By Mila Cichello
PHILIPPINE DELEGATION TO MELBOURNE
A Philippine Delegation headed by Secretary Celia Yangco visited Melbourne for the International Federation on Ageing 10th Global Conference held at the new spectacular Melbourne Convention Centre between 2- 7 May 2010. Secretary Yangco has clocked over 40 years of service with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). She presented the Philippine government’s ongoing legislation and programs for Filipino senior citizens at the all-day Senior Government Officials meeting on Day 1. Delegates Nicanor Sanchez presented on carers issues, Violeta Cruz on Filipino aged care homes, May Yoingco on transitions for older Filipino women and Francis Kupang on the work of Coalition of Services for the Elderly. The delegates attended the monthly meeting of Bayanihan Australia community Network Inc (BACNI) in its office in Melbourne CBD. Over a happy and noisy dinner, BACNI briefed DSWD officials of the generous work of various Victorian associations in helping the Philippines, including a deaf mission, provincial schools, scholarships and Golden Acres Elderly Home. From the restaurant to the hotel, the enthusiastic discussions on coordinating overseas disaster responses, avoiding red tape, accountability for donations and sustainability of fundraising efforts continued until late – the positive outcome was the agreement to explore grassroots projects between Philippine and Australian groups. The delegates’ trip was capped with a sightseeing trip around Melbourne on the Thursday, thanks to the generosity of Terry and Boy Apines from Circulo Capizeno Club of Victoria Inc.
MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS
A group of interested individuals organised a Mother’s Day Lunch and Community Aged Care Forum for 9 May 2010. There was a clear message from those who attended, those who gave input in writing and by phone that the broader community was sick of Philippine-style politicians in Filo associations. The forum focused on aged care research and safeguarding elderly services- in line with the Filipino Community aged care plan that BACNI had started in Boronia in 2009. Minutes of the public forum will be available through designated contact Mr Ernie Demate JP two weeks from the forum.
On the same day, the Pilipino Elderly Association of South East Region Inc (PEASER) held its annual Mothers Day Flores De Mayo Festival at Clarinda. Funded by local Government Councils, PEASER has been successfully running a Sunday Seniors Activities and a Culturally Appropriate Meals Program every fortnight for Filipino seniors living in the Kingston and the Monash municipalities.
Rural associations remain active: the Filipino Australian Association of Ballarat Inc (FAABI) will hold a rural Santacruzan in Ballarat, 6:00 pm -midnight on 29 May 2010. With Philippine Independence Day once again upon us, FAFA Geelong will hold a Phil Independence Day Dance for rural families on 12 June at 6:30 pm. The Centre for Philippine Concerns Australia (CPCA) will hold free “Filipino Fiesta @ Knox City” 10:30 am- 4 pm, at St Jude’s Parish Hall, Scoresby. Entry is free.
ANOTHER FUNDING FOR CPCA
Good news! The Federal Minister for Ageing announced the results of the Dementia Funding Round by the Department of Health & Ageing, and it included CPCA. This is the second dementia approval for CPCA – in this round, the project will look at dementia among Filipino seniors, their carers and culturally specific tools to help families and service providers. CPCA has been expanding its range of family services in the South Eastern and Gippsland Regions. CPCA’s ongoing projects include the Community Partners Program (CPP) which provides cultural briefings to aged care providers, and Home & Community Care (HACC) funded Community Care Kitchen every Tuesday in Doveton where carers learn to cook Filipino food, with help from Nanay Ching Chavarria and CPCA worker Oscar. CPCA also now runs the CPCA Financial Literacy Program for Youth with mentoring advice from older BACNI members.