Page 2201 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The ball, of course, was held to commemorate the independence of the Philippines. It was on 12 June 1898 that the first Filipino President, Emilio Aguinaldo, declared the Philippines free of Spain. But it was not until 4 July 1946 that the Philippines won the independence it enjoys today when the United States finally relinquished control. I have always been deeply impressed by the great love of the Canberra Filipino community for their mother country and the very strong bonds of affection which exist between those Filipinos who have made their way in other parts of the world and their families who remain back home.

In the 2006 census, 160,000 Australians claim Filipino ancestry. Indeed, they are one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in Australia. For many years, the major connection between Australia and the Philippines has in fact been the very strong family and historical links between the two countries. As shadow minister for multicultural affairs, I welcome in the strongest possible terms the contribution of the Filipino community to the diversity and vitality of our capital city. The festivities which we witnessed on the night provided ample evidence of this.

I am also pleased that in terms of the broader relationships between Australia and the Philippines the relationship between our two countries is growing at a rapid rate. Whether measured by magnitude of trade, defence links, tourism, educational links and so on, it has been obvious for some time that there was huge scope for a much closer and deeper relationship between us.

One of the important roles of organisations like the Filipino Community Council of the ACT is to promote the continued fostering of relations between Australia and the Philippines. This relationship is important, both in economic and in human terms, but it is also vitally important in promoting our region, our shared commitment to democracy and common values.

The independence of the Philippines brought into being a strong and vibrant democracy which, despite some setbacks over the years, continues to lead the way in a troubled region. On Saturday night, we celebrated the 113th anniversary of Philippines’ independence. I would like to extend our best wishes to the Philippines and its people for their hard fought independence and the continuation and prosperity of their democratic system.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 10.14 pm.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video