VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – The Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne actively participated in various events commemorating Australia Day on 26 January 2024.
Consul General Maria Lourdes M. Salcedo attended the Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony hosted by the Governor of Victoria, H.E. Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, at Government House of Victoria. The Governor addressed Victoria’s history and the diverse ways Australians observe Australia Day, acknowledging the complexities faced by Aboriginal communities. The ceremony was followed by an Open Day at Government House, featuring activities, performances, and tours of the State Apartments.
On the same day, Consul General Salcedo also attended the Wyndham Citizen of the Year Awards at Wyndham Park. Filipino Community Leader Ms. Melba Waugh was honored with the 2024 Citizen of the Year Award for her community service and philanthropy. This recognition was presented by Wyndham City Mayor, Cr. Jennie Barrerra. The award marks Ms. Waugh as the second Filipino to receive this honor following Mr. Walter Villagonzalo in 2015. Additionally, other Filipinos were recognized as having received previous honors, including Mr. George Gregorio and Mr. Fred Jover, who were inducted into the VMC Honour Roll, and Ms. Roxanne Sarthou, Ms. Florence Datu, and Mr. Jason Cordi who recently joined the VMC Regional Advisory Council.
On 30 January, Consul General Salcedo participated in the Annual Australia Day reception hosted by Governor Gardner at the Government House, with High Officials, the business community, and the Consular Corps in attendance.
Consul Ralph Vincent C. Abarquez, meanwhile, attended the Australia Day event organized by 5Bs Humanitarian Inc. at St. Paul Community Centre, Sunshine West, with the theme “Reflect, Respect, Celebrate. We’re all part of the story.” Consul Abarquez shared insights on the significance of reflection, respect, and celebration in fostering Philippines-Australia relations.
Consul Jan Sherwin P. Wenceslao attended the Filipino-Australian Australia Day Festival 2024, organized by the Filipino Community Council of Victoria, Incorporated (FCCVI). He delivered remarks emphasizing the Consulate’s dedication to engaging with diverse communities and contributing to a more inclusive and united society. The event was participated by high-level dignitaries, including Ms. Vivienne Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Cr Sam David, Councilor of Harvester Ward.
The Philippine Consulate General stands united with the Filipino Community in Victoria in celebrating Australia Day, reflecting on history, and celebrating the contribution of migrants to Australia’s cultural diversity and heritage.