More than 30 community members and leaders received awards for their outstanding services to the community in a gala dinner on Sunday March 13 during the inaugural Community Builders Awards organised by Filipino-Australian community media association, Adhika.
The Awards event was held in conjunction with the 70th year anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Australia.
Guests of honour were Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Marford Angeles from the Philippine Consulate, Blacktown Deputy Mayor Jackie Donaldson, and Member of Parliament for Riverstone Kevin Connolly. Member of Parliament for Parramatta Geoff Lee was the keynote speaker representing Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka MP.
More than 250 guests packed the venue and were entertained by popular local artists and performers including Filipino Australians Lillian de los Reyes, Jasmine Henry, Brian Lorenz, Marcus Rivera (co-host), Michelle Baltazar (host), Robyn Russell, VSD, and Mindanao Ethnic Dance Group. Australian opera singer Jenny Liu, who played Tup Tim in the recent King & I Musical, wowed the crowd with her solo act and duet with Rivera.
“We are humbled by the support of the Philippine Consulate for this event and the support of these outstanding individuals whose lives are stories of courage, strength and success,” said Josie Musa, overall coordinator of Adhika.
Among the highlights of the night was the speech of Lolita Farmer on behalf of her fellow Order of Australia Medal (OAM) awardees present who were present and given ‘Hall of Fame’ awards.
A posthumous award for visual arts was given in memory of multi-awardee illustrator and caricaturist Filipino-Australian Edd Aragon who passed away late last year.
Representing the youth, James Palomo, Marco Selorio and Bevan Calvert were recognised for their work in community service, entertainment and sport respectively.
Marking the 70th year of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Australia, the press group also honoured the Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis for her tireless work and support for various community projects since she started her posting in Australia four years ago.
The list of awardees were:
Hall of Fame – Recipients of the Order of Australia Medal
Atty. Lolita Farmer, OAM
Dr Deborah Ruiz-Wall, OAM
Dr. Julie Nunez, OAM
Manny Castillo, OAM
Hall of Fame – Community Service
Hall of Fame – Sports
Hall of Fame – Peace Advocacy
Joy Balazo – Recipient of the 2012 World Methodist Council Peace Award and Founder of Young Ambassadors for Peace
2016 Community Builders Awards
Lillian de los Reyes
Dr. Jimmy Lopez
Daisy-Ann Gonzalez Cumming
2. Economic Development
Delfin Posada III
Atty. Jessie Icao
Ric de Vera (jointly with Emma de Vera)
Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Specialized Skill Migrants-Gov’t Assisted Scheme (Representatives: Manny Maniago and Rolly Manarang)
Renato Aldrin Villano, Ph.D.
Alice Posada, Ed.D
5. Health care
Medlife Medical Practice, Dr. Joe Marie Languido and Dr. Marietta Languido – Family Health Care Services
Quality Medical Nursing Services (QMNS), Danny Adriano and Maria de Joya – Employment and Medical Services
Ella Magallanes Martirez, Registered Nurse – Medical Mission and Nurses Training
6. Sports and Entrepreneurship
7. Young Leader – Volunteerism for the Poor
8. Visual Arts
Edd Aragon (posthumous))
9. Contribution to the Welfare of the Filipino Community
Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, Philippine Consulate General, Sydney
Special Citations were also given to the following:
Sennie Masian – Philippine Community Council-NSW Interim President, for helping establish PCC-NSW
Chris Pilao – First Filipino elected as Director of Rooty Hill RSL\
Australian Masonic Friends of the Philippines (AMFOP) – Antoine Georges, President and Jamie Melville, Patron – Adhika partners in charity projects in the Philippines
*** Photo credit: Joseph Garingarao, Gerry Musa, Ricky Reyes and Marilie Bomediano