08 Jun Get to know American community ambassador: Alicia Doherty
Alicia Laurinda Flores de la Garza Doherty, known simply as Alicia Doherty, is currently the General Manager for the Queensland American Chamber of Commerce and has been since January 2017. Using her Mexican-American background help to drive positive change in the acceptance of different cultures in Australia, Alicia is an outstanding community ambassador. Read all about her work and life, below:
What is your role in the community?
I’m the QLD General Manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and I am also a newly appointed member of the General Douglas MacArthur Brisbane Memorial Foundation Limited
Why do you love being a community leader?
I love bringing people together and sharing and celebrating the great things about our different cultures.
Most memorable moment from being an ambassador with Red Elephant programs?
My first experience with Red Elephant was in Canberra during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2015 and then in QLD during the 2017 Sudirman Cup. I loved the friendly camaraderie of the competitors as well as the colourful national outfits some of the fans wore to show support for their country.
What do you love most about where you live?
I’ve been very lucky and have lived in a lot of places around the world because I grew up in the U.S. military. I always make the most of where I live and right now I’m in Brisbane, QLD. It’s a beautiful spot and I love waking up to our lovely Brisbane River views.
Favourite country to visit (apart from your own)
My husband and I try to not visit the same place as we want to see as much of the world as possible. Being in the military and working for the airlines has provided us with lots of memorable visits – all pretty special in their own way so it’s very hard to pick just one!
Favourite city in Australia to visit?
There’s a great little spot down South called Thirroul…where the escarpment meets the sea. It’s a little bit of heaven on a stick!
Best holiday you’ve ever had?
We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at the very exclusive Singita Boulders Lodge in Singita Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa. I won the trip while at a fundraiser in The Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra for the Fred Hollows Foundation – it was amazing to win the grand prize!! We saw the Big 5 on safari(lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants & Cape buffaloes) and got to travel to Cape Town, Franshhoek, Stellenbosch, Hermanus, Kruger National Park, Dullstroom and Johannesburg…it was definitely pretty special.
What languages do you speak?
I can understand a bit of Spanish but struggle with carrying on a fluid conversation.
What’s your favourite food from your country of heritage?
Chiles Rellenos – cheese stuffed chilli peppers, covered in batter and deep-fried until gooey and then served with a light tomato puree sauce…what’s not to love?!
How would you define being an ‘Aussie’?
Fun-loving, proud, innovative & confident!
What does it mean to be a multicultural Australian?
I’m a Mexican-American-Australian and like the diversity that abounds in Australia. It’s not important to me for this to have a meaning as what’s more important is how I can use my experience to influence positive change and acceptance of all nationalities. I read this quote from former U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich, and think it’s pretty special: “None of us can change the world every day, but we can change someone’s world every single day.” I think we should all strive to do this.
I’ve recently come across Battle Bots… I love it!! It’s like Fight Club without the blood and gore as it’s with these crazily designed machines that shoot flames and have spinning blades and destructive hammers – all in the name of destroying their opponent. I don’t know why it strikes a chord with me but I could sit and watch it for hours!
Favourite music genre?
Classic rock from the 70’s.
Favourite movie of all time?
What is the greatest achievement in your life?
Being married for 24 years to my lovely husband. He drives me crazy at times but he’s the bomb and we’ve had more good times than bad.
What is your most effective way of relaxing (I.e. if you were about to perform on stage, what would you do just before it to relax?)
I just blank out the room and try to think of visual images to remind me of what I need to say. It’s funny watching recordings or seeing photos of me speaking in public as I’m usually either clutching on to the podium or have my hands flailing around wildly… I don’t know if I’ll ever really be relaxed being on stage but as I’ve got to do it in my role, I try to have some fun.
Who is the most influential person in your life? If they were standing in front of you right now what would you say?
To be honest, my Mom & I were never super close and she has now passed but she did instill in me the importance of doing volunteer work in whatever community I live in. We moved around so much that she didn’t have time to focus on a career but she took every opportunity to get involved and help when and where she could. She had a tough life but she made other people’s lives better. I’d like her to know that she made me a better person by her actions.