Marking this year as a long celebration of friendship between Australia and the Philippines, the Australian Embassy organized a photographic exposition in an attempt to familiarize Filipinos of what the two countries have shared over the past 70 years.
“Philippines-Australia: The First 70 Years” display toured Manila, Cebu, and Davao for four months as part of the Say G’Day at SM 70th anniversary road show of the Australian Embassy. And this month, the consulate participated in the first History Convention in the country organized by the History Channel, offering a scaled down version of its photography exhibition to reach out more Filipinos especially the young ones.
“The event is a good way to show that the friendship between Australia and the Philippines has always been deep and strong. We have always stood by each other in good times and in bad,” explained Australia’s Deputy Ambassador Mat Kimberley to The Manila Times.
Remembering the past, the first bilateral relationship of these countries can be traced to the establishment of the Australian Consulate in Manila on May 22, 1946, a year after World War 2 ended where many Australians also fought for the freedom of the Philippines.
“Not many people know that over 4,000 Australian servicemen fought alongside Filipino and allied soldiers for the liberation of the Philippines in World War 2,” the ambassador shared.
The embassy is also pleased with the Presidential Proclamation, which designated May 22 of each year as Philippines-Australia Friendship Day.
“Now we are looking at continuing the celebration of our friendship through social media. We have been using the hashtag #First70Years throughout this anniversary year, to bring together the celebration in Australia and the Philippines,”the ambassador pointed out.
Ma. Lisbet Esmael