Filipino cadets Midshipman Yvette Baybay and Officer Cadet Jaryd Nicolasora graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy on December 13, 2018, in Canberra, after completing a three-year training and academic program with Australian military officers.
Midshipman Baybay is a proud Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. She completed her secondary education at Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS) in Bontoc, belonging to the Science Class Batch 2009.
Baybay is a former student of Saint Louis University in Baguio City and also a member of the SLU Cordillera Cultural Performing Group (SLU-CCPG), a university-wide organization for the preservation, promotion, and development of Cordilleran culture through dances, chants, and literature.
Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to Australia Col. Dennis Gammad and Assistant Defense and Armed Forces Attaché Col. Nhel Patricio represented Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega in the event.
Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retired), in his remarks during the graduation ceremonies, recognized the graduating students from sending countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and encouraged them to take what they have learned in service to their respective countries and maintain the friendships they have built during their time in Australia.
Midshipman Baybay will return to the Philippines to join the Navy, while Officer Cadet Nicolasora will join the Air Force.
In their courtesy call on December 04, 2018, Ambassador De La Vega congratulated the cadets and expressed pride in their accomplishments. The Ambassador emphasized the strong partnership between the Philippines and Australia, particularly in terms of defense cooperation, and urged the two cadets to help advance the relationship between the two countries.
"The presence of Filipino military students in Australian institutions year after year is a hallmark of the shared history and values of our two countries. The defense cooperation and interoperability of our forces is a priority of our government," Ambassador De La Vega said.
Australia is the Philippines' second-largest partner in defense and security cooperation. Under the Defence Cooperation Program, the Philippines has 36 military and civilian students who were given scholarship grants and training courses in Australia in 2018.
Congratulations Midshipman Yvette Baybay and Officer Cadet Jaryd Nicolasora!