The Filipino Sports Arts & Recreational Club (FILSPARC) held its inaugural Inspirational Mother of the Year Award night in a Post-Mother's Day Concert undertaken by Oz Pinoy Entertainment late last month (May 28). The event, which was held at Pabico 55 Club, was deferred to this date following COVID restrictions affecting the original date.
The nominees for the award were (in alphabetical order) Joseline Caballero, Violi Calvert, Milagros Diones and Daisy Ann Gonzales.
The panel of judges comprised of Elfa Moraitaki, chief executive of SydWest Multicultural Services, one of SSI ((SSI) Settlement Services International) member organisations; Maryam Zahid, founder and director of Afghan Women on the Move and Cr Moninder Singh, elected to the council in September 2016. Singh is also the director of SydWest Multicultural Services Blacktown, chair of the Punjabi Council of Australia, and former Secretary of the United Indians Association.
The judges gave the award of Inspirational Mother of the Year to Violi Calvert, producer and co-broadcaster of Radio Tagumpay, Triple H 100.1FM.
Prior to winning the award, Violi has also received other accolades including 2014 Ambassador of Culture & Arts - Media & Community Service and 2015 Multicultural & Indigenous Media Award - Coverage of Community Affairs.
She is also a freelance writer and contributor to several community publications, including The Australian Filipina.
Married to Qantas employee (now retired) John Calvert, Violi is mother to Tim (married to Stephanie) and Bevan Calvert (married to Ann Christin, with kids Luke 4 years and Mila, 5 months). Bevan last year was awarded a prestigious sports medal by the NSW Premier for his exceptional service to Australian handball. Tim still joins fundraising triathlons and plays for North Sydney United Football, over 35yrs team.
"I wish to thank FILSPARC, Oz Pinoy Entertainment, my co-nominees and the other mothers/ladies (Criz Guce, Cynthia Alipalo, Rachel de Leon, Athena Carvajal and Katherie Co-Elliott) who sent in their input to Cora's nomination of me,” said Calvert, referring to Cora Cuasay, one of the mothers in the North Shore Filipino-Australian Association (NSFA).
She added she was humbled by the award. "After ardent request and follow up by Cora, I agreed to use the event as a platform to publicly thank all the parents who drove their young kids to events that I nominated them to perform, and also to the young artists who gladly spent time rehearsing and performing in those events,
I can also thank publicly those who trusted me with their stories to share on radio and in articles I wrote for various Fil-Aus publications.”
Violi has been a very active supporter of community events and programs. She has spearheaded fundraising concerts; supported advocacies and participated in various community organisations activities; has showcased talented artists from the young age through to being successful in their music journey.
Among her not-for-profit affiliations include: as co-founding officer of the North Shore Filipino-Australian Association; founding officer (Secretary) of Kababaihang Rizalista Inc; media and press relations officer for FLAGCOM and as a volunteer at St Mary Mackillop Cafe since 2012.
After the results were announced, Cuasay commented: "Congrats Ate Violi … when I saw the competition ads, I reflected and thought - ikaw agad ang naisip ko. Congrats again!"
Entertainment was enjoyed by all after the awards in the concert provided by emcee-performer Jojo Sebastian, Elysa V, Baldo, Chelsea Castillo and Bella.
The other highlight of the evening was a free draw for a week's accommodation either in Gold Coast or New Zealand worth $1,500 provided by Carol Duque Manaloto on behalf of Oz Pinoy Entertainment and Mortgage House. Violi Calvert drew the ticket of Theresa P. Villareal.