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Local Legal Practitioner and Advocate Bernadette Cortes Named Finalist for Prestigious Global Award

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Filipino-Australian legal practitioner and Melbourne-based education advocate Bernadette Alonzo Cortes has been named a finalist for the 2024 Women Changing the World Awards. This recognition places her among a distinguished group of women globally acknowledged for their significant contributions to sustainability, humanitarian efforts, leadership, and innovation.

The Women Changing the World Awards, co-presented by philanthropist Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and Dr Tererai Trent, an advocate for education and Oprah Winfrey’s all-time favourite guest, aim to highlight the remarkable efforts of women spearheading change.

“These exceptional women are igniting a global movement, encouraging others to reclaim their dreams and collectively forge a brighter future,” states Dr. Trent.

With a portfolio that includes multiple advanced degrees and commendation as the top student in Commercial Law at Victoria University, Bernadette Alonzo Cortes has proven her dedication to academic excellence. As the CEO Lawyer of Eduquer International, her latest venture in collaboration with fellow empowered women, she demonstrates a steadfast commitment to empowering workers from developing countries through education and opportunity.

Bernadette’s vision and drive are echoed in her recent appointment as a Director of Gawad Kalinga Australia. This role underscores her passion for bridging economic disparities and advocating for the vulnerable.

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“It’s about transforming the notion that basic necessities are a privilege into a right for everyone,” Bernadette says.

Bernadette’s advice for those aspiring to make a difference is rooted in purpose and cultural pride. “Let purpose be your compass. Stand firm in your beliefs, embrace your cultural heritage, and be the change you wish to see,” she counsels.

Reflecting on her journey, Bernadette attributes her success to the resilience forged through overcoming discrimination.

“My proudest moments stem from imparting knowledge and aiding others in their legal battles, ensuring they know they are not alone,” she remarks.

Looking ahead, Bernadette envisions the establishment of a Filipino Law Firm specializing in Commercial Litigation in Australia. She aims to enhance the legal understanding and rights of the sizable Filipino community, contributing to a fairer and more informed society.

The Women Changing the World Awards honour women whose innovative work in various sectors has significantly impacted global communities. Previous honourees have continued to advance their fields, inspiring countless others to pursue meaningful change.

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