Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
Ambassador De La Vega attends art exhibit of Filipino victims of domestic violence; supports community initiative for victim empowerment
20 June 2022, CANBERRA – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega attended Meriendahan 2022 on 18 June 2022 at the Leo Kelly Arts Centre in Blacktown, New South Wales.
Meriendahan 2022 is the launch event of the Australian Filipino Women Support Group Inc. (AFWomen), a non-profit organization advocating for Filipino women struggling with domestic violence. With the theme “Empowerment of Women through Creativity”, Meriendahan 2022 showcased the creative works of several Filipino Australian women who have been faced with the challenges of domestic and family violence.
Ambassador De La Vega administered the oath of affirmation to the officers of AFWomen led by led by its President, Atty. Linda Geronimo Santos.
In her remarks, Ambassador De La Vega congratulated all the founding officers on the initiative and thanked all volunteers and supporters who are committing their time and resources to a worthy and important cause. She acknowledged that domestic violence is a challenge that confronts the larger community and the efforts of Australia to address this issue.
Ambassador De La Vega urged AFWomen to educate not only Filipino spouses and partners on this issue but also the larger community on the different forms of domestic violence and the resources that are available. “Our community serves as the support system especially for newly arrived Filipino migrants. When problems arise at home, new migrants turn to their community, not necessarily to law enforcers or other professional institutions. Through the efforts of AFWomen and other likeminded Filipino associations I hope our community will become more responsive to victims of abuse and contribute to national efforts to address domestic violence. I hope that the Filipino community provide a safe and nurturing environment to prevent deplorable cases of domestic and family violence”, she added.
The event was graced with the presence of several Blacktown City officials and representatives from non-government organizations. Filipino-Australian Councillor Carol Israel who also represented Mayor Tony Bleasdale gave a message. The Philippine Australian Medical Association (PAMA) who expressed support to AFWomen was represented by its President Dr. Roger Fabian and founding President Dr. Corazon Francisco, who also gave a message of support. END