Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Celebrating the Achievements of Australia-Educated Filipinos


The Australian Embassy celebrated the achievements of 25 outstanding Australian educated Filipinos at the  2018 Australian Alumni Excellence Awards.    The annual awards night was held at the historic The Manila Hotel, site of the first Australian Consulate-General in the Philippines.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely presented special awards to four outstanding recipients, and honoured 21 Australia Global Alumni.

“It is a great pleasure to recognise this year’s finalists. The cohort of Australia Global Alumni in the Philippines includes many impressive individuals who have taken what they learned during their studies and training in Australia and are making great contributions their respective fields,” said Ambassador Gorely. “These alumni strengthen the dynamic partnership between our two countries, and help foster cooperation and friendship between the Australian and Filipino peoples,” she added

Among the 25 finalists, four were honoured with the Alumni of the Year Award, the Excellence in Innovation Award, the Young Achiever’s Award and the Special Citation for their achievements:

  • Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jnr is the 2018 Alumni of the Year awardee, for his significant contribution to peace and security in Mindanao. He initiated the Tribal Re-empowerment and Initiative Building Operations (TRIBO). His multi-sectoral approach to peace and development unifies military and civilian efforts in conflict-affected communities. This enabled him to the gain support of local communities in his area of operation in Mindanao and prevent an escalation of conflict. Lt Gen Madrigal Jnr completed a Master in Management Studies at the University of New South Wales.
  • Mr Benedict Bernabe has been awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award for his HIV awareness program through the Red Whistle Organisation. Through partnerships between private and public institutions, Mr Bernabe launched the campaign #SAVESEXY, and developed #SAFELYPH, a geolocation app that makes HIV services more accessible to communities. He completed a Master of Development Studies at University of Melbourne.
  • Atty Francis Ron de Guzman is the Young Achiever’s Award, completing a Master’s degree in Climate Change at the Australian National University. He is a recognised as a youth leader in environment and sustainability, having been involved in disaster mitigation projects for the local government, and co-authored a textbook on disaster risk reduction, community engagement, solidarity and citizenship.
  • Ms Clarissa Chikiamco receives a Special Citation award for her contribution in art curatorship, art management, and art writing in the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. She completed a Master in Art Curatorship at University of Melbourne.

Each year, more than 10,000 Filipinos choose to study or train in Australia’s world-class institutions. Distinguished Australia Global Alumni include Cabinet Secretaries and other high-level government officials; scientists and esteemed members of the academe who are pioneers in their fields of study; and business executives and entrepreneurs who are innovating and creating economic opportunities.