Government Announces Inaugural Members of Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, Member for Werriwa, Laurie Ferguson MP, and Member for Chifley, Ed Husic MP, today announced the members of the new Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee.


“This Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee is a new initiative to inform the Government of the views of our growing Filipino community,” Mr Bowen said.


“I would like to congratulate all the new members of the committee on their appointment.”


Senator Lundy said the members of the new committee would work closely with the Government.


“The Gillard Government recognises the valuable and robust contribution the Filipino community continues to make the success, prosperity and cultural richness of our nation,” Senator Lundy said.


“The committee will provide a valuable channel for communication and enable key leaders to engage with members of the Government and raise important issues on behalf of the community.”


Mr Ferguson and Mr Husic said they looked forward to working with the members of the Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee in their roles as committee co-chairs.


“The new committee will provide a channel for the Filipino community to raise their concerns directly with Government ministers and will foster improved communication,” Mr Ferguson said.


“As a Government we’re committed to listening and engaging with the community, and I look forward to regularly meeting with the committee to progress important discussions.”


“I’m proud to see the Federal Government establish this Ministerial Consultative Committee,” Mr Husic said.


“It will give voice to the Filipino-Australian community at the country’s highest level.”


The Ministerial Consultative Committee is comprised of 12 members drawn from Filipino community leaders around Australia:

  • Mr Ruben Amores: President of Kapit-bahayan Co-operative; Founding Chair of the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network; past President of the Ilocano Association of Australia; former Board Member of the Filipino-Australian Teachers Association.
  • Ms Carmelita Baltazar: Secretary of the Filipino Community Council of Western Australia; Chairperson of Migrante Perth; Filipino Australian Club of Perth; Knights of Rizal.
  • Ms Lina Cabaero: Philippine Australian Community Services Incorporated; Coordinator of Asian Women at Work; Migrante Australia; Philippine-Australian Women’s Association; Member of the Australia Philippines Solidarity Group.
  • Miss Benjie de Ubago: Filipino community journalist; Founder and Director of the Filipin-Oz Directory.
  • Mrs Norma Hennessy: Filipino community journalist; former Secretary of Radyo Pilipino; Executive Committee Member of the South Australian Migration Museum.
  • Mr Roberto Lastica: Bicol Communities League; Secretary of the Equal Housing Partnership; Secretary of the Philippine Community Council’s Committee on Senior Citizens and the Elderly; Founder of the Filipino Australian Movement for Empowerment.
  • Ms Melba De Guzman Marginson: Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition; Victorian Women’s Trust.
  • Mr Jose Relunia, Jr: Chairperson of the Committee on Senior Citizens for the Philippine Community Council of NSW; Adviser/Director of the Philippine Australian Society for Senior Citizens Incorporated; Vice-Chairperson of the Filipino Community Cooperative; Member of the Filipino Chaplaincy Pastoral Council, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
  • Mrs Emily Rudd: President of the Ilocano Association of Australia; Pangasinan Assoc; Member of the Filipino Australian Movement of Empowerment; Member of the Australian-Filipino Association of the Central Coast.
  • Mr Arturo Sayas: President of Philippine Community Council of New South Wales; Global Filipinos Australia.
  • Mr Marco Selorio: Youth Chairman for the Philippine Community Council of New South Wales; Galang Migrant Workers Union.
  • Mrs Marisa Vedar: President of the Filipino Communities Council of Australia; Director of Gawad Kalinga Australia.

The committee will meet regularly with the co-chairs and at least twice a year with Ministers Bowen and Lundy. The Government will also hold an annual forum for the committee to facilitate access to the Prime Minister and other senior Government ministers.

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