Left: Event Director Michelle Membrere, former Australian Ambassador Graeme Lade, Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo, MP Wayne Farnham, Ms. Ana Liza Kavanaugh, Producer and CEO of Event Powerhouse; Right: Former winners of Bb. Pilipinas introduce the next segment of the Gala Couture.
26 August 2023, Melbourne, Australia – Filipino-Australian community leaders Michelle Membrere and Ana Liza Kavanaugh staged the Philippine Couture Gala in the Pullman Hotel Melbourne Albert Park produced by Event Powerhouse and Stage.International.
Attended by around 300 participants, some from inter-state, the event featured the creations of Filipino designers Albert Andrada (famous for designing the blue winning Miss Universe gown of Pia Wurtzbach) and Leo Almodal (known for his bridal collections) modeled by winners of Bb. Pilipinas (including Gazini Ganados and Samantha Bernardo), as well as Filipino, Australian, and Filipino-Australian models. Ms. Sunshine Cruz also rendered song numbers during the event.
The Gala also highlighted the achievements of local women community leaders, and featured a segment where these women leaders received awards while wearing the designs of Albert Andrada or Leo Almodal.
Philippine Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo delivered remarks highlighting the contribution of the fashion industry to the Philippine economy as the second largest dollar earner next to electronics and raised the advocacy of the current generation for sustainable fashion that respects workers’ rights and the environment. MP Wayne Farnham of Warrangul expressed his support for the Filipino community in his remarks and mentioned the current efforts of setting up a PH-AU Parliamentary Friendship Group at the Victoria Parliament. Abiola Akinbiyi, Community Representative Commissioner of the Victoria Multicultural Commission was also present.
Left to right: Ms. Sunshine Cruz serenades the audience; Ms. Gazini Ganados models a Leo Almodal dress; Ms. Norma San Diego, one of the women leader awardees with Consul General Salcedo