Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

People living in Western Sydney won’t have to travel into the CBD to experience the Sydney Festival or its popular Spiegeltent (entertainment tent) in the New Year.


An Art Nouveau Spiegeltent will be erected in Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park next January as the centre of the Festival in Parramatta.


Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, said the 2012 Sydney Festival events in Western Sydney proved so popular that organisers have again planned an expanded programme for the 2013 festival.


A new set of guidelines launched recently aim to help mental health and social service providers better understand the complex effects of trauma on adult survivors of childhood abuse. 


The guidelines, funded by the Federal Government and developed by Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA), were launched today in Canberra by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. 


Mr Butler said the guidelines would contribute to our understanding of the implications of childhood abuse on mental health. 


“Evidence presented in the guidelines indicates that complex trauma from child abuse underlies a high number of mental health problems.” 


Thursday the 18th of October is Anti-Slavery Day (UK). Sadly, the abolition of slavery is not a reality in many countries around the world, including our own. Slavery still exists today in many forms including human trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage. Although trafficking in persons is one of the fastest growing transnational organized crime industries, recent legislative developments and parliamentary inquiries seek to improve Australia’s response to combat modern-day slavery and trafficking.


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) (2012) estimates that 20.9 million people are trapped in conditions of forced modern-day slavery throughout the world, with our Asia-Pacific region tragically accounting for by far the largest amount of individuals in forced labour at 11.7 million, or 56% of the global total.


Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has recently announced the Smart and Skilled reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) system in NSW.


“Smart and Skilled will give people the skills they need to get a job and advance their careers.  It will give NSW the skills it needs for jobs now and in the future,” Mr Piccoli said.


“This reform will make it easier for people to take up training, giving them more choice over training and the training organisation that best meets their needs.”

p3-Bill Shorten


Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten and Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland met with Filipino community leaders in Sydney to discuss the successes and challenges of Filipino-Australians in getting good jobs.


“While many in the Filipino community may be doing well and have great jobs and running successful and innovative businesses, there are some who are not,” Minister Shorten said.


“Some jobseekers are unable to find work because of the barriers they face, such as lack of Australian work experience, difficulties with recognition of skills, qualifications and experience. Others are in jobs that do not reflect their skills or qualifications.”


FILCCA newly elected executive officers: Seated L-R : Cholly Winter  - Secretary (SA); Mena Edmondstone - VP Internal (QLD); Aida Garcia -  President (SA); Perlita Swinbank - VP External (ACT) and Vicki  Wotherspoon - PRO (WA). Standing L-R: Serna Ladia - Treasurer (NSW);  Carmelita Baltazar - VP Youth (WA) and Marisa Vedar - FILCCA  immediate past president (VIC).By MANNY G. ASUNCION


Ms Aida Garcia, one of the representatives from South Australia,  was elected as the new president of the Filipino Communities Council of  Australia

(FILCCA) in the election held at the 12th FILCCA  National Conference in Perth, Western Australia on 12-14  October 2012. 


Ms Garcia was the former  VP  external of FILCCA and the current adviser of the Filipino Settlement Coordinating Council of South Australia Inc. (FSCC). 


Other officers elected were VP External, Perlita Swinbank (ACT);  VP External,  Mena Edmonstone (QLD);  VP Youth, Carmelita Baltazar (WA); Secretary Cholly,  Winter (SA); Treasurer, Serna Ladia (NSW) and PRO, Vicki Wotherspoon (WA). The oath taking of the new officers was conducted by HE Belen F. Anota, the Philippine  Ambassador  to Australia..  


FILCAA, the  national  umbrella body of all the Filipino councils of Australia,  convenes every two years to discuss and make resolution for the benefits and welfare of the Filipino councils all over Australia.

Ms Aida Garcia, the new  president of FILCCA delivering her acceptance speech.


The conference is attended by officers and members of the Filipino community councils of the different states of Australia.


This year’s theme was “Strengthening partnerships, creating opportunities” which, according to Ms Vedar, the outgoing  FILCCA president, was envisioned to “ affirm the need for more dynamic and pro-active leadership across all community councils and members organization.”  


The conference was hosted by the Filipino Community Council of Western Australia Inc (FACCWA) under the leadership of Mr. Marino Salinas, its president.  

FILCCA was the offshoot of the first national conference held in Victoria in 1990 which envisaged  the formation of a national body that will initiate  policy changes, provision of services and program development and respond to the needs of specific target groups such as youths, children, women and elderly. 


Guests speakers have been  invited from government agencies and business sectors to address delegates and participants on the welfare and issues relevant to the Filipino Australian  communities. 


The Keynote speaker of the 12th FILCCA national conference was Hon. Donna Faragher MLC, Parliamentary secretary to the Premier of WA and member for the East Metropolitan Region, who welcomed the delegates from the different Filipino community councils of Australia.  


Other speakers were:  Hon Michelle Roberts, MLA Shadow Minister for Police;  Road Safety; Crime Prevention and Tourism who articulated the strengthening the partnership between Australian and the Filipino community and Mr Jose Maria Montelibano, journalist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer who tackled ‘How can overseas Filipinos make a difference to the Motherland.’

FILCCA delegates coming from the  different states of Victoria.


Topics discussed at the workshops were: Family and community relationship; Migration and settlements issue, Family migration’ Setting up cooperatives and Youth volunteerism  


The highlight of the conference was the FILCCA Awards night which aims to raise the profile of the Filipino-Australian community and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Filipino in Australia.   

Delegates from the Filipino Community  Council of Victoria (FCCVI). One of the largest contingents.


The Filipino-Australian of the year went to Rodolfo Gomez from South Australia. 


Filipino Australian  Achiever Award: Pablo Javier (NSW); Rodolfo Gomez (SA); Dante Maribay (WA);  Erwin Cabucos  (QLD) and Nestor Fuertes (VIC).


Leadership Award:  Carmelita Baltazar (WA); Mena Edmonstone (QLD); Perlita Swinbank (ACT); Norma Serrano (VIC) and Lourdes Kaiser (NSW).


Youth Achievement Award:  Natasha Thiele and Genevieve De La Pena (VIC) . 


Outstanding Community Award: Sto Nino de Filipinas of South Australia Inc. (SA); Philippine Cordilleras Association, NSW Inc. (NSW; Philippine Australian Medical Association (NSW); FILCOMSPORTS Club (ACT), Filipino Australian Care Trusts (QLD); Filipino  Australian Club of Perth (WA) and Philippine Fiesta of Victoria (VIC). 


The conference was formally closed by a community BBQ party tendered by FCCWA. 


CulmInating the national  conference was a community barbecue hosted by the Filipino Community Council of Western Australia Inc. (FCCWA).