Celebrating Philippine-Australian friendship and book donation from the Philippine Embassy

21 May 2024

Last week the ANU Library received a donation of 71 books from the Philippine Embassy at a turnover ceremony held during Philippines-Australia friendship month.

Guests at the ceremony included Her Excellency Mrs Ma. Hellen Barber De La Vega, Ambassador of the Philippines, and several other representatives from the Philippine Embassy; along with Ms Jane Duke, Assistant Secretary South East Asia Maritime Branch, Office of South East Asia from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Dr Maria Tanyag, Deputy Director of the ANU Philippine Institute.

The generous donation enriches our existing collections on the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Asia Pacific region, serving as invaluable resources for research and education. The Menzies Library houses the University’s Asian Pacific collection, including some very rare and unique materials.

In her speech, Ambassador Barber De La Vega said the items gifted to the Library were from the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines and the Philippine Embassy Library Collection and that she was pleased that the donation would make Philippine publications available to a wider audience through the ANU Library.

Her Excellency also spoke about the importance of Australia and the Philippines’ strategic partnership and its role in maintaining peace in the region. She acknowledged that the ANU has hosted many representatives from the Philippine government over the years, and as the world continues to face a number of security issues, institutions like ANU help create essential ties between our peoples.

Jane Duke highlighted the importance of the role both our nations play in regional politics and security, noting that Australia sees the Philippines as a lifelong friend, something which is especially celebrated during Philippines-Australia Friendship month in May. 

The University’s ongoing interest in the Asia Pacific, and the Philippines specifically is evidenced by the recent launch of The ANU Philippines Institute, which, together with other regional institutes at the ANU, serves as a hub for comprehensive, expert advice to policymakers and practitioners in the Philippines and Australia. The Institute recognises the distinctive significance, context and history of the Philippines as a gateway to wider connections in the Pacific region, and in forging linkages that bring Asia together with the Pacific.

Deputy Director of the Institute, Dr Tanyag talked about how their work is helping to future-proof ANU for decades to come in terms of research, partnerships and foreign policy focussed on Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines. She said this research helps us understand Australia's role in the region, while forging important new relationships.

As University Librarian, Ms Roxanne Missingham said in her welcoming address, “the Library’s Asia Pacific materials are a foundational feature of the ANU Library collections, with many of the earliest theses produced at ANU in the 1960s dealing with topics and themes that remain relevant today. While we are very proud of our collection, the donation from the Philippine Embassy will enhance our holdings significantly, and provide authentically Philippine perspectives on issues that shape and inform our shared histories and futures”.

We also wish to acknowledge the work done by Nithiwadee (Wan) Chitravas, Information Access Coordinator for South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and the collection management team for all their work in bringing this event together. 

For more information about the Philippine resources available from the ANU Library, there is a Philippine Studies subject guide available online.