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Australian ambassador joins Brigada Eskwela



Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson, AO, joined Mark Woolfrey, executive general manager of QBE Group Shared Services Centre, at the company’s Brigada Eskwela volunteer activity at the Bagong Lipunan Elementary School in the barangay of Mabolo, Cebu City, Cebu.

During the Brigada Eskwela activity, QBE’s dedicated volunteers and Australian Embassy staff helped clean and repaint classrooms

The ambassador’s wife, Rhonda Robinson, along with staff of the Australian Embassy, joined over 100 employee-volunteers of QBE’s Global Shared Services Center operation in Cebu to get the school ready for the opening of classes on 3 June.

Robinson said, “I am pleased to join QBE Foundation to help get their adopted school ready for students and teachers. QBE contributes to the strong relations between Australia in the Philippines, employing about 3,000 Filipinos including here in Cebu. It’s fantastic to see such a wonderful example of Philippine-Australia Friendship.”

During the Brigada Eskwela activity, QBE’s dedicated volunteers and Australian Embassy staff helped clean and repaint classrooms. They also put the finishing touches on the newly built school kitchen and vegetable garden to support QBE’s student feeding program. The ambassador and Mrs. Robinson handed over children’s books to school principal, Michael Cabase.

THE Ambassador, his wife, Mrs. Rhonda Robinson, and the volunteers are all-smiles for a good cause.

“We focus on a sustainable program where we can see and measure the impact we are creating in the community. I am very happy that we adopted the school and through the various programs we are implementing, we can give the students of Bagong Lipunan the chance to have a better future,” Woolfrey shared.

QBE Foundation in the Philippines is focused on supporting five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
— no poverty, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action
— through various initiatives in education, sustainability and community resilience.
The ambassador was in Cebu as part of the Philippines-Australia Friendship Day celebration.

In 2016, a Presidential Proclamation was signed declaring 22 May each year as Philippines-Australia Friendship Day in recognition of the deep links and enduring friendship between the two countries.

This year’s Philippines-Australia Friendship Day is part of the larger Australia Now celebration across Southeast Asia. With a focus on engaging youth, Australia is hosting food, film and forum events across 10 countries of the region to celebrate its creative excellence, diversity and innovation.

To learn more, follow the Australian Embassy on Facebook (@Australia in the Philippines), Twitter (@AusAmbPH) and Instagram (@AusEmbPH).