The Bayanihan Australia Community Network Inc. (BACNI) held its final Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Reynaldo’s Restaurant in North Melbourne on 27 August 2017.

After the reading of the previous minutes and presentation of Report of Activities and Financial Report, the last order of business was the winding up of BACNI as an incorporated association.

BACNI chairperson Mila Cichello moved that “having achieved its Strategic Goals, completed its community objectives and met due legal responsibilities, BACNI wind up as an incorporated association in accordance with its Constitution”. The motion was seconded by Roseanne Misajon. No one objected and therefore, the motion was carried.

“We thank you for sharing this wonderful bayanihan journey with us: this has been challenging but rewarding and fun from 2005 to 2017,” said Mila Cichello.

Cichello clarified that the Bayanihan Founding members knew that the organisation had specific goals within a set time.

BACNI was formed by a group of Filipinos and Australians as a non-profit community volunteer organisation on 13 November 2005 to meet the urgent need for skilled younger leaders and in response to changing needs of local Filipino communities in Victoria.

The group led a series of community discussions that highlighted community issues in aged care, youth programs, family support, settlement services and responsible leadership that will carry through future generations. The founding members committed to promote Filipino values, build Australia as their home and embrace other migrants as fellow citizens.

“We have already achieved the 10-year Strategic Plan such as the academic research on ageing Filo seniors, lobby and raise the Filo profile with government departments and win government funding for Filipino elderly in metro region — channelled thru FCCV in 2005 and 2008 and for Geelong Filo seniors, through the Australian Multicultural Community Services,” Cichello said.

She added that BACNI also raised the cultural profile of Filos with the Victorian State government, Melbourne City Council, Arts Victoria, Federation Square and other mainstream agencies.

Cichello further said that during the ten years that BACNI has been in operation, they did regular work with government departments — proactive frequent meetings with Immigration, VMC ethnic community leaders, Health Dept, etc.; driving elders to community consultations especially in rural areas, volunteered to compile statistics, write submissions at night for Parliamentary Enquiries such as the grandparent carers.

“It’s time for BACNI members to reclaim family time and pursue other ventures,” Cichello said.

After the AGM, the officers and members shared lunch to celebrate a milestone that marks the end of the group as an incorporated association.

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