PH Consulate General in Melbourne Officially Opens Its Doors

Top photos: Monsignor Joselito Asis, Melbourne’s Episcopal Vicar for Catholic Migrants and Refugees, officiates the blessing of the premises before a crowd of Filipino community leaders, past and present consular officials, and special guests; Philippine Ambassador to Australia Maria Hellen B. De La Vega addresses the audience. Bottom photos: Philippine Consul General to Melboure Maria Lourdes Salcedo delivers the welcome remarks; Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo presents Ambassador De La Vega a travel book on Melbourne as a token of appreciation.(Photo by Mr. Beng De Leon)

The Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne launched its permanent office located at the Level 10 of 257 Collins Street in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) on 17 April 2021.

Member of Parliament Maria Vamvakinou (front row, second from left), and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) State Director for Victoria Andrew Cumpston (back row, center), join Amb. De La Vega, Consul General Salcedo and other consular officials in a photo op. (Photo by Mr. Beng De Leon)

The event was attended by nearly a hundred leaders and members of Victoria-based Filipino-Australian community organizations, as well as present and former honorary consular officers. Ambassador Ma. Hellen Dela Vega flew in from Canberra to grace the occasion. She was joined by Maria Vamvakinou, Federal Member of Parliament for Calwell, and Andrew Cumpston, Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) State Office for Victoria, as guests of honor.

In her remarks, Ambassador De la Vega said the establishment of a permanent career consular office in Melbourne is “a reflection of the importance that the Philippine Government places on our Comprehensive Partnership with Australia,” a close neighbour and longstanding partner in the region. She said “this is a testament to the strength of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.”

Former Honorary Consuls Raul Hernandez, Maina Walkley, Virginia Kalong and Felix Pintado, joined by Nini Jover (second from right), Honorary Vice Consul to Mr. Pintado (Photo by Mr. Beng De Leon)

Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo, in her brief welcome address, called the event “an auspicious and happy day,” as after more than three decades of succession by Philippine honorary consular officers, the Philippine government decided to reopen a full career consular mission in this part of Australia.”

At the event, the Consulate also formally launched its official website,, and its online appointment system. The Consulate’s online presence seeks to improve its efficiency and public access to relevant information and services for the Filipinos residing in the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

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