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Cultural Diplomacy Awards: Promotion of Philippine history, language and culture in Australia

Emailed for posting by Renato Perdon
Courtesy www.bayanihannews.com.au
Photos by Philippine Embassy, Canberra, ACT
May 25, 2017


Book author and historian, Renato Perdon of Sydney, Australia, was among selected Australians and Filipinos given recognition for their respective contribution to the strengthening of Filipino-Australian relations.

In celebration of Philippine-Australia Friendship Day and National Heritage Month, the 70th Anniversary Awarding Ceremonies took place on 21 May 2017 at the Embassy of the Philippines in Canberra, ACT. Due to health reasons, historian Perdon was unable to attend but he was represented at the ceremonies by is youngest brother, Nonoy Perdon, with wife Beng Perdon, son Adrian and his fiance.

Bayanihan News’ resident historian, Renato Perdon, was cited for his ‘extraordinary contributions in enhancing bilateral relation between the Philippines and Australia in the area of cultural diplomacy and for promoting Philippine interest in Australia through his chosen advocacy and involvement with the Filipino community.’

Author Perdon is known for his historical research and books written documenting the history of the linkages between the two countries from the period where Australia was still connected with Asia through the so-called ‘land bridge’ theory;  period of Spanish exploration of the Pacific or the Southern Hemisphere by Spanish Admiral Luis Vaez de Torres in 1606-1608 which became the first recorded European navigation of the strait separating Australia from the island of New Guinea which now bears his name Torres Strait.; then the arrival in 1870s of adventurous Filipinos, known then as ‘Manillamen’, in this part of the world as ‘pearl divers’.

Perdon’s research works continued covering the period of the official diplomatic relations establishment between the two countries when the Third Philippine Republic was inaugurated in 1946, which also coincided with the American recognition of the 1898 Independence Proclamation made by General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite.

Prior to migrating to Australia, historian Renato Perdon worked with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for more than twenty years as historical translator, curator, and chief historical researcher.

He also served as a consultant for cultural heritage in the Philippines’ Presidential Commission on Culture and the Arts (1986-1989), now the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, and as special assistant to the Chairman of the National Historical Institute (1981-1989).

In Australia, he worked as an archivist with the Sydney City Archives for 17 years before early retirement in 2007 to concentrate on book writing.

He has published articles on history, cultural conservation and heraldry, both in thePhilippines and Australia. He authored more than ten books on Philippine history, language and culture and in 2014 his book ‘Connecting Two Cultures: Australia and the Philippines’ was launched in Manila by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The book documented the long history of the connection between the two countries. On the same year the book won the coveted ‘Best Book Category Migrant Advisory & Media Award from the Commission on Overseas Filipinos.

In 2016, during the 14th Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) conference held in Toowoomba, Quensland, historian and book author Perdon was also recognised for his ‘pioneering spirit that has contributed greatly to the upliftment of Filipino culture and heritage, evident in his works as an historian and an author, thus became a source of pride and inspirations for the Filipino community.’ His last book, ‘The Americanization of Filipinos’ was also released in 2016.

Historian Perdon holds an MA  in Asian Studies (University of New South Wales),  Archives Administration (University of New South Wales), a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies (Sydney University), and a Postgraduate Diploma  in  Spanish Major  (Colegio de San  Juan de Letran). He completed his  Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Currently he is the Filipino Section editor of ‘Bayanihan News’, an Australia-wide Filipino community newspapers based in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Other awardees who received recognition for their extraordinary contributions in enhancing bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia through their chosen advocacies and dedicated service include:  Major Paul A. Rosenzweig, Ret. for Defense and Security  Cooperation; Australia-Philippine Business Council (APBC) for economic diplomacy received by Mr Arturo Landrito Sta. Barbara; Dr. Merlinda Bobis,  Atty. Lolita Farmer, OAM,, Mr. Trevor Hoagn, Mr. Renato Perdon, Mr. Christian Ramilo, and Dr. Deborah Ruiz-Wall OAM for cultural diplomacy; Ms. Miriam L. T.Cocking, Mr. Alastair Douglas, Dr. Darryl J. Hodgkinson and Ms. Katherine Hodgkinson, Illawarra Filipino and Multicultural Women’s Group Inc., Mr Rob and Jean Johnston, Mr Robert Murray, Mrs. Rosie Lavadaia Norriss, Rev. Fr. Renato Paras, Mr. Maurice Schokman, Mrs. Perlita Swinbank (posthomous), and Mrs. Elvira  Tolentino for community service.

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