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Fil-Aussie candidates in NSW council elections


By Nonoy Perdon – FOR THE FIRST TIME in Australia, four Filipino Australians were preselected by a major political party to run in one city council election.  It is a good chance for first time candidates solicitor Linda Santos and businessman-engineer Frederick Brillo running in their respective council ward line up while seasoned candidates Councillor Jess Diaz and son and solicitor Jayme Diaz also run in two other council wards, all in Blacktown City.

This year,  more qualified Filipino Australian migrants appear to have thrown their hat in the coming local election on September 10, six in the Blacktown City Council, one candidate each in Campbelltown City and in Temora council in country  New South Wales.

The patient wait by Filipino Australians to see more and more empowered Filipino descent migrants in local government councils maybe actually fulfilled this year with candidates of different persuasions coming to be counted as elective officials in the local level.

Judging by their qualifications in the 2016 candidates may actually produce possibly half a dozen new aldermen in New South Wales.

This paper has identified at least  eight Filipino Australians who are candidates in the 10 September in elections in NSW, mostly administered  by the NSW  Electoral Commission with some by the large councils themselves such as the Fairlfield City Council and the Penrith City Council, on a single day on 10 September.

In  Blacktown area,  the candidates are solicitor and sitting Blacktown councillor Jess Diaz (Liberal),  Jess’ son and solicitor Jayme Diaz (Liberal),  local Blacktown Labor Party stalwart Ms Carol Israel(Labor), Doonside businesswoman Fe Hayward (Independent),  solicitor Linda Geronimo Santos (Independent),  and another Blacktown businessperson Mr. Frederick Brillo, Liberal.

Candidates Jess Diaz, Jayme Diaz, Linda Santos and Frederick Brillo  were preselected by a major political party.

In Campbelltown, IT professional and former president of Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC-NSW) Mr Rey Manoto is ideally suited to fare better as local Labor Party candidates, following his candidacy  in previous council election as relatively new politician then.  Manoto  ran previously under the line up of then Councillor and subsequently elected Member for Macquarie Fields  Mr. Anoulack Chantivong.

Recently Mr Manoto had been busy in pre-poll campaigning and one can notice his recent  Facebook public service posting explaining the voting procedure of “writing above the line” intended for the less informed voters. Ms Irene Broad is an independent candidate for a council  seat in Temora Council in country NSW.

In 2004, she earned the distinction as the first Filipino Australian elected in Australia.  Ms Broad lost in the last council election but is believed to be a strong candidate this time.

Blacktown City councillor Mr Jess Diaz is seen to  have strong chances because of his local pre-eminence in Liberal Party branch. He was a perennial contender for mayor of Blacktown City council which chooses among its rank the city mayor every year.

Veteran  Sydney solicitor and migration agent Ms Linda Geronimo Santos appear ripe toward a political role in the community after decades of service to the legal profession.

Solicitor Mr Jayme Diaz can also be regarded as strong candidate. He  twice ran for the Federal seat of Greenway losing by slim margins and now has moved as  candidate for the council. Solicitor Linda Geronimo Santos is an acknowledged immigration lawyer in Western Sydney.

Doonside Real estate business owner  Fe Hayward, independent, is  considered a dark horse and maybe a surprise in this election. As owner of a business named after herself.  Ms. Hayward virtually had strong brand recall in her electorate..

Businessman Frederick Brillo who is engineer by profession said preselection by a major political party for council election presents real chance contribute something tangible to the community. Brillo said his business experience had enabled him to be aware and “close to the ground:” so they say as far as community issues are concerned.