Giving is a way of life for Irene Krastev Award recipient Maria Goodridge
A Murray Bridge woman has been honoured on International Women's Day 2022 for her service to the Filipino and wider community.
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For years Maria Goodridge has given generously of her time: to South Australia’s Filipino community, to new migrants in the Murraylands, to women escaping domestic violence and the elderly.
Now her efforts have been recognised – and in a big way.
The International Women’s Day Association of South Australia presented her with one of its highest honours at an afternoon tea at Adelaide Town Hall on March 7.
The Irene Krastev Award recognises a woman from a migrant or refugee background who has made a significant contribution to the community.
Ms Goodridge had had no idea she was going to win it – she had just hoped for a cuppa and a catch-up with some people.
“I thought ‘oh my gosh, why did they give this to me?’” she said.
“It was exciting.
“I didn’t expect they would give me this.”
Ms Goodridge spent 17 years working in Murray Bridge’s old Clipsal factory after migrating from the Phillippines.
She has chaired the Murraylands Multicultural Network, contributed to the Murraylands Filipino Australian Association, and been involved with the Filipino Settlement Coordinating Council SA and the Filipino Community Council of Australia.
If someone arrives from overseas to work in the meat industry or aged care, she helps them settle in; if a migrant mother needs a nanny for an afternoon, she puts her hand up.
Her weekends were hectic, she admitted.
But she felt happiest when she was able to help others, even if she got nothing in return.
“I know how it is to live in a different country like Australia,” she said.
“You need support from people who live there, and you need interaction, to encourage (new migrants).
“That’s what I like to do: to encourage them.”
Current multicultural network chair John Scarvelis said Murray Bridge was a better place for Ms Goodridge’s efforts.
“She has been a consistent contributor,” he said.
“She comes to all our multicultural network meetings and makes contributions; she helps wherever she can.”
The award Ms Goodridge received was named for a woman who was born in Bulgaria and came to Australia as a refugee in 1949.
The late Irene Krastev was one of the founders of the Migrant Women’s Lobby Group of SA in 1984, and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1996 for services to multicultural groups, the Bulgarian community and the aged.