Australia Day 2023 | & More Trending News


LETTER FROM AUSTRALIA – HK Yu, PSM – The Philippine Star

January 26, 2023 | 12:00am

Dear pals,

Today we have fun Australia Day. First and foremost, it’s a time to recollect the tales which have formed fashionable Australia. We take into consideration what has come earlier than, and the challenges and alternatives which will lie forward. For many people, it is usually a superb excuse to spend time with household and pals in the summertime solar (often over a barbeque, and maybe a chilly beer).

The story of our nation started a very long time in the past. For at the very least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived within the nice southern con-tinent that we now name Australia. For millennia, Indigenous Australians have been the land’s conventional house owners and custodians of a vibrant tradition – the oldest dwelling tradition on this planet – that continues to counterpoint us.

In the twenty-first century, Australia is a nation of migrants. We are proud to be essentially the most profitable multicultural society on earth: one in 4 Australians are migrants like me, and nearly half of all Aussies have a mum or dad born abroad. For our latest arrivals, Australia Day is a very memorable event, as it’s when native communities throughout the nation maintain Citizenship Ceremonies to formally welcome them.

And it could not be potential to inform the story of Australia with out additionally mentioning the Philippines. The earliest recorded hyperlink between our two island international locations was within the mid-nineteenth century, when pioneering ‘Manila Men’ arrived in northern Australia to work within the pearling business. Many of those first Filipinos, who turned well-known for his or her bravery in a really harmful line of labor, settled in distant coastal cities like Broome, Cooktown and Thursday Island. Here, they constructed new lives, bringing with them their traditions, language, meals and faith. 

From these humble roots, the Filipino neighborhood in Australia has grown to turn out to be considered one of our largest and most essential: at this time, greater than 400,000 Austral-ians have been both born within the Philippines or are of Filipino ancestry, our fifth largest ethnic group. Indeed, you solely must look at our tv screens or the duvet of a shiny journal to see the identify or picture of a well-known ‘Fil-Aussie’ movie star. From well being care to inventive industries, enterprise, academia or hospitality, Filipinos have turn out to be an integral a part of fashionable Australia.

Quite other than everlasting migrants, the people-to-people hyperlinks between Australia and the Philippines are remarkably shut. In 2019, Australia was the highest worldwide vacation spot for Filipino college college students. On my current visits to Cebu and Davao, I’ve significantly loved assembly a few of our alumni and listening to of how their research in Australia have enriched them each personally and professionally.  

Similarly, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of Australians have taken the chance to journey to the Philippines for tourism and busi-ness, attracted by this nation’s dynamism, pure magnificence and the hospitality of its folks. With the well being state of affairs anticipated to stabilize and enhance over the approaching yr, I’m quietly hopeful that journey between Australia and the Philippines will return to – and maybe even exceed – its pre-pandemic regular.

Having now been within the Philippines for six months, I can see that the depth of ties between our two peoples is because of our related nationwide characters. While there are apparent factors of distinction (I’ve but to satisfy a Filipino who favored the style of Vegemite or was focused on cricket!), I see that each Filipinos and Australians worth humor, adaptability, openness and are ‘down-to-earth’ folks. Perhaps most importantly, we worth true pals and share a willingness to band collectively, together with in instances of adversity.

So, I invite all of you to pause for a second and lift a glass to toast Australia Day, and the position that Filipinos have performed in making Australia the success-ful nation it’s at this time.
Yours actually,

*      *      *

 HK Yu is the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines. You can observe Ambassador Yu on Twitter @AusAmbPH.

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