In the frenetic hustle of our last day in Manila on Friday, the entire Leavers2Leaders cohort were privileged to be invited to the Australian Embassy in Manila to meet some of the Ambassadorial team which serve our citizens in the Philippines.
Only a few days earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had stood at the same podium to greet the consular staff as part of the recent ASEAN Conference which had welcomed world leaders to Manila. Our students were hosted Mat Kimberley, the highest ranking official in the Philippines with Ambassador Gorely currently in Australia.
The staff took us through Smart Traveller.org (our students had been registered prior to our trip through SCEA) and the humanitarian aid that is regularly provided by the Embassy through Australian Aid programs.
We were reminded that we represent Australia every time we travel overseas and the responsibility and privilege that this entails as part of our adventures.
Selected SCEA students spoke of their time in Filipino communities over the past fortnight and the work that our respective teams are undertaking in each school group.
To convey the needs of our Filipino partners to these officials at the highest level demonstrates the level of care that our government takes with its residents and its obligations to help people at all levels of society.
We are always grateful to be welcomed into such a busy environment and our thanks go the Embassy staff that cared for us at every turn and displayed the hospitality that the Embassy prides itself on.
The Embassy provided some excellent photos from the day. Many thanks to our government officials for their warm reception and advice for young travellers!