by Noemi Ognilla
CFI, APCO at ASCON
“Flavours of Auburn"
On Saturday, 20 October after the 9:30 am mass in St Paul Catholic Church in Albion Park which was organised by Father David Catterall for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary which was attended by mostly Filipino Catholics in the Illawarra, we Miriam McCauley, Malyn Vasques and myself, as CFI representatives had to leave right away to be at ASCON “Flavours of Auburn”. ASCON (Auburn Small Community Organisation Network) for all those unfamiliar with it was formed by its Founding President Ruben Amores with several ethnic groups in Auburn.
Marx Canoy the popular Filipino chef cum boxer was there to showcase his talent of producing extraordinaire but typical Pilipino dish “Afritada”, together with other nationalities which also cooked their countries delicacies and popular dishes. The attendees were also entertained by ethnic dancers happy to show their country’s cultural dance, APCO’s Mindanao Ethnic Dance Group, Lucy Ethiopian Dance Group, South Sudan Mulual Dance Group, Sri Om Foundation Bollywood Dancers and Traditional Pilipino Songs by APCO’S Linda Trinidad & Brian Lorenz, Traditional Indian Songs by Nitya Ramaswamy and a choral singing by Auburn and Newington Community Choir. Emcees of the day were APCO’s Dr Cen Amores and Miss Michelle Baltazar. Mr Wali Fayazi, ASCON Chairperson welcomed the attendees while Ruben Amores, the Founding President did the Closing Remarks and acknowledgement of guests; the Hon. Barbara Perry MP, for Auburn and the Hon John Murphy, Federal Member for Reid; performers; food providers and ASCON working committees.
Congratulations Again to Kapit-bahayan (KCL)
From CLUB FILIPINO ILLAWARRA, INC. our congratulations again to Kapit-bahayan Coop Ltd. (NSW Australia) who earlier this year won the ABS-CBN Global Bayaning Pilipino Award, for winning ten (10) awards during the celebration of International Year of Cooperatives organised by the Common Equity New South Wales (CENSW). It’s a state-wide celebration on October 27 at Cabravale Leisure Centre, Cabramatta. In attendance were 32 housing coops from all over NSW that enjoyed the family – friendly celebration of a fun filled day.
Of course the highlight of the celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives is the awarding ceremony. The aim of these awards is to publicly recognise coops and individual members for their effective management of their respective housing coops. A few of them received their variety awards categories from Mr Ian Sinnet, CEO of Common Equity NSW assisted by Mr Robbie Buchanan, Training Officer.
But Kapit-bahayan Coop Ltd as the leading cooperative housing organisation received the highest number of awards as an organisation “Innovations in Management” and “People’s Choice” award in the photo competition.
And for the individual category, Kapit-bahayan Chair of Membership Development Dr Cen Amores received an award for “Building Partnerships in Multiculturalism”, while her husband KCL Founding President Ruben got an award for “Building Partnerships in Management”, Treasurer Pablo Lee for “Innovation in Finance Management”, Maintenance Officer Joe Caballero for “Innovation in Maintenance” and Secretary Dodong Capulong, members Delia Caballero, brothers Raphael & Brillo Amores got their awards for “Long Service”, which made the total 10 awards.
Part of the day was a multi-ethnic cultural presentation which showcased the richness and diversity of the people who are tenants of the housing coops. Truly it’s a multicultural feat for Kapit-bahayan worthy of awards for those truly deserving. We at APCO are so proud of the work and involvement in the wider Australian community of these multi-awarded couple, Ruben and Cen Amores. More Power to them both, to APCO & Kapit-bahayan.
CFI at APCO Public
Consultation on Filipino Community Social
Upon the proposal of Ruben Amores, one of 3 advisers for APCO, on Saturday, 10 November, APCO with more or less 50 attendees from different affiliate organisations met at Auburn Centre for the Community, Auburn for a public consultation on different issues that address the question “What is an Ideal Community”.
The 5 topics for discussion as outlined by Ruben in an answer to “What is an Ideal Community” among 5 groups are:
1.) Community living, facilities & organisations, led by Jhun Salazar.
2.) Health, housing, childcare, social services & other settlement issues, led by Mir McCauley.
3.) Community arts, culture, youth & sports, led by Mars Cavestany.
