A FEW nights ago, the heritage house turned chic restaurant along Legaspi Street was all lit up for a celebration. It was the appropriate venue for an Australian-hosted gathering.

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely flew to Davao to lead the launch of “Australia in Davao” promotions and it was not surprising that Bondi & Bourke, the Oz-themed restaurant run by two Australian chefs Patrick and Wade, was pinpointed as the venue.

For the campaign that will entail a series of events celebrating the longstanding partnership with Davao City and Mindanao, the Australian Embassy collaborated with their partners in the city.

With the Davao Business Chamber as a partner, the embassy hosted a business forum to increase business engagement between Mindanao and Australia; and with IChef, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission will conduct a food and wine appreciation class for the culinary and hospitality entrepreneurship students.

Over Australian wine and hors d’oeuvre, the union was celebrated.

The reception didn’t only mark the alliance, but also honored the Australia Global Alumni, Dabawenyos who studied and trained in Australia.

The alumni, the embassy shared, are excelling in business, the academe, in development work and in government service.

“Australia Global Alumni play an important role in nurturing relationship between Australia and the Philippines. They prove that our people-to-people links can create meaningful impact in encouraging trade and development in Mindanao,” said Ambassador Gorely.

Moreover, Australia works with local governments, local organizations and NGOs to support programs in education, technical vocational training, peace building and disaster risk reduction.

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