Josephine Pallard - Paglalayag Series
Updated: Apr 29
Part of the Paglalayag: the Philippines to Canada Journey series.
Dr. Josephine Enero Pallard is one of the pioneer economic immigrants from the Philippines, who came to Canada as an educator. She is the eldest of eight children born to a working class Catholic family in Baguio City. She learned generosity and caring for others from her mother; and the importance of defending her beliefs and integrity from her father. As a young child growing up in the Philippines, she developed a solid foundation of her Catholic faith from her parents and from the French and Belgian missionary priests and nuns of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (CICM). This strong upbringing led her to continue dedicating her passion to help others. She became increasingly aware of the atrocities, poverty and social injustice in the country.
In 1967, Josephine chose to emigrate to Edmonton, AB. Eventually, she was able to bring her whole family to join her in Edmonton. From 1970 to 1975, she attended the University of Alberta earning a Bachelor's Degree and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. Through a scholarship, she completed her Master's Degree in Education from San Francisco State University, California. For 38 years, Josephine taught Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the public school system, Alberta Vocational Centre, now, Norquest College; Grant MacEwan College, and University of Alberta. Presently, she is teaching ESL (English as a Second Language), EAL (English for Adult Learning) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) to the immigrant, refugee and newcomer women at Changing Together, A Centre for Immigrant Women.
In 1979, responding to Archbishop Joseph MacNeil's appeal to sponsor refugees from Vietnam, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Middle East, Josephine accepted the challenge of becoming the Chairperson of St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Parish's Mission and Immigration Committee. As Chair of the Committee for 35 years together with the help and collaborative efforts of Catholic Social Services, Josephine and her team were able to sponsor over 500 refugees.
Inspired to help immigrant women overcome personal and systemic barriers and have the ability to fully participate in Canadian culture, Josephine joined Changing Together, a centre for immigrant women, to provide educational programs to women adjusting to life in Canada. "At Changing Together, we engage, we empower and we encourage," she says, adding that the organization cultivates a safe haven for women to share, support and learn from each other. In her role, Josephine creates programs and services that allow women to find work that suits their abilities and interests. Notable programs that she has spearheaded include the volunteer support program, which is designed to develop new work and life skills, the pre-employment training program, which develops basic skills, and ongoing family services workshops.
Amazingly, Josephine still has time to actively volunteer with her Filipino community, especially the Filipino-Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta, whose major programs are the Youth, Adult, Senior Rondalla and Performing Arts; Filipino Language and Culture School of Edmonton; Building Bridges between Youth and Seniors through Mentorship, and International Ambassadors' Educational and Musical Engagement Travels in the Preservation, Retention and Propagation of Filipino Arts, Culture and Heritage.
Highlights of Dr. Josephine Pallard's achievements:
JOY Award - for outstanding effort to end human trafficking of women and girls
Medal of Excellence, Senate of Canada, for outstanding leadership in the development of the Filipino community in Edmonton - 2019
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award - 2013
University of Alberta's Alumni Honour Award - 2010
Citation of Citizenship Award, Government of Canada - 2008
RISE (Recognition of Immigrant Services of Excellence) Award, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers - 2007
Worker in the Vineyard Award - 1st recipient from Western Catholic Reporter - 2007
Hiyas Award - Outstanding Community Services - 2007
Doctor. of Sacred Letters (Honoris Causa), St. Stephen College - 2007
Governor General's Award for the Person's Case (The Famous 5) - 2004
Outstanding Award on the Preservation & Retention of Heritage Languages in Schools & Communities - 1988
Edmonton Philippine International Centre - 2019
Filipino Language and Culture School of Edmonton - 2006
Changing Together.. A Centre for Immigrant Women - 1984
Kabataang Filipino Language School - 1982
Alberta Society for Philippines Ethno-Cultural Teachers - 1980
The Filipino-Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta - 1979
International & Heritage Languages Association (formerly Alberta Ethnic Language Teachers Association) - 1978
Dr. Josephine Enero Pallard's tireless work has clearly demonstrated that with dedication, hard work, and deep sense of religious, civic, and social responsibilities, immigrant women such as herself can help build a nation that values individuals, families and communities as citizens of Canada. She is an educator, advocate, volunteer, humanitarian and community leader, a devoted family member and a role model for all newcomers to Canada. She is married to Raymond for 45 years, they have a daughter, a son-in-law and a granddaughter.
Sources: Alberta Filipino Journal; Worldwide Branding.