4.) Education, employment, training & enterprises with Amor Ramos leading.
5.) Social integration, politics, access to government services and multiculturalism, led by Richard Ford.
The public consultation started at 10 am for registration, morning tea, a song from Linda Trinidad and two well known Filipino speakers who share their expertise and experiences, guide, motivate and inspired us all for our discussions on issues related to “What is an ideal community”.
Dr Gabriel Carreon the first guest speaker of the day was introduced by Mir McCauley, CFI Chairperson & APCO Vice President before a sumptuous buffet lunch was served. According to Mir these are the achievements of Dr Carreon then and now.
Dr Carreon was at one time the Director of Philippine General Hospital, the Action Officer for Health Services of the Metro Manila Commission and a Professor of Medicine at the University of the Philippines.
When he and his family migrated to Australia in 1979 he continued his medical profession and worked with the NSW Health Department at one time as Assistant Regional Director of Health for Southern Sydney Metropolitan Region, was a Fellow in Community Medicine at the UNSW, a Guest Lecturer in Health System Studies of the Master of International Public Health Program of the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators. As President of UPAA the organisation succeeded in improving the recognition of Professional Overseas Qualifications of Filipinos and other migrants, and worked closely with the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW and St Vincent de Paul Society.
He now enjoys his retirement with his wife of 53 years and their 5 kids and 10 grandkids and the grandchildren academic and musical achievements. He and his wife teach catechism and actively participate in community development activities.
Indeed, a magnificent career for Dr Carreon, from the Philippines to Australia and what an inspiration to all his kababayans in Australia, very humble but speak well of his experiences and share them for others to follow. He shared with us his aspirations and his dream of an ideal community which is obtainable with his suggestions with emphasis on UNITY, OBJECTIVES, TO USE the SYSTEM and TO USE your RESOURCES.
The next guest speaker Mr Romeo (Romy) Cayabyab was introduced by a peer, APCO Secretary Dr Mars Cavestany after our most enjoyable lunch break.
First and foremost Romy Cayabyab is an accountant by profession according to him. He studied Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Masters of Business Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
But now this self-taught web publisher, editor and writer is well known for his work with the web: emanila.com, the award winning Philippine website in Australia.
He writes his curriculum vitae as a web publisher, editor, founder of E-manila, audit consultant, college lecturer, advocate of multicultural communities, and inaugural award winner – 1st multicultural media awards for coverage of community affairs in Australia.
He shared with us his Road Map to an ideal community based on his dream, our dream for an ideal community. He looked back on the more than 40 years of Filipino migration to Australia which totalled more or less 200,000 which could influence ministerial decisions to make greater impact for the community.
He mentioned of his own migration for about 30 years now and it seems to me that we both arrived in Australia in 1982, that Filipinos are part of multi-cultural Australia.
Based on his observation he said there is a lack of support among Filipinos of our own Pilipino products, the lack of elected “kababayans” in government positions, and the absence of youth participation in Pilipino activities which he said could be attributed to the “exclusiveness” of others who separate themselves to what is Pilipino.
He has 3 requirements for an ideal Australian setting:
1. Relevance of any group to the wider community
2. How we Philippine-Australian are doing and living our lives us Pinoy
3. How we interact & influence Australia.
With the latter he made mention of former Philippine Consul General Theresa Lazaro inspiring us Filipino Australian to leave a lasting legacy that will give impact to Australian Society. He added, that is what he and the rest are reporting in E-manila. When Australia won a position in the seat of the United Nation Security Council, E-manila added to rewrite the history, that the first President of the UN Security Council is a Filipino, Carlos P Romulo. And that for sure left an impact, that a Filipino first and foremost got the highest seat in the UN Security Council.
After the very heated brain storming among the 5 groups discussing their assigned topics a general plenary session enabled each sectoral leader to present the outcome of their discussion, their plan, objectives and solutions.
These recommendations when finalised will be distributed accordingly to guide community organisations, government agencies and politicians after follow-up workshops and meetings early next year.
The initial APCO Public Consultation on Filipino Community Development was a run-off success thanks for the very detailed good planning of it’s proponent Ruben Amores with the help of course of his wife Cen, Jhun Salazar, the other members of the board and most especially the two guest speakers who not only share their life experiences but open their hearts to what is for them a model community, an ideal living environment for us all.