The Australian Filipina is thrilled to share that aside from the two Pinays in Sydney, we have another Filipino-Australian selected as a finalist of the Women Changing the World Awards.  This is none other than Bernadette Alonzo Cortes of Eduquer International, who is based in Melbourne, Victoria.  

The Women Changing the World Awards presented by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Oprah Winfrey’s all-time favorite guest, Dr. Tererai Trent, celebrate and recognize women achieving outstanding success in areas such as sustainability, humanitarian work, leadership, advocacy, tech, product development, education, health, and innovation. The awards are designed to recognize the growing number of women who are leading the way in making the world a better place for us all and inspire other women to answer the call to act.

Dr. Trent explains, “These exceptional women are here to awaken hearts, give permission to recapture dreams and inspire the women of the world to come together to forge a brighter path for all. The rising of women is the awakening of everybody.”

Bernadette Alonzo Cortes, is an Australian Legal Practitioner, education advocate, mentor, and a proud Filipino Australian. Bernadette earned multiple degrees including Masters in International Hotel Management and Bachelor of Laws (Honours). In her legal studies, she was awarded as a top student for Commercial Law at Victoria University.

Just recently, Bernadette started a new business - Eduquer International together with two other empowered women who shares the same vision. As the CEO Lawyer of Eduquer International, she envisions more successful coloured workers from third-world countries empowering themselves and building more opportunities.

Dr. Trent’s vision for these awards is to empower women everywhere to reclaim their sacred dreams and call-in women across the globe to unite and pave the way towards a better future for all.

It can be challenging to create change in the world and Bernadette Alonzo Cortes gives this advice for others thinking about following their calling to make a difference.

“Work with a purpose and let that purpose be your guiding principle. When generating a purpose, be steadfast in faith, proud of your culture, and be a catalyst of change for yourself and for others. Surround yourself with people who share the same vision as you are while continuously learning to adapt.” 

Bernadette Alonzo Cortes is proud of her achievements, and this she has to say…

Achievements are often subjective depending on the person who is talking. For me, my biggest achievement is being able to share my knowledge with the community and with the people that I interact with every day. As a legal practitioner we often feel satisfied when get the best outcome for our client. A non-migrant was accused of raping her former partner that she felt hopeless and lost in navigating her rights in a foreign land. Full of desperation, she found me and asked to break down the stages of her cases and understand the legal complexity. With my advocacy, I gave her the confidence knowing that she is supported legally and not alone with her fight for justice. “

Bernadette was also recently appointed as a Director of Gawad Kalinga Australia. Gawad Kalinga is an international not-for-profit organisation building a nation empowered by people with faith and patriotism; a nation made up of caring and sharing communities, dedicated to eradicating poverty and restore human dignity. Now an Australian citizen, but who was born and raised in the Philippines, Bernadette saw a huge gap in economic status. The basic need of life is not a RIGHT, but a privilege and this is why Bernadette is honoured to be part of this organisation where she knows, she can be an advocate of change for those who are vulnerable and voiceless.

Through these achievements, Bernadette says that her experiences as a woman of colour who was previously heavily discriminated, helped her become a person who lives every day with a purpose.  Having the resilience and the ability to show the world, that a person cannot be broken by hurtful and negative thoughts from others.

She is committed to continuing to make an impact through her work and her vision for the future is to empower people. She envisions to have a Filipino Law Firm focusing on Commercial Litigation in Australia. Filipinos is the fifth largest community in Australia with a small presence of Commercial and Civil Litigation law firm, as majority focuses on immigration.  

On a bigger scale, Bernadette aims to help the vulnerable and less fortunate by creating awareness through education, employment and understanding on how the law applies to them.

For more information on the Women Changing the World Awards visit or contact

Bernadette Alonzo Cortes  contact  +61 433 302 867

Facebook - Eduquer International.



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