Page 3283 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 18 August 2009
a position with the Philippines embassy in Canberra. Lydia soon started a career in the federal public service, working in the Attorney-General’s Department, legal aid, the Deputy Crown Solicitor’s Office and the department of immigration.
Lydia retired from the Australian public service in 1992 at the age of 65. By all accounts, she was far from happy to be forced to retire. But her energies soon found an outlet in numerous community volunteer projects. She became one of the founders of the Philippine-Australian Senior Citizens Organisation and served as its president from 1996 to 1999.
Lydia completed many projects, including a booklet in Filipino, “Care for older persons”. Last year she also published a compilation, under the title Age of Wisdom 2, in collaboration with her daughter, Theresa De Castella. This was a book of stories of friends and was the second book named Age of Wisdom. It contained further life stories of members and friends of the Filipino community in Canberra. The first book was so well received and found to be so interesting that several contributors and many readers pressed Lydia to produce this update.
Lydia received a Filipino-Australian Women Achievement Award in 2001 and a Chief Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. She was a state finalist in the 2008 Australian of the Year Award.
Lydia’s life story is a story of courage and love of family, of a mother who converted adversity into energy and made a strong impression in her adopted homeland by contributing to the many lives she touched in the community. Lydia, like many newcomers to this proud land, found peace, freedom and opportunities, while her direct contribution was her energy, work ethic, values and traditions.
Lydia passed away on 14 July 2009. We offer our condolences to her children—Marilyn, Ariel, Grace, Jesse, Max, Theresa, James and Kenneth—to her children’s spouses—John, Jean, Azlan, Leanne, Helen, Robert, Kym and Symone—and to her 12 grandchildren—Keith, Kevin, Krissan, Keldon, Alana, Caleb, Mitchel, Alycia, Isabella, Nikita, Nikolai and Sophia.
Aid for Jade
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.10). Mr Speaker, last Friday night I had one of those great pleasures that one has as a member of the Canberra community—going to an event where one sees real heart and real soul and real commitment to community. On this occasion it was a hugely spectacularly successful fund raiser under the moniker Aid for Jade.
Jade Murrell is a two-year-old Canberran who has liver cancer and who has spent many months in Ronald McDonald House. Her father, Peter, and many of his friends clubbed together on Friday night to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House at Westmead Children’s Hospital. It was a spectacular evening.
My team, consisting of Theo, two Keiths—two very formidable Keiths—Bob, Clinton, Libby, Lyle and Luke, did manage, as we aspire to do, to win—