With Ed Husic MP and Anne Stanley MP.

Australia has built a strong relationship with the Philippines over the years, so it was a pleasure for Labor MPs to speak to a motion recognising that this year is the 70th since the Philippines established its first diplomatic office in Australia.

It was an honour to have the Philippine Ambassador to Australia, Minda Calaguian-Cruz and the ACT Consul General, Nina Cainglet, visit Parliament House today to hear speeches emphasising the strong friendship between our two nations.

“The Filipino community is one of the largest and most energetic groups in the electorate of Chifley,” Mr Husic, who moved the motion, said.

“People from the Philippines are the third largest ancestry group in Chifley, with 18,000 calling the area home.

“That is over 10 per cent of the total population in Chifley and makes up 10 per cent of the 171,000 Filipinos in Australia as counted at the 2011 Census.

“The Filipino community – many of whom I am happy to call my friends - has an enormous impact on western Sydney.

“I want to thank the Filipinos living in Chifley, across western Sydney and the rest of Australia. You make a wonderful contribution to our nation.”

Ms Stanley, who seconded the motion, said: “Migration between our two countries has increased significantly since the 1980s and Western Sydney is now home to 28 per cent of Australia’s Tagalog speakers, while people of Filipino descent are one of Western Sydney’s largest and fastest growing population groups.”

“The Filipino community in Australia has made a long-lasting and significant contribution to civil society in this country through employment, the arts, sport and various community groups.

“Without the contributions of the Filipino community, Werriwa, Chifley and Western Sydney would certainly be a far lesser place.”

Ms Rowland said: “We are so proud in the Blacktown local government area to be home to what I believe is still about 70% of all Filipino’s in Australia -  and they have made their mark.”

“I particularly want to note how much they have made their mark in the community through volunteerism in a range of sectors, everything from Seniors to Lions Clubs, to established Rotary groups.”

“We have a very rich history of Filipino Australians, and it is one that we celebrate, as not only a multicultural country buy as a country that places immense value on what the Filipino community has brought to us.”


Diplomatic ties:

In 1947 the Philippines established its first foreign mission in Sydney – kicking off a long and fruitful relationship. Then, in 1948 Consul General Manuel A Alzate and eight officials opened the first consular office in Elizabeth Bay.

That office was elevated to the status of Embassy in 1956, with Head of Mission Roberto Regala becoming the first Philippine Ambassador to Australia.

The Philippine Embassy then moved to Canberra in 1961 and the Consulate remained in Sydney – where there is still a strong presence today.

Since the 1980s, the number of Filipinos migrating to Australia has increased.

As more Filipinos come here to study and work, as more Australian businesses reach into South East Asia, as our nations work together to promote peace and stability in the region, the relationship will go from strength to strength.