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Filipino Australian Carmen Garcia Recognised in Australia Day 2024 Honours List

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Carmen Garcia, a Filipino Australian luminary, has been honoured in the Australia Day 2024 Honours List as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). This accolade recognises her significant service in fostering a multicultural community through her passionate advocacy for diversity and inclusion.

From Local Volunteer to National Trailblazer

Embarking on her community service journey at 16, Garcia’s unwavering commitment to refugee and migrant employment has evolved into a life’s mission. She founded a social enterprise focused on connecting communities and corporates, demonstrating the value of culturally inclusive hiring practices.

Leadership and Recognition

Garcia’s influential roles include her historic appointment as the first female Honorary Philippine Consul to South Australia and her tenure as the youngest national president of the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA). Her expertise in diversity and inclusion has led to notable appointments on various governmental boards.

A Career of Impact

Over her career spanning more than two decades, Garcia has significantly contributed to diversity, inclusion, and refugee employment innovation. She shares, “I am proud to transform people’s lives through meaningful work so that disadvantaged and diverse members of our community can enjoy full economic and social participation by helping remove inherent barriers.”

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Previous Honours and Awards

Garcia’s efforts have been widely recognised, earning her numerous awards, including the SA Women’s Honour Roll 2023 and the 2016 Top 100 Most Influential Global Filipina Women Award. Her enterprise, Community Corporate, has garnered accolades for its pioneering role in refugee employment in Australia.

In Her Own Words: The Impact and Motivation

Reflecting on her work, Garcia states, “I am motivated by my belief that work lies at the core of human dignity.” She emphasises her drive to create innovative employment pathways that celebrate diversity, underscoring it as Australia’s greatest asset.

A Humbling Recognition

Garcia describes being nominated for the Order of Australia as the most humbling of her life, viewing it as a mandate to continue her impactful work.

“This recognition is not just about acknowledging contribution, success, and achievement – it is about giving me a license to make an even greater impact,” she said.

Gratitude and Inspiration

Garcia expresses deep gratitude to her mother, Aida, her family, and the wider Filipino community. She credits them for instilling in her the values and resilience that have been fundamental to her journey and success.

Looking Ahead

As she prepares for the investiture ceremony, Garcia stands as a testament to the transformative power of commitment to community and inclusivity. Her story, enriched with her personal insights and reflections, serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the significant impact of embracing diversity in building a stronger, more unified Australia.

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