Melbourne, Australia - On November 26-27, 2018, 102 scholars and practitioners gathered at La Trobe University - City Campus for the International Research Forum on the Philippines (IRFP). Participants represented different disciplines and academic institutions in Australia and the Philippines.
Organised by the Philippine-Australia Studies Network (PASN) of La Trobe University and the Filipino-Australian Student Council of Victoria (FASTCO), the IRFP is now on its 6th year. Keynote speakers and presenters tackled the question of becoming Filipino in the contemporary age.
According to Charles Siriban and Neslie Tan, co-chairpersons of the IRFP this year, "What makes IRFP unique this year is the partnerships with the Australia National University Philippines Project and the Philippine Studies Network in Australia (PINAS). Such partnerships can make IRFP a more effective platform in terms of connecting scholars based in and outside Australia who are working on a very wide array of research topics about the Philippines."
The two-day conference kicked off on Monday with keynote speaker Dr. Kristine Aquino from the University of Technology Sydney, who discussed the varying modes of resistance against racism by Filipino migrants in Sydney.
On Tuesday, another keynote speaker from the University of Melbourne, Dr. Wolfram Dressler, presented his findings on the struggles of indigenous environmental defenders in Palawan, Philippines.
Forty-nine papers and 5 posters presented covered topics on Law and Philippine Politics, Gender and Cultural Practices, Disaster and Resilience, Youth and Society, Diaspora and Migrant Welfare, and Health and Well-being.
The diversity of topics was one of the highlights of this conference, with an IRFP participant remarking, "I learned a lot from other fields/disciplines that are not my domain."
Download the IRFP 2018 Book of Abstracts here.