Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Philippines-Australia 70th Anniversary Celebration Wraps Up With Cultural Extravaganza



The year-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of Philippines-Australia diplomatic relations comes to a close with a cultural extravaganza.

As a capstone event this week, the Australian Embassy, in partnership with the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce hosted a 70th Anniversary Gala Dinner and in conjunction with ANZCHAM’s 35th anniversary. The gala dinner will feature the performance of Jeremy Donovan, Cyrus and a collaboration with the Manila Symphony Orchestra.  

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely said, “I am delighted to host high-level visitors from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and from the Australian-ASEAN Council (AAC) representing the cultural and business sectors in Australia.   We are also joined by two artists from Australia – Jeremy Donovan and Cyrus Villanueva – to showcase the diversity of Australian culture and society.”

Didgeridoo player Jeremy Donovan will do series of public performances and participate at the National Commission of Culture and the Arts’ Dayaw Philippines Indigenous Peoples Festival.  Donovan, a celebrated Indigenous Australian artist, will also hold a master class at University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music to share his cultural heritage.

Through a grant from the AAC, the Embassy is also bringing in rising pop artist Cyrus, winner of Australia’s The X-Factor.  Cyrus, whose father hails from Mindanao, will hold a concert at SM Davao on 25 November.  The concert is the final leg of the Embassy’s 70th anniversary “Say G’day at SM” roadshow.  

The 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations has been celebrated in both the Philippines in Australia.   The Australian Embassy in Manila hosted the launch of the First 70 Years celebration during the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November 2015.   The Philippine Embassy in Canberra in turn hosted a 70th anniversary celebration featuring the Bayanihan dance troupe in June 2016. Filipino-Australian artists were also the focus of the international Darwin Festival held in August 2016.  Iconic Indigenous Filipino artist Joey Ayala collaborated with Filipino-Australian indie folk artist Serina Pech at the festival.   The Australian Embassy also hosted several public events in Manila, Cebu and Davao to bring the celebration to as many Filipinos as possible.  

The anniversary was also celebrated on social media with the hashtag, #First70Years. Ambassador Gorely shared, “It was exciting to receive so many messages from Filipinos and Australians, including Fil-Aussie celebrities Anne and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Tricia Centenera, and Filipino artist Jim Paredes as well as Rappler founder Maria Ressa, spreading our message of friendship on social media. I encourage everyone to follow me and send me messages on Twittter @AusAmbPH.” 

While the diplomatic relations of the Philippines and Australia was formalised on 22 May 1946 with the opening of the first Australian Consulate-General in Manila, the links between the two countries date back to the 1800s, marked by the trade in dairy and sugarcane and the arrival of the first migrant Filipinos, the “Manilamen” in northern Australia.    The strong ties between the two countries were forged during WWII when 4,000 Australian service personnel fought alongside Filipino and allied forces, and continued through peace time.

“The breadth of our modern relationship is reflected in the Joint Declaration on Australia-Philippines Comprehensive Partnership signed in November 2015.  The Philippines is an important partner for Australia in Southeast Asia and we cooperate closely on a range of global and regional issues,” said Ambassador Gorely.

 “The celebration of ‘The First 70 Years’ of diplomatic relationship is forward looking.  And with the Presidential Proclamation marking 22 May annually as Philippines-Australia Friendship Day, we have the opportunity to continue to celebrate the strong links beyond this anniversary year,”

“Our extensive trade and investment links are growing, and I commend ANZCHAM in the role it is playing in the strengthening of our ties,” said the Ambassador.


The Australian Embassy acknowledges its corporate partners for the 70th anniversary gala dinner:   ANZ, Aurecon, Australian International School, Cardno, Crone, Greenstone Resources, IDP, Macquarie, Oceana Gold, Orica, Qantas, QBE, Site Skills, and Telstra.

Special thanks to our media partners: ANC, CNN Philippines, Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Business World, Rappler, Tiger 22 Corporation, Magic 89.9, Wave 89.1, 99.5 Play FM and Jam 88.3.

For more information about the Australian Embassy’s #First70Years celebration, please check, like us on Facebook and follow @AusAmbPH on Twitter.