Australian Embassy
The Philippines

SP140614 - Speech at the 2014 Australia Alumni Awards

Speech by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
2014 Australia Alumni Awards
14 June 2014
Mandarin Oriental Manila

Thank you, Glenn and Martin.

Philippine Australian Alumni Association President, Retired Admiral Danny Abinoja
The Board and Members of the Philippine Australian Alumni Association, Inc (PA3i)
Supreme Court Choir

Good evening and welcome to the “2014 Australia Alumni Awards”. I hope that you are having a wonderful evening so far.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all tonight, Filipino alumni of Australian universities and institutions. Tonight is your night as we celebrate your accomplishments – the fruits of your Australian education.

The 2014 Australia Alumni Awards is a testament to how quality education can result in significant contributions to society. Tonight, we recognise the impact you have made in your chosen fields of endeavour. You have achieved a “Future Unlimited”, which is Australia’s international brand for education, expressing the vast opportunities that studying in Australia can help provide. I’m sure you can attest to the quality of Australian education because YOU are a living proof of it.

I am pleased that through our investments in education, Australia is helping the Philippines prepare for sustainable economic growth and future prosperity.

It is inspiring to hear the stories of alumni. All of us have seen how quality education can create ripples, regardless of where you come from and what you do.

I would like to thank the Association for its unwavering efforts to serve as a platform for alumni, true to its vision of being a national network of Australia-trained Filipinos aiming to become prime movers of positive change.

Under the leadership of the new President – Retired Admiral Danny Abinoja – my Embassy colleagues and I are confident the board will “chart new directions for PA3i and the Australian Alumni Network” in the Philippines. I would like to take this opportunity to again encourage PA3i to be proactive about expanding its membership and partners the better to realise the vision for PA3i of which your president has spoken so eloquently tonight. A more diverse and broader membership base will enable PA3i to effect more meaningful change and development, both at the community and at the national level.

As you all know, the Australian Government highly values our alumni, and it is my pleasure to inform you of the “Philippines – Australia Alumni Grant Scheme”. This scheme aims to support projects and activities of alumni that contribute to the advancement of ties between the Philippines and Australia, as well as the development of Philippine society. The Embassy will be accepting proposals for funding of activities that will:

• promote interaction and engagement;
• provide an environment for exchange of ideas;
• allow networking;
• establish and strengthen social and professional links; and
• enable continued learning.

Proposals will be accepted until the 14th of August 2014 and recipients will be announced soon after.

I encourage you all to look carefully at the Alumni Grant Scheme. I look forward to hearing about your exciting projects.

In closing, I would like to congratulate the award nominees and thank you all for attending - enjoy the rest of the evening.