased various cultural dances, emphasising the preservation of Filipino heritage. The celebration not only honoured Philippine independence but also underscored the significant and ongoing contributions of Filipino migrants to the fabric of Australian society.

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