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Kapit-bahayan Coop gets Community Development Award

Kapitbahayan Kapitbahayan1The Filipino-led and 100 percent tenant voluntarily managed Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Limited (KCL) of Sydney, Australia was awarded by the state peak Common Equity NSW (CENSW) with the Inaugural Community Development Award during its virtual Annual General Meeting on the 21st of November 2020.  The citation reads: “In appreciation and recognition of KCL’s leadership by bringing the community together and inspiring collective action and change”.

The United Nations defines community development as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.”

PHOTO – Main –  Kapit-bahayan Coop members and guests pose during the festive 2019 KCL Christmas Party. Seated on the 2nd row are the special guests (L – R)  Former MP Laurie Ferguson and his wife Maureen Walsh, Common Equity NSW CEO Nick Sable, Phil Consul General Ezzedin Tago, Sydney Alliance Community Organiser Thuy Nguyen and Member for Auburn Lynda Voltz MP  SECOND PHOTO – The smiles on the faces of the Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd’s current Board of Management and the Executive Officers of Common Equity NSW is an evidence of their very successful consultation meeting.

Now in its 25th year of very successful operation, KCL initiated, led and actively participated in collaboration with other coops and community groups in the following community,  social development or capacity-building and empowering activities, programs  and projects:

  1. Organised and mentored other housing coops like the Sedgwick Housing, Guildford Multicultural Seniors Coop and housing for elderly Tamils and Cambodian Karens
  2. Organised and led various other community organisations like multicultural Auburn Small Community Organisation Network (ASCON) Inc, community peak Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc and the neighbourhood charity initiative Multicultural Assistance Task Force.
  3. Featured speakers re KCL and community organising at the Annual Multicultural Community Conferences organised by NSW government and attended by various community organisation leaders throughout the state
  4. Conducted Info briefings and promotional fora on coop housing benefits in various councils and community fora.
  5. Actively participated in the activities and campaigns by Sydney Alliance, Western Sydney Community Forum, social /cause-oriented groups and local government councils
  6. Active membership in, participated and advocated in local government council committees on housing, social and affordable housing and homelessness.
  7. Initiated the organisation of a network of multicultural community organisations, local churches, businesses and private individuals for providing assistance and support to victims of calamities in Australia, the Philippines and other countries including the diverse international students who were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kapit-bahayan Coop has demonstrated time and time again the best qualities of Filipinos in organisational management, community service and good citizenship. In recognition, this coop and its leaders are recipients of many prestigious, meritorious and performance-based awards and recognitions, among them are:

  1. The Philippines’ New Global Heroes Award (Gawad Bagong Bayani) by the Philippines communication conglomerate ABS-CBN and the Ateneo’s social development institute UGAT Foundation (the only Filipino organisation in Southern Hemisphere)
  2. The Philippine Presidential Banaag Award by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas
  3. KCL has consistently received various awards given by the community housing sector on social housing management
  4. KCL Founding President Ruben Amores was awarded the NSW Premier’s Medal for his lifetime of multicultural community service (only Filipino)
  5. Dr Cen Amores was awarded as the NSW Local Woman of the Year by the NSW Premier in recognition and celebration of the outstanding contributions women across NSW make across industry, communities and society
  6. She was awarded the ZEST Most Outstanding Community Volunteer Leader on a Voluntary Capacity for Greater Western Sydney (only Filipino) by Western Sydney Community Forum for her leadership, capacity building and advocacy
  7. She was appointed a People of Australia Ambassador by the Prime Minister in recognition for her outstanding work in building strong and cohesive local communities and in promoting the benefits of multiculturalism (only Filipino)

She was appointed ZEST Ambassador by Western Sydney Community Forum for her leadership, capacity building and partnership contributions to the Community Services Sector of Greater Western Sydney, BY RUBEN AMORES