Australia Alumni Community in the Philippines joins the world in celebrating equality

The Australia Global Alumni community in the Philippines - composed of Australia-educated Filipinos and alumni of Australian Government programs in the country - recently celebrated Philippine National Women's Month with back-to-back webinars on gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI). Dubbed Moving Forward to #BreakTheBias, the events, which were held in collaboration with the Australia Alumni Communities Philippines GEDSI Community of Practice, aimed to raise awareness against bias and celebrate equality.

The first session focused on unpacking prejudices and developing new perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Amy Haddad, Director of TetraTech International Development's GEDSI Practice, began the conversation and highlighted the importance of being aware of implicit biases and developing a more open-minded view towards diversity and inclusion.

Meanwhile, people with disabilities advocate Adela Avila-Kono, Assistant Secretary Florida Dijan of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and indigenous peoples advocate Atty. Raymond Marvic Baguilat, led discussions on universal design and barrier-free access, women in governance, and intellectual property for indigenous peoples.

Over 100 alumni attended the event and engaged in meaningful conversations with speakers and fellow alumni. Keith Censoro from the Department of Budget and Management welcomed the session on the basics of sign language and committed to becoming a GEDSI advocate. "I would like to personally embrace the beauty of GEDSI and be a GEDSI advocate in the future. I appreciated hearing and learning the language of our deaf brothers and sisters. It was a fruitful discussion on how to break the bias, especially in promoting a 'GEDSIfied' environment," he said.

After the event, several alumni committed to undertaking initiatives such as mainstreaming GEDSI in the construction industry, furthering the inclusion of women in peace and security, and advocating the transition from Gender and Development (GAD) Sensitivity to GEDSI Sensitivity in the public sector.

Moving Forward to #BreakTheBias is the first in a series of professional development activities organised by the Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program - Philippines for 2022.

The Australia Australia Alumni Communities Philippines is an inclusive network of Australia-educated Filipinos bound by a shared passion in their practice and profession. The network mobilises and engages communities of practice for change and impact in Philippine society. Learn more about their initiatives at