News Release

Australia Head of State to PBBM: The future between our two countries is bright’

The strategic partnership between the Philippines and Australia looks bright, according to Australian Governor-General David Hurley, who invited President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to address the Parliament of Australia in Canberra on Thursday. 

In his speech during the state lunch in honor of President Marcos, Hurley, Australia’s Head of State, stressed that President Marcos’ visit to Canberra will further strengthen the relationship of the governments, economies and the people of the Philippines and Australia.

“Your Excellency, the future between our two countries is bright. I am sure your current visit, which includes the upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne, will further strengthen relationships between our governments, economies and people,” Governor-General Hurley said.

“Australia values our Strategic Partnership with the Philippines. It is a relationship that has meant much to us. It will continue to do so in the future. We are neighbors in more than name and geography. We are friends who can rely on each other and help each other,” he added.

Governor-General Hurley warmly welcomed President Marcos and First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos during their recent visit to Canberra as he noted that the Philippines and Australia will mark its 78th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations this year.

He emphasized that he is honored to be able to reciprocate the warm welcome of the First Couple when he visited the Philippines and attended the inauguration ceremony of President Marcos in June 2022, representing Australia.

“Your visit builds on the already close relationship between our two countries,” Governor-General Hurley.

The Australian official also noted that President Marcos’ address to the Parliament of Australia “underscored the strength and dynamism” of the long standing bilateral ties between the Philippines and Australia, which started on July 4, 1946.

He added that the Philippines and Australia are more than just close neighbors as they are “enduring partners and friends” as he recalled a 1946 incident when independence of the new Philippine Republic was declared where Royal Australian Navy ships in Manila Bay fired a 21-gun salute.

“Ever since then, our two countries have worked together in a spirit of friendship and bayanihan. This spirit reflects our shared commitment to peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” Governor-General Hurley said.

“Your Excellency, Australia and the Philippines are partners in a dynamic region. We embrace opportunities together and we work together to face common challenges. In the face of these challenges our bilateral relationship has grown stronger,” he added.

The Australian official also noted that the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Australia, which was officially signed by President Marcos and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in September 2023, will further deepen the engagement of the two countries on both bilateral and multilateral fronts.

He added that a key pillar in the relationship is the 50-year development partnership, which is “an investment” in the shared future of the Philippines and Australia.

“Our development partnership enhances the conditions for stability, bolsters inclusive and sustainable economic growth and increases institutional and community resilience. Our security partnership is expansive, spanning maritime, defence, counter terrorism and cyber co-operation,” he said.

“‘Exercise Alon’, part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023 in the Philippines, was the largest ever bilateral exercise between Australia and the Philippines. And increasing our economic co-operation with the Philippines is a priority for Australia,” he added.

“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, presenting significant opportunities for Australia to strengthen its trade and investment ties, especially in green energy, resources, agriculture and education, as outlined in Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040,” he stated.

Before concluding his speech, Governor-General Hurley noted the vibrant people-to-people relationship of the Philippines and Australia, including in the education sector where Australia hosts over 32,000 Filipino students yearly with close to 80 percent enrolled in technical and vocational education courses.

Australia serves as the second home to over 400,000 Filipinos, according to  Governor-General Hurley.

The Australian official also emphasized that the “Work and Holiday” arrangement, signed during the visit of Prime Minister Albanese in September last year, which will officially start in July, will further build the cultural and people-to-people critical links between the Philippines and Australia. | PND