Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Philippines Australia Friendship Day in Cebu

Philippines Australia Friendship Day in Cebu

The Australian Embassy brings to Cebu the Philippines Australia Friendship Day celebration.

“The Philippines Australia Friendship Day is an annual celebration that we take to different parts of the country,” said Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO.   “I am very pleased that we are holding this year’s celebration in Cebu.  It is not only an opportunity to share with Cebuanos the best of Australia, but also to celebrate our deep ties and enduring friendship.”

Through Australia’s network of alumni and business links in Cebu, the Embassy will host the Philippines-Australia Forum, a dialogue among experts and specialists to tackle critical issues such as innovation and social inclusion.  The forum is co-presented by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and will feature speakers from the Australian Government’s premier research organisation the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s Edith Cowan University, and the Australian Digital Commerce Association.  

During his visit to Cebu, Ambassador Robinson will also meet with recipients of the Embassy’s development assistance.  The Ambassador will join the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc (PADS) in a friendly adaptive Dragon Boat race, and open the first football tournament under Fundlife Academy’s Girls Advancement and Protection program.   Both PADS and Fundlife received grants from the Embassy to pursue grass-root programs to benefit vulnerable groups.

Ambassador Robinson will also meet scholars from Cebu Normal University who completed their teacher training under the Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Upgrade Teacher Quality in the Philippines (STEP UP) program funded by the Australian Government.  The scholars are part of the nearly 1,000 high performing college graduates and professionals who received competitive scholarship packages to allow them to transition into a career in public education.

“Australia and the Philippines are close friends. Our friendship starts with the deep bonds between our people and we enjoy broad cooperation in trade, development, defence and security.” Ambassador Robinson said.

One of the first waves of Filipino migration to Australia occurred in the late 1800s when young men, mostly from the Visayas and parts of Mindanao settled in northern Australia to work in the pearling industry.  They became known as Manila Men and a significant number of Indigenous Australians trace their ancestry to them.  Today, over 300,000 Filipinos call Australia home. 

Education exchanges keep those people-to-people links strong.   Over 12,600 Filipinos undertake training and studies in Australia.   Each year the Australian Government sends a large number of Filipinos to study in top universities under the Australia Awards Scholarships.  On their return, they become part of the global Australia Global Alumni network and serve as citizen ambassadors for both countries.

On Saturday, 25 May Cebuanos will enjoy a full day of fun for family and friends with a free interactive exhibit, information sessions, fashion parade, outdoor concert and film screening at the Ayala Center Cebu.

An interactive exhibit at the Activity Center of Ayala Center will recreate some of Australia’s well-known cities and landscapes, and bring together Australian businesses and education institutions in a retail, study and travel fair. Cebuanos will get a chance to learn from Embassy officials about how to study in and travel to Australia in a free information session to be held at two o’clock in the afternoon.  This will be followed by a community fashion parade at The Gallery featuring Australian clothing brands, and a free concert and film screening at the Terraces Garden. 

Philippines Australia Friendship Day in Cebu is presented by the Australian Embassy in partnership with Ayala Malls, Austal, Crone Architects, GHD, Greenstone Resources Corp., IDP, Qantas, QBE, and Telstra.

This year’s Philippines Australia Friendship Day is part of the larger Australia Now celebration across ASEAN.  With a focus on engaging youth, Australia is hosting food, film and forum events across the ten countries of the region to celebrate Australia’s creative excellence, diversity and innovation.

To learn more, follow the Australian Embassy on social media:   On Facebook @Australia in the Philippines, Twitter @AusAmbPH and Instagram @AusEmbPH