Growing up, Fides Mae Santos and Grace Guinto didn't always embrace their Filipino roots, but now the business duo make it their mission to instil pride in their community.
The daughters of migrants from the Philippines both struggled with their cultural identities throughout their respective 1980s childhoods living in Melbourne's western suburbs.
But the challenges they faced would later inspire them to help others by breaking down barriers.
"We had a challenging upbringing, where you turned up to your schools in the 1980s and you really just wanted to be one of the white kids in your class," Ms Guinto told AAP.
"When people would ask, 'What are you?' I thought, 'I'm Australian, can't they tell?'"
Ms Santos said it wasn't until she had children that she became curious about her cultural heritage.
"When we were young, we really wanted to assimilate and just belong. I feel like as we get older and have children, there's this need to reconnect back with our culture," she said.
With a nationwide population of more than 300,000, Filipinos are the fifth-largest ethnic group in Australia and the third-largest Asian migrant group after Chinese and Indians.
However, they are vastly under-represented across many sectors, including media and the public service.
Australian-Filipino Community Services managing director Corina Dutlow said better representation was needed to promote inclusion.
"Having more Filipino representation in mainstream media creates safe spaces for people who want to explore their cultural heritage," she said.
Ms Santos and Ms Guinto, who together founded The Entree.Pinays, hope their migrant journeys will encourage others, launching a campaign called The Calamansi Story to promote social cohesion through Filipino culture, language and cuisine.
The name was inspired by the calamansi lime, which is a key ingredient in Filipino cooking.
"The Calamansi Story epitomises what's possible when purpose, place, people and passion connect and thrive," Ms Santos said, adding that the campaign was a call to action for the sustainable future of the lime and fair trade for Filipino farmers.
The project has received grant funding from the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The three-part project also aims to increase cultural awareness around the contributions of Filipino migrants.
It is due to launch next week as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival before the 77th anniversary of Australian-Philippine diplomatic relations.
The event includes a screening of a short documentary on The Calamansi Story and the launch of a book featuring essays, stories, recipes and art.
Australian Associated Press
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