PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Patricio S. Faylon (left) with Ambassador Bill Tweddell.
“I am glad to be here with a dynamic organization and the best of the Australian alumni associations in the country”.
His Excellency Bill Tweddell praised the members of the Philippine Australia Alumni Association, Inc. (PA3i) – Los Baños Chapter at its election and get-together at the Makiling Botanic Gardens in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
In his remarks to the alumni, Ambassador Tweddell called them “long-term ambassadors for Australia”. He said that as they worked in their own institutions and communities, “they represent Australia in the country and thus promote closer ties between our two countries”.
He further commended the membership of PA3i-Los Baños while alluding to the connection between the organization being chosen as the Most Outstanding PA3i organization and the caliber of its members.
Tweddell said that the numerous accomplishments of the alumni organizations substantiate the Australian government’s commitment to supporting the alumni network in the Philippines.
Mrs. Chris Tweddell taking her turn at the spade as the Ambassador cheers her efforts.
He closed by exhorting the members to work for a stronger PA3i towards greater visibility and a stronger future for the organization. He further pushed the attendees to make the coming year a more exciting one, and continue making significant contributions to their communities and to the country.
After a short talk with the PA3i members, Tweddell and his wife Chris planted a “she oak” in the so-called “Ambassadors’ Lane”, where former Australian ambassadors also had planted trees. This tree, known scientifically as Casuarina equisetifolia, is native to North Queensland but is also common in the Philippines where it is called “agoho”.
Tweddell also inducted the new officers of PA3i-Los Banos into office.
PCAARRD Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon joined the group at the potluck lunch.
Over lunch, he and the ambassador discussed topics of common interest while touching base with the attendees – all graduates of Australian universities and/or trainings funded by Australian institutions.
Incidentally, Dr. Faylon is on his fourth term as member of the Policy Advisory Council (PAC) of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
PAC is in charge of the planning and implementation of ACIAR’s programs. It is the body from which Australia’s Minister of Trade seeks advice on the agricultural challenges of developing countries like the Philippines, and on policies and programs for agricultural research aimed at effectively addressing these challenges.