Pinay in New Zealand receives Queen’s Medal
January 27, 2012 8:00am
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A New Zealand-based Filipino woman was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for her service to the Filipino community, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.
In a statement, the DFA cited a report from the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, which said that Gladys Grace Alumisin-Stephens—a New Zealand citizen of Filipino descent—was among those who received the QSM there at the national year-end awards for 2011.
New Zealand has been giving the award to persons who do voluntary service to the community since 1975, an honor that lets recipients use the letters “QSM” after their name.
Persons who are not New Zealand citizens, or citizens of Commonwealth nations of which The Queen is head of state, may be awarded an “Honorary” Medal, the DFA said.
Pinay QSM recipient
Alumisin-Stephens, who moved from Cubao in Quezon City to New Zealand in 1988, currently serves as Justice of the Peace in Hamilton, the fourth largest city in New Zealand based on population. Some 800 Filipinos are residing there.
“Mrs. Stephens has been rendering voluntary service for refugee and migrant settlers in the Shama Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Centre Trust and the Waikato Multi-cultural Council since the early 1990s. Since 2022, she has also taken a lead volunteer role as Shama’s Events and Programme managers, serving to this day as a Trustee on the Shama Board,” the statement read.
She has been recognized by other award-giving bodies there, including the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils and the Hamilton City Council, it added.
Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavidez said Aluminsi-Stephens “continues to do our country and people proud.”
Other Filipino awardees
Three other New Zealand-based Filipinos received the honor from the Queen in the past.
Anita Mansell, leader of Wellington’s Filifest Dance Group, received the QSM during the Queen’s birthday celebration in June 2011.
In 2007, Filipino psychiatrist Dr. Antonio Noblejas received the same recognition for being an active leader in the Filipino community in Auckland.
Meanwhile, Sylvia Zonoobi was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit, an order of chivalry, in 2003, for her service to refugees and migrant communities. – RJMD, GMA News
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