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Australia Day Festival to highlight the ethnic diversity of Filipinos and 75th year of Aus-PH relations

Filipino-Australian community in Victoria celebrates Australia day through a festival Source: FCCVI

This year, Filipinos in Victoria will witness a spectacular COVID-safe Australia Day Festival that will highlight the ethnic diversity of Filipinos in Australia and the strong diplomatic relations between Philippines and Australia.

Reflect, Respect, Celebrate- We are all part of the story

According to Filipino Community Council of Victoria President Marlon De Leon, their organisation has been very active in supporting the yearly Australia day parade, but lately they have noticed that the community's participation in the city parade has become smaller so they decided to hold it differently this year.

"We applied for a grant through the National Australia Day Council called the COVID-safe Australia day event so we can celebrate on our own as a community. This year is also the 75th year of the diplomatic relations between Australia and the Philippines and so we will have a joint celebration. I think its but right to celebrate and give back the kindness Australia has given to us."

 

A festive showcase of the Filipino culture and Australia-Philippine relations

Speaking to SBS Filipino, Mr de Leon says instead of the usual city parade, they will hold the parade at the Filipino hub in Brooklyn business park where most participants will be wearing the different colours of the Philippine islands.

"We’re assuming around 300 participants for the parade. There will be a grand parade of Filipiniana costumes, including the Santa Cruzan and the street dancers, and also the search for the first Ms. Australia day-Philippines ambassador."

The Filipino Australia Day festival will highlight the diverse culture of Filipinos
The Filipino Australia Day festival will highlight the diverse culture of Filipinos
FCCVI

Events to watch out for

Mr De Leon shares the festivities will start with a parade of Filipiniana and street dancers, and the official opening of the pop-up stores at 11am.

At 12 noon, consul general of Victoria Maria Lourdes Salcedo and State MP Katie Hall, Caucus Secretary of the Victorian Parliament will give their respective speeches for the Filipino community.

At 1pm, the Search for Ms. Australia-Day Philippines will also be one of the highlights followed by a non-stop live entertainment from local singers, dancers, bands and surprise celebrities.

Spectators will also get to taste their favourite Filipino food from different Filipino restaurants.

Support for local businesses hit by the pandemic

Mr De Leon also shares that one of the objectives of the Australia Day festival is to support local businesses that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, hence they are giving free spots for at least 30 Filipino businesses to promote their business.

"We are giving free space for 30 chosen businesses that have been affected by COVID at our mini expo. There will be restaurants, fashion designers, travel agencies, Filipino stores and not for profit associations. For as long as they are registered businesses and legally operating in Australia." 

A COVID-safe celebration

Aside from the funding approval, Mr De Leon reveals that they also got the approval of department of Health and Human Services in terms of running a COVID-safe event.

"Our Filipino-Australian Community Australia Day Festival is registered as public event for up 1000 participants. Rest assured that our event has taken into account the safety and security requirements to hold this event."

He continues, strict COVID measures from the state's health department will be followed in the event and he is also requesting the spectators to follow the COVID-safe measures such as social distancing and hand washing.

"Before the event, those who will go should register on our website. They should provide contact details to monitor in case of an outbreak. We also have COVID marshals in the area. For walk in guests, we will display QR codes at the entrance gate, there will be COVID safe stations where they can sanitise, ask for gloves and face mask."

 

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