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Creating Spaces for Belonging and Flourishing – Phillipe Dulawan features in Diocese Podcast

"My why is to empower people homeward, so people feel comfortable with themselves, others and sometimes something more, sometimes God."

As the current Associate Director of Formation for Lasallian Mission Services, Phil Dulawan's role focuses on the human and Christian flourishing of the people he works with, particularly within Lasallian institutions, ensuring that the mission and charism of the De La Salle Brothers are fully integrated within Lasallian Schools and Works. Whether at work or in broader life, Phil aspires to create spaces that feel like home, where others can find safety, flourishing and empowerment to live their best selves.

Recently, Phil was a guest speaker on a podcast called Soul Food, a spirituality-focused publication with over 200 episodes produced by the Mission Enhancement Team of the Diocese of Parramatta. The podcast focuses on faith stories and the hopes of everyday people.

Each Soul Food episode begins with a story about food and how it relates to the guest's life. For Phil, that is fried rice. Phil is of Filipino descent and is one of five children; his dad, the family's chef, would make fried rice containing different items based on what leftovers they had on hand. Phil took that to heart as a lesson about seeing what is available and making the most of it. The idea of different foods and different cultures all coming together describes a part of him as a second-generation immigrant in Australia.

"Empowering people homeward" looks different for every person because a home is a place of safety and flourishing. The sense of home will be unique to each person's circumstances. Phillipe feels most at home on a surfboard at the beach, surrounded by the glories of nature. However, he acknowledged that someone who can't swim wouldn't find the same sense of peace and comfort in the ocean. What we all have in common, however, is a yearning for the feeling of home, comfort, and peace. "We can't give anyone the destination, but we can point them in the right direction," he said.

Phil discussed his role as Associate Director for Formation with the podcast host. He aims to encourage human flourishing and support young people and those who support them through life's hills and valleys. Lasallian Mission Services has established several programs to support young people in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

The Formation Team's fundamentally Catholic values encourage them to recognise and welcome the wide range of personal beliefs held by people within Lasallian educational communities. In their programs, this makes for mutually enriching discussions. Together, they continue to be transformed through dialogue about and experiences of Faith, Service and Community.

"Whatever serves the young people flourishing is what we support," Phil said. "Good education helps them have the tools rather than, 'here's the answer.'”

For more information about Formation programs, visit

To listen to the Soul Food episode, visit