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Catriona Gray, Hannah Arnold recognized as 2021’s exceptional Fil-Aussies

By Gaile Gregorio Published Oct 28, 2021 3:19 pm

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Binibining Pilipinas 2021 Hannah Arnold received a National Award from the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) in 2021 for outstanding accomplishments in pageantry, the arts, science, and culture. 

Last October 20, Gray and Arnold, along with several other Filipinos, were honored in a virtual event commemorating the 75th anniversary of Philippine-Australian bilateral agreements.

Gray, who won the Philippines' fourth Miss Universe crown, was given the 2021 Philippine-Australian of the Year award for her accomplishments in pageantry as well as her activism for female rights.

The 27-year-old beauty queen was also noted for her love for helping disadvantaged children and representing Philippine culture in foreign settings, which she did throughout her competing career in pageants and continues to do so today.

Gray's contributions as the country's advocate for the arts for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry's ambassador for indigenous handicrafts, were also recognized by the award-giving institution.

Similarly, reigning queen Arnold was honored with the 2021 Youth Achievement Award for her initiatives to enhance and advocate education and the value of science and technology.

The model and pageant titleholder gained recognition for her collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology as part of her effort to encourage more Filipino scientists to pursue careers in science.

Acknowledging the award, Arnold took to Instagram to express her gratitude for the recognition. She thanked the council, her mom, the Bb. Pilipinas, and her supporters.

"Thank you to everyone around me who make[s] sure I am engaged in the community, included and most importantly understood," she wrote.

FILCCA is the national umbrella organization of Filipino community councils in several Australian states. It recognizes outstanding Filipino-Australian individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the international society each year.

Philippine Ambassador to Australia Helen De La Vega, select Australian lawmakers, FILCCA officers, and Filipino community leaders officiated over the 2021 FILCCA National Awards ceremony.