Filipino community leaders try to step up to LGA posts

By Nonoy Perdon LINGUA FRANCA – What lies ahead of seasoned community leaders who think they still have much to offer after years of service in their respective clubs or the federation of community clubs?
For those who believe they still have gas in the tank, one answer is to step up to a higher level or even bigger arena of service.
Specially during this time of pandemic, the need for leadership goes beyond peak body politics and holding parties and cultural commemoration and certainly beyond predictable leadership elections within their organisations.
Three veteran community leaders who are acknowledged movers in the Filipino community are stepping up and offering themselves to the Blacktown council in NSW.
Blacktown holds the distintion for having the biggest Filipino community in Australia with many second generation Filo-Aussies born or grew up from childhood here.
Mr. Danny Peralta who is head of the Tagalog Association of Australia (TAA), Mr Cesar Bartolome, head of local Knights of Rizal (KOR), and Dorothy del Villar, president of Association of Golden Australiana and Pilipinos, Inc (AGAPI) are running as candidates in council wards in Blacktown.
Two previous heads of Philippine Communities Council of NSW Atty. Jess Diaz and Mr Rey Manoto have successfully shown the way in Blacktown and Campbelltown, respectively.
The last local government election in NSW was a milestone because seven candidates of Filipino descent won and consequently served as councilors, five in Blacktown, one in Campbelltown and another in Hornsby.
Although three sitting Blacktown councilors are not running this year, three prominent community leaders are stepping up and offering themselves for service. There are quite a number of seasoned leaders in the Filipino community who can serve in a wider area such as the LGAs and the multicultural communities.
Past president of the Philippine Communities Council of NSW (PCC-NSW) Mr Relunia of Penrith now serves as member of Penrith City Council Multicultural Leaders Council representing the Filipino community.
Mr Relunia helps deliver much needed government assistance to the multicultural communities specially the elderlies.
For their parts, husband and wife Ruben Amores and wife Dr Cen Amores are now stalwarts in giving assistance to the multicultural communities.
They have established the Auburn Small Community Organisations Network (ASCON) and transitioned themselves into helping the wider migrant community not only the Filipino community. ASCON serves as conduit for a number of communities development projects of local government units in Auburn and surrounding councils, specially those dealing with refugees and recently arrived migrants.
They spearhead the Multicultural Assistance Task Force (MATF) which assists unemployed migrants and international students severely affected by community lockdowns due to the pandemic.
The field of service seems to be wider than community peak body meetings.

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