Dr Zeny Edwards OAM of Lindfield NSW has been awarded the prestigious Teresa’s Light Award for Public Service by the STCQC Alumnae Association of St Theresa’s College, Quezon City. The Selection Panel considered all the nominees for the Award through a rigorous screening and evaluation process and agreed that Zeny stood out for her “steadfast and inspiring commitment to let her light shine and give hope and support to those in need.”

A STCOC graduate of High School (1967) and College (1971) Zeny came to Sydney in 1974 and has become an architectural historian, human rights advocate and philanthropist.

She wears many hats and served in various lead roles for many years: as president of the National Trust of Australia (NSW); chair of UN Women Australia Sydney Chapter and director of the UNAA Peace Program. She has established a reputation as an authority on Architectural History and as an untiring advocate for human rights, peace and social justice, extending her advocacy worldwide.

As president of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education (ACHRE), Zeny led a group of committed and dedicated volunteers to actively pursue human rights education in Australia and overseas to foster values such as respect, responsibility and understanding, tolerance and inclusion within families, peer groups, communities and nationwide.

As the current vice-president of the 20th Century Heritage Society of NSW and ACT, Zeny continues her advocacy for the protection and promotion of heritage architecture and design heritage worldwide. She is committed to protect the dwindling stock of heritage items worldwide and to ensure that architecture is ecologically sound and respectful of its environment. Zeny believes that for everyone to be able to live in a world with a sustainable future is a human rights issue.

Zeny was a recipient of the Order or Australia Medal in 2020 for community service and heritage preservation awarded at the Queen’s Birthday Honours Ceremony at Government House.

Mrs Serna Ladia, Immediate Past President Philippine Community Council of New South Wales stated: “Through Zeny’s leadership and by reaching out to the Filipino Community, the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) made the Pasko Festival very symbolic with their donation and display of Christmas lanterns, with symbol of peace. It was during Zeny’s leadership of the UNAA when the well-known Philippine Economist, Dr. Gerardo Sicat, was invited to speak in Australia.

Her contribution made a very great impact in the community and raised the profile of the Filipino community in Australian mainstream.”

Mr Indy Singh, Executive Chairman of Vision Beyond Aus based in Sydney stated: “Dr Zeny Edwards’ constant and devoted service to the Philippine and Australian community is exemplary and worthy of emulation. Christian values are the force that gives her immense energy to tirelessly serve those is need and support worthy causes.

I have known Dr Edwards for over twenty years since I founded Vision Beyond Aus, a registered charity that provides free eye surgery to the poor and helpless in Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, India and Ethiopia. Zeny, who has found the time to personally visited an eye hospital in Rishikesh, India, is one of the biggest donors to our charity. Her generous financial contribution over many years has helped us to restore the eyesight of around forty-five thousand men, women and children and as well, provide medical attention to over 700,000 patients.”

Zeny firmly believes that there are no boundaries to learning new things, gaining new perspectives and engaging with people with vision and the energy towards working together for a better world.

Zeny received her award at the STCQC Homecoming Ceremony on 29 January 2022.

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