Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis today launched the photographic exhibition, ‘Philippines and Australia: The First Seventy Years’.
The exhibition is the first in a series of events in 2016 commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Philippines. Formal relations between the two countries were established when Australia opened its first Consulate General in Manila on 22 May 1946.
Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddell, said “while our countries will mark its 70th anniversary in 2016, the truth is our friendship goes back further, and our bilateral partnership now spans many areas – trade and investment; education and research; development cooperation; defence, security and law enforcement; and regional cooperation”.
‘Today we share a relationship grounded in the shared values of democracy, economic freedom, respect for human rights, and adherence to the rule of law”.
The photographic exhibition features significant moments in the shared history between Australia and the Philippines: from the involvement of over 4,000 Australian service personnel who fought beside Filipino and allied forces in World War II, to Australian medical mission teams working alongside other Filipino and international humanitarian communities in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.
Through photographs, the exhibition captures the story of the relationship – like the people-to-people links, which continue to grow at an exciting pace. Over 250,000 Filipinos now call Australia home, making up the sixth largest migrant community in Australia, and who continue to make a positive contribution to Australian society.
The ‘Philippines and Australia: The First Seventy Years’ exhibition will be showcased in venues around Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao beginning January 2016. (with DZRH Karen Ow-Yong)