by Nenita Lopez
Thanksgiving at the Consulate Sydney
Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis held a thanks giving at the consulate to thank all the hardworking volunteers who work very hard for the preparation of the recent visit of President of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Aquino 111 .
At the thanksgiving we also farewelled a long time Consulate staff member Ceres Mateo, who has been in the Consulate for more than five years and was responsible for all Consulate administration and management. Ceres was a hard worker and a good friend.
Thanks giving at the Philippine Consulate Sydney with Volunteers
President Ninoy’s Australian visit on October 26, 2012 headed
by Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Marford.
Couples for Christ Central West
Yours truly hosted the Couples for Christ prayer with many in attendance. Newly arrived Filipinos in Central West were welcome especially, Nida and Ariel Vicente, Sally and Raul Dimalaluan and Hennie Buckley. We also welcome Lithgow supporter Rebecca Collins. The prayer was meaningful and those who attended were entertained with the usual gourmet feast prepared by my husband who offered to cook for a change. The forthcoming Christmas party was discussed and we are calling everyone to attend this special prayer group’s Christmas party.
Attending the Couples for Christ house prayer at my home:
(l-r) Rebecca, Grace, Neng, Vacion, Marilyn, Letty, Annalyn,
Ron, Henie, Linda, Raul, Sally, Elmer, Ariel and Nida.
Diversity, Reality and Racism
I recently returned from the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) conference held in Adelaide on 23rd-25th November 2012. The theme for this year’s conference was DIVERSITY = REALITY, STOP RACISM, which showcased the rich diversity of the ethnic and multicultural community broadcasting sector and investigated solutions and strategies for the ongoing challenges of racism. It explored how leadership, policies, active grassroots communities and the ethnic community broadcasting sector all play a pivotal role in promoting social cohesion and combating racism.
Keynote speaker includes UNCLE Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien also known as “Uncle Lewis” and is an esteemed Aboriginal Elder. Another prominent speaker was the Senator and the Hon Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industry and Innovation. She outlined major issues of diversity and racism.
Conference Speakers also include Dr Helen Szoke the Australian race Discrimination Commissioner. She believes racism and race hate to be alive and well with 473 cases being referred to her office last year. She pointed out that every citizen has responsibilities under the Racial Discrimination Act, and is promoting the ‘Racism Stops with Me’ campaign, and is particularly concerned with abuse on social media, racial or otherwise which has unfortunately been exposed in Bathurst.
Another speaker was Judge Rauf Soulio, OAM, Judge of the District Court of South Australia, and an Australian Multicultural Council, Chair (South Australia). He emphasised that multiculturalism in Australia is a reality, not just an idea with 60 of population growth coming from overseas. Diversity is the new defining strength of Australia, with nearly 90% of immigrants over the last ten years feeling Australia is their home.
So by and large immigrants are accepted as assets to the country. But racism certainly exists, much of it is due to fear and set off by specific incidents. I have seen Filipino women abused in a local pub because of a simple misunderstanding. Much of the racism comes from drunks and uneducated misinform, who are afraid they will lose their jobs or have to change their way of life, but the callers on talk back radio, who appear to be better educated are still quite poisonous in their views of immigrants
None of us like racist jokes and attacks, but there are more subtle form of racism in the form of denial of opportunity. Many immigrants are employed far below their levels of competence, after being denied employment or promotion on the unspoken grounds of their race. I know an Asian doctor, who claims the only way to get ahead is to always be much better at your job than white Australians. I fear he is right, and this kind of issue is very hard to address, but it is of concern to all of us, so do not discriminate against others, and speak up against any discrimination against yourself.
Attending the NEMBC Gala Dinner in Adelaide:
(l-r) Yours Truly (NSW), Giuseppe Parissi (ACT),
Ian Stanistreet (Director CBAF), and Russell Anderson
(Executive & Policy Officer NEMBC)
NEMBC conference welcome reception held at 5EBI Radio Station.
(l-R) ProfessorTangi Steen ( President NEMBC),
Adrian Basso (President of CBAA), Barbara Baxter and Nenita
Multicultural radio conference Adelaide with Nimm (ACT),
Nenita (NSW), Giuseppe (ACT) and Marcela Paez (NSW).
With the Hon. Senator Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport,
Multicultural Affairs and Industry & Innovation
with NEMBC Women’s committee and other conference
delegate Australia wide at the Grand Chifley Hotel Adelaide.
At the National Ethnic Multicultural
Broadcasting Conference (NEMBC) with
Luchi Santer from Darwin representative.
With conference speaker Dr helen Szoke,
Australian Race Discrimination Commisioner.
Finding my long lost cousins, Nemo style
While at Sydney recently accompanying my husband who attended a “Team Building Workshop” at the Wentworth Hotel at the Quay, I amused myself in visiting new and old shopping areas in the big City. At David Jones store I stumbled into a couple of Filipinos wandering around the store just like me. We started having a conversations while checking out the stores’ bargains. There was a feeling of closeness when the two started asking my name and where I came from. This was not surprising as it emerged they were actually my cousins Emma and Lisa Lopez. What an amazing coincidence!
with my cousins Emma and Lisa Lopez meeting
and shopping at David Jones Sydney
PCC NSW Christmas Party
The PCC’s Board’s Christmas party was held at Marivic Manalo’s home in Rouse Hill. It was a very pleasant evening, where we reminisced about the triumphs and tribulations of the last year and made plans for next year’s elections. We all appreciated President Atoy’s strength and leadership in a year of many calamities, where we did our best to alleviate suffering in our homeland.
Attending the PCC-NSW Christmas party at Marivic Manalo’s
residence: (l-r): Robert Bock, Tess Sayas, Yours Truly,
Dr Ophee de Vera, Mercy Jones, PCC-NSW Pres. Mr Atoy Sayas,
Millie Bannan, Seville Swadling and Mao de Vera
The Tyranny of Distance
A few months ago Filipinos in Bathurst were pleased to hear of their new daily train service to Sydney, which enables us to make day trips for shopping in the big smoke. It is nicknamed the Bathurst Bullet, in a mocking Australian way, as it is far from bullet-like, taking three and a half hours to get to Sydney. But it is clean, comfortable and quiet, when it is running that is.
So far we have experienced two engine failures and track repairs resulting in a horrendous bus trip from Sydney, where the air conditioning failed and the coach broke down in the Blue Mountains. Transport in Australia is appalling, State governments just cannot get it right, even the ticket machines did not work, so many travelled for free. Go to Zurich or Singapore to see what can be done. We are light years behind, and the roads are so congested it took nearly an hour to travel to the CBD by car from 6kms out of the City.