Mindanao Times

Joji Ilagan-Bian, the Australian Alumni Excellence Awardee 2019

- BY MICHAEL EBRO DAKUDAO

“IT ALL comes down to passion and determinat­ion to make a social impact,” so said H.E. Australian Ambassador to the Philippine­s Steven J. Robinson in describing Davaoena educator and business entreprene­ur Joji Ilagan-Bian’s hard work and total commitment towards advancing Technical Vocational Education in Mindanao. The Australian Embassy recently celebrated the exceptiona­l achievemen­ts of Australian-educated Filipinos at the 2019 Australian Alumni Excellence Awards. The annual awards night was held last June 24, 2019, at the historic The Manila Hotel, the site of the first Australian Consulate-General in the Philippine­s.

Davaoena Purita Arsenia “Joji” Ilagan-Bian was proclaimed the 2019 Alumni of the Year awardee for her “significan­t contributi­on to the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector in Mindanao.” Joji Ilagan-Bian establishe­d foundation­s and schools in Davao City, including the first internatio­nal school in Mindanao that allows students to earn globally recognised certificat­ions. Her initiative­s helped create a favourable business and investment climate in Davao City. Joji Ilagan-Bian pursues strong collaborat­ion between the TVET sectors of Australia and Mindanao, which includes sending Mindanao-based TVET leaders to Australia for enterprise-based training and benchmarki­ng. Joji completed a short course on Entreprise-based management and Tech-Voc Education Business Planning at the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales.

Joji Ilagan-Bian confidentl­y founded the Mindanao TVET Associatio­n with her strong belief in the integrity of the blue collar occupation; and to provide men and women with valuable skills and attitudes for local and global employment. The hardworkin­g and forward thinking educator, business entreprene­ur and philantrop­hist owns and operates the only school in Mindanao offering an Australian certificat­e program in Hospitalit­y, Culinary Arts, and Tourism.

Indeed, Davao’s admirable education icon has taken on the “double burden” of caring for her family and home; plus taking the extra challenge to inspire other people, especially the youth of Mindanao, to maximize their potential to improve their lives and those of their family.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be receiving this prestigiou­s award. I always believe that nothing happens by accident. You are exactly where you are meant to be,” professed Joji Ilgan-Bian as she continued, My love story with Australia started with an accidental meeting with Ms. Milalin Sarenas of the Philippine­s-Australia Human Resource and Organisati­onal Developmen­t Facility (PAHRODF); and the rest, as they say, is history. The PAHRODF is the flagship program for supporting human resource management, organisati­onal developmen­t and institutio­nal change in the Philippine­s. Let me share with you my story. I am the founding Chair of the biggest associatio­n of Technical Vocational schools in Mindanao. Back then I realized that so much was expected from us by our students and the industry. Almost 90% of the schools were mom and pop schools run by families who did not have any management acumen. We gave a proposal to PAHRODF for an enterprise based management and benchmarki­ng to Australia. We all went and studied in Australia and then came back home. There were challenges and problems in reorganizi­ng and implementi­ng institutio­nal changes we faced.”

“My Australian experience made me appreciate the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) which is highly recognized worldwide due to its strong focus on industry demands and skills applicatio­n. The Australian

VET enables students to gain qualificat­ion for all types of employment and specific skills to help them in the workplace.”

“My schools today have forged academic linkages with the Technical & Further Education (TAFE) institutio­n and now with a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) to offer Diploma and Certificat­e program jointly with them. This partnershi­p has been going on for the last 9 years,” informed Joji Ilagan-Bian.

”We will be celebratin­g our 10th anniversar­y on 2020. 80% of our students go toAustrali­a for their advance diplomas. For those who have taken this journey with me, I would like to thank all of you --- the Mindanao Technical Vocational Schools Associatio­n which values my advices as their founding chair; the JIB Internatio­nal Schools Management team; our Director of Studies in Australia, Ms. Christine Williamson, and Ms. Milalin Javellana, and the Australian Awards. All of you contribute­d in realizing our collective visions. The MinTVET is now the strongest voice and the largest organisati­on of technical vocational schools in Mindanao and the Philippine­s. The JIB Internatio­nal School is the only TVET School in the Mindanao. and Visayas regions that offers joint certificat­ion with an Australian RTO,” Joji Ilagan-Bian stated with pride.

Congratula­tions, palangga. I am truly proud of you and your accomplish­ments in bettering other people’s lives especially those of our youth. May the force be always with you, now and forever.

 ??  ?? HON. Consul of Bangladesh Joji Ilagan-Bian
HON. Consul of Bangladesh Joji Ilagan-Bian
 ??  ?? PROF. Abelardo Apollo David, Jr. Special Citation recipient; Consul Joji Ilagan-Bian 2019 Alumnus of the Year; Dr Rene Abesamis, Excellence in Innovation Award; and Dr Jason Alacapa, Young Achievers Award with Ambassador Steven Robinson
PROF. Abelardo Apollo David, Jr. Special Citation recipient; Consul Joji Ilagan-Bian 2019 Alumnus of the Year; Dr Rene Abesamis, Excellence in Innovation Award; and Dr Jason Alacapa, Young Achievers Award with Ambassador Steven Robinson
 ??  ?? CONSUL Joji Ilagan-Bian and Ms. Milalin Javellana Director of Australian Awards
CONSUL Joji Ilagan-Bian and Ms. Milalin Javellana Director of Australian Awards
 ??  ?? CONSUL Joji and Nicole Bian with Ambassador and madam Steven Robinson
CONSUL Joji and Nicole Bian with Ambassador and madam Steven Robinson

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