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Two current Board members of the Philippine Community Council – NSW, Serna Ladia and Arturo Sayas, will contest the association’s top post in Saturday’s (February 11) elections.
The Filipino Australian last night contacted both candidates by email to issue their pre-election statements.
The candidates were asked what they each think is the present biggest challenge facing the Filipino Australian community in New South Wales and if elected, how they plan to address the challenge.
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“As a community, there is a strong need for us to strengthen collaboration, cooperation and complementation (3C’s) not only within our community but also in the mainstream Australian society. There is also a real and urgent need to reach out to the members of our community who do not know about PCC and its objectives. I believe a substantial population of our community exists in regional NSW and also the youth.
“My top priority is to establish/re-establish our linkage/s with the different levels of government in Australia, council, state and federal and also with the Philippine government.
“There is a need to gain access to the different services and information provided and offered by various state and federal government departments like NSW Police, NSW Law access, Department of Immigration and Citizenship amongst others. These information will be made available to affiliates and the Filipino community (through ‘ugnayan’) and guide them how to avail of these services/information.
“It is also part of my program to collaborate and network with other ethnic groups through the Ethnic Community Council (ECC) of New South Wales as ECC provides services to the members of the culturally and linguistically group. In addition, PCC-NSW will tap Community Relations Commission (CRC) who also supports multi-culturalism and young people.
“We will also address the ‘unserved’ populace. We will reach out and network with the Filipino community in the regions. As to the ‘youth’, PCC-NSW will provide forum and youth-related activities that will orient them about PCC –NSW and the Filipino community.
“We also need to enhance collaboration with the Philippine government institutions so PCC-NSW could deliver the services to the proper channel and reach the right stakeholders.”
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“What I consider to be the biggest challenge is harnessing the strengths of the community, specifically the strengths of the various Filipino Australian organizations while respecting their diversity.
“When these strengths are consolidated, the Philippine Community can be a more influential community.
“PCC has the challenge to be the initiating body in creating opportunities for dialogues, forum and collaborated activities and projects. I plan to address this challenge when elected as PCC President.”
The elections will follow an Annual General Meeting to be held at 1.00pm tomorrow, February 11 at the Imperial Hall, Blacktown Showground along Richmond Road, Blacktown.
Community leader and PCC-NSW 2003 president Malyn Chun is the returning officer.
PCC-NSW is the peak body of 55 other affiliated community organisations spread across the state.
In her induction address last year, outgoing president Marivic Manalo committed to “strengthen and empower affiliates by involving them in PCC projects.”