The Australian Filipina has featured one of pioneers in the Fil-Aus community.  Linda Swords who had done so much for the Fil-Aus and the wider community had passed on November 6, 2021.  We extend sincere condolences to the family of the late Mrs Swords.

A number of Fil-Aus community leaders attended the funeral mass, burial and celebration of her life held on November 18, 2021.

One of the community leaders who attended was Jess Diaz,  After the burial, Jess gave a tribute to Linda Swords at the celebration of Linda's life, held at the Eloura Surf Life Saving Club.  He was happy to share his tribute which gives a good summary of Linda's community service.

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Linda Duque Swords, an outstanding Filipina, whose service and voluntary work in the Filipino-Australian community is beyond anyone I have known. It is difficult to emulate Linda’s sincere. unselfish, unassuming, respectful at its core and dedicated service to the community, unmindful of any personal rewards or recognition.

Linda was the brain in the formation of Filipino organisations in Sydney in the early seventies including the Philippine Australian Friendship Association (PAFA), the Sandigan, the Damayan, the UP Alumni in Australia and the Philippine Australian Community Service (PACSI), originally known as the Philippine Australian Community Service in Support of Filipino Women.

Linda had a landmark contribution in enshrining into legislation the “domestic violence” provisions in Immigration law. She was also a central figure in the inclusion of Filipino Language in the High School curriculum and guided in the writing the official Filipino Language Syllabus with the NSW Board of Education.

PACSI’s remarkable achievements in helping Filipino women and the resettlement of Filipino migrants in the eighties and nineties were all under the helm of Linda as the founding and long-standing President.

Many of Linda’s works were also undertaken in the name of Philippine Community Council of NSW, where she was instrumental in overcoming the challenges during its early years ofits formation.

It was a source of community pride when she fulfilled her role as Lady Mayoress of Sutherland during her late husband, Ian Swords’ term as mayor/president of Sutherland Shire.

She reluctantly acceded to her nomination for a Life-Time Achievements Award given by the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney. She shielded herself from further nominations for any other awards or recognitions. In my estimation, she deserves the highest accolades for her service to the community.

Linda was a remarkable Filipina in the mold and rank of noble women in the likes of Pecson, Estrada, Orosa, Hidalgo-Lim, Benitez, de Luna and Aguila and others.

Thank you, Linda for keeping a lifetime friendship with many Filipinos in Australia.

Thank you, Raymond and Rani, (Linda and Ian’s children), for sharing Linda’s life with the community. Be comforted by our loving thoughts and prayers as she joins your Dad in peace with God.

Linda Duque Swords, RIP.

Jess Diaz*

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Jess is the first Asian elected Councillor in Blacktown City Council and first Filipino City Councillor in Australia.  He is serving his third term as Councillor. Jess is a Practising Solicitor, first as a Senior Legal Counsel at Citibank Australia until he moved to his legal practice in Blacktown.  He is the first Filipino lawyer admitted to practice law in Australia.

Jess served as Linda’s Vice President in PACSI and Linda was secretary of the Philippine Community Council of NSW and the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) during Jess’ terms.


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