Australia in Davao, a celebration

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.


Host & guests at Australia in Davao party

Power women. Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely with Joji Ilagan International Schools’ Joji Ilagan-Bian & Marco Polo GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin


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.


Guests at Australia in Davao party

Sonia Rodriguez & DCCCII Pres. Ronnie Go


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


Food at the Australia in Davao party

Australian beef patty for this slider


Food at the Australia in Davao party

All Aussie goodness. Australian ingredients were used to make the meat pies, quiches & rolls


Food at the Australia in Davao party

Dessert to thrill. Pavlova.


The reception, however, 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.


Host & guest at Australia in Davao party

Australian Embassy’s Elly Boscovic, project officer, & Nardia Simpson, economic counsellor, with Romy Garcia, Fellow, Queenslad University of Technology


Guests at Australia in Davao party

Jose Mari Marfori & Willy Torres, Fellow, University of South Wales


Host & guest at Australia in Davao party

Ray Ponce, notable alumnus awardee & William Tan, DFAT Program Manager for Scholarships


“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.


Host & guest at Australia in Davao party

Chef Claude Le Neindre & Australian Trade & Investment Commission’s Elodie Journet


Guests at Australia in Davao party

Rey Co with Wilson & Jenny Bangayan


Guests at Australia in Davao party

Davao hotel managers. Seda’s Ken Kapulong, Park Inn’s Em Rosales & Waterfront Insular’s Bryan Lasala


Guests at Australia in Davao party

With Chin-Chin Santos


Guest at Australia in Davao party

Chef’s on parade. Waterfront Insular’s Vic Barangan, Bondi & Bourke’s Patrick McCarthy& Seda’s Bang Flores


Email me at For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit &

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.