The Filipino-Australian community in collaboration with Adhika, Inc and various community groups, will recognise the achievements of Filipino-Australian women in a forum and gala presentation to be held next week in time for International Women's Month celebrations.

The IWD Gala will be held on Saturday, 14 March from 6pm-10pm at the Waratah Room, Dooleys Catholic Club in Lidcombe, Sydney.

The Gala will recognise outstanding Filipino-Australian women – the Adhika IWD Inspiring Women of 2020, who have excelled in their field or chosen profession, and blazed the trail for future generations of Filipino-Australian women.

The Gala will be preceded by a forum featuring keynote speaker, Her Excellency, Ambassador Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega from the Embassy of the Philippines in Canberra.

The Governor-General received from Her Excellency Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, Letters pf Credence accrediting her as the Ambassador of the Philippines. (Photo credit: Official website of the Governor General of Australia)

The Ambassador graduated in 1982 with Cum Laude honors at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies. Her overseas postings have taken her around the world, including terms in the US, China, Japan, Indonesia, Spain and now, Australia.

In June 2018, she was awarded the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu (Gold Cross) by the Philippine Government for her important role during the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN. 

The panelists are Jesusa Helaratne from the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, Councillor Atty. Linda Geronimo, Dr. Marietta Languido, Atty. Marissa Dionson-Bala, legal counsel of Dell Technologies; Tina Bangel, artist and vocal coach; and Julia Newbould, editor-at-large of Money magazine.

“We are delighted to welcome such an impressive line-up of panelists for this year’s IWD and honoured that the Ambassador is able to participate this year as our keynote speaker,” said Josefina Musa, president of Adhika, Inc, a not-for-profit organisation representing members of the Philippine-Australian community media, entertainment and associates.

Proceeds from the Gala will go towards Adhika’s fundraising efforts to support the funding needs of a primary school in Bicol, Philippines, ongoing Typhoon Haiyan rehabilitation program and a donation to go towards women who have suffered from domestic violence.

“Community media plays an important role in lifting the profile of women who are catalysts for change. We are incredibly proud of the Filipino-Australian women who will be recognized on the night for their achievements,” said Musa.

The forum, which will be held at the Banksia Room in the same venue, is free entry but guests must register their attendance on email:

Tickets to the awards gala is $75, which includes a three-course meal, entertainment and dance. For ticket or sponsorship enquiries, contact Josie Musa on 0404 631 438, Violi Calvert on 0408 22 77 94 or Cez Lapuz on 0416 153 990.

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