FAIR DINKUM by Lolita Farmer OAM Community Builders Recognition GALA

WOW! I am greatly humbled and honored to give the response on behalf of my esteemed colleagues on this Community Builders Recognition GALA and 70th anniversary Philippines Australian Diplomatic Relations (1946-2016).A challenge whose magnitude is mind-boggling. It is also humbling and honestly spiritually ennobling too. My sincerest gratitude to Adhika Inc and to the other supporters and sponsors.
I did not make the journey here alone and let me be clear I do not view this as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of the leadership on behalf of community aspirations
To be honest I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many diverse transformative and inspirational figures who have been honored tonight, ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things who have inspired the community through their courageous pursuit of community peace, harmony, service and development.
Blessed with an amazing and supportive family, friends with unwavering commitment that finally realizes that we have to be consensus oriented, transparent, responsive, inclusive and follow the rule of law.
Tonight’s Gala event reflects the kind of community and society we want to build and that the recognition has not been used only to honor specific achievement. It’s also used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes that challenges us at this century.
These challenges can’t be met by any one leader but by all of us taking responsibility to pursue a society we want. We can’t allow the differences between peoples to define the way that we see one another. We must pursue a new beginning among our countrymen of different faiths, races and religion based on mutual respect and mutual interest for the common good.
The recognition has to be globally shared with the young and the old, those who believe in a global community linkages for an empowering world full of dignity, hope and security. Community Engagement is the key word.
And globally? Be inspired with our Philippines Australian Diplomatic Relations when Australia established a Consular General office in Manila in 22 May 1946.In 1957 an Australian Ambassador to the Philippines was appointed. The Philippines opened its embassy in Canberra in 1967.. The bilateral relations has grown from strength to strength. Last 18 November 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Aquino signed a Declaration of Partnership Agreement increasing the depth of our relations on people to people links, security, defence, political, economic, trade and cultural.
In the face of today’s world challenges Philippines Australian Diplomatic Relations is the way to go.
I always believe in the Filipinos Australians , our community here as inspirational, aspirational, courageous people in this part of the region and the world and taking lead in addressing the concerns locally, and globally.
On behalf of my esteemed colleagues, congratulations to the awardees.
Thank you. Maraming Salamat.

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