(clockwise) Filipino operatic singer, Marcus Rivera wowed the guests for his jaw-dropping performance at the Gala dinner; Marcus Rivera was sandwiched by Dr Cen Amores, Jacki Leewal of SBS, Gail De Raandt and Glorina  Papaioannou; Dr Sev Ozdowski, OAM, Conference Convenor emceed the opening Ceremonies Papaioannou; Prof Mary Ann Bin-Sallik, Dr Cen Amores and Debra Cooke posed at the Gala Dinner (clockwise) Filipino operatic singer, Marcus Rivera wowed the guests for his jaw-dropping performance at the Gala dinner; Marcus Rivera was sandwiched by Dr Cen Amores, Jacki Leewal of SBS, Gail De Raandt and Glorina Papaioannou; Dr Sev Ozdowski, OAM, Conference Convenor emceed the opening Ceremonies Papaioannou; Prof Mary Ann Bin-Sallik, Dr Cen Amores and Debra Cooke posed at the Gala Dinner

Filipinos at National Confab on Cohesion

About 400 delegates from across Australia attended a 3-day national conference on Advancing National Cohesion last week, 15-17 July. Convened by Dr Sev Ozdowski, Director of Equity and Diversity at University of Western Sydney, Parramatta campus, the conference provided a nation-wide forum to discuss and debate various issues on social cohesion.
At the opening ceremonies, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove said that the University of Western Sydney is a fitting place to hold such a conference because “Western Sydney has a very diverse population and 90% of Australians support social cohesion”.
Very robust discussions and sharing of experiences characterised the conference with 18 concurrent Q&A Panel Sessions participated in by the delegates coming from the academe, government offices, community organisations and media. Representing the Filipino community in NSW and Northern Territory are Dr Cen Amores, founding President of the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc (APCO) and Debbie Cooke, Chairperson of the Multicultural Community Services of Northern Australia Inc based in Alice Spring. Prof Mary Ann Bin-Sallik -Pro-Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership of UWS who claims a strong Filipino-Aboriginal heritage (forebears from Panay Island) happily claimed us as compatriots!
Meanwhile, Sydney based Filipino operatic singer extraordinaire, Marcus Rivera was the sole performer who was contracted by UWS to entertain the guests at the Gala Dinner held at Novotel Parramatta. Providing moral support are APCO officers, Ruben and Dr Cen Amores and Glorina Papaioannou who also attended the dinner to engage with the current national leaders and social thinkers. (Ruben Amores)

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