It’s been a long time coming! At long last, a UST Alumni Australia (USTAA) has been officially established.
Inspired by Philippine Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, a Thomasian herself, the USTAA, the wheels were set in motion.
The official launch and induction of Officers was held on 6 December 2021 at the Philippine Embassy, Canberra with HE Hellen B. De La Vega, Philippine Ambassador as the guest of honour. Ms. Evelyn Songco, President of UST Alumni Association, Philippines was also a special guest, via zoom. Father Loi Viovicente said the opening prayers and gave the blessings for the group. Interstate members joined via zoom.
A group of enthusiastic Thomasians gathered first on 6 October, 2021 and unanimously agreed to form an alumni association to honour their beloved alma mater, University of Santo Tomas (UST). Elections followed on the 17th November, 2021 and elected to office are: Ms. Benjie de Ubago (President), Vangie Leones (Secretary), Tess Sayas (Treasurer), Albert Prias (PRO) and Rosemarie Hamilton (Auditor). To reach out to Thomasians throughout Australia, a Vice President was elected to represent each Australian State and Territory: Dr. Myrna Jover (NSW), Cecilia Flores (ACT), Teresa Cardona (QLD), Marina Ruivivar (VIC) and Cielo Franklin (WA). VP seats for South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory have yet to be filled. Kate Andres is the association’s adviser.
This set of officers, have come to called asTeam 21 – a dynamic group of individuals, award winners of different disciplines and all living by UST’s core values. They all are compassionate, competent professionals and committed to serve.
Ambassador De La Vega congratulated the group and expressed how impressed with the speed by which the organization was formed. In her speech, she said: “The timing to establish USTAA in 2021 is auspicious. The year is not yet over and we’re still commemorating the 500 years of Filipino Christianity. I thought the 500 years would be made extra meaningful with the establishment of the USTAA Alumni. After all the University of Santo Tomas is recognized at national and international level as the pontifical, royal and catholic university of the Philippines.”
Our heroes, including Dr. Jose Rizal have roamed the halls of UST. USTAA