Changing of the guard

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Time truly has the power to enact change. A force so strong yet so subtle, it can impose alterations even to the most stable and most established. 

Next year, the Australian Council of Multicultural Entrepreneurs (ACME) will hold an election of officers to lead the business group in Victoria. The change means so much for its current President Jopen Quintero. In her speech during ACME’s 7th anniversary, she advised the members to choose properly when electing an officer. The officers should be honest, reliable and willing to take on responsibilities. A group’s success, she said, lies on doing things correctly from the very start so problems are easier to deal as they come. Truly, the changing of the guard can make or break an organisation. The new people coming in should do better than the previous officers. Practices and systems should be improved and become more effective.

In the case of The Philippine Times, turning 29 years this November, the changing of the guard is more meaningful. Jason Cordi, who has been writing for the paper for several years now, accepted the responsibility from Alice Gregorio-Nicolas as the new Editor-in-Chief.

What does being a “guard” entail in this picture? 

Armed with the symbolic “pen and paper,” along with an inquisitive and analytical mind, a “guard” is essentially the person at the forefront of truth, which coincides with the core principle of The Philippine Times, the institution it represents. Facts, in this context, need not necessarily have to be unbiased to the readers’ expectations, but a “guard” must take careful consideration to take matters in as fair a manner as possible.

In adherence to the mission of The Philippine Times, a “guard” must also live up to the purpose of the community newspaper itself—that is, to focus on the Filipino-Australian community, mould and foster relationships, and ultimately, to shape a united group of people that positively influence all facets of the family, the community, the Church, and the rest of the society in general.

For the seasoned individuals behind The Philippine Times, living up to these ideals do not come easy and effortlessly. Hence, a news publication like it strives to keep its operations afloat, as made possible with a faithful following to the institution’s established values, one which it has been actively doing since 1991. The “guard,” being critical in the operations, work in juxtapose with the publisher towards that goal.

Gregorio-Nicolas, meanwhile, will not necessarily be leaving the scene altogether after she transfers her post as the incumbent Editor-in-Chief. Instead, she will continue to assume the role of a publisher which will oversee the publication’s operations. 

Like what Quintero said, it is important to do the right things from the start. The Philippine Times started out right. From the garage of a Filipino family, friends contributed a few hundred dollars to see its first print. Twenty eight years later, the newspaper is still running. It has become an institution. The changing of the guard will hopefully be an easy one. The challenge for the new editor will always obviously be there. We hope the modern technology is harnessed properly to develop new working practices to incorporate the best of what is old and new.

The operations of The Philippine Times has been the same for 28 years now. We have the right people, the right vision and the right frame of mind to educate, to inspire and to inform. We never fail to think that the newspaper’s existence is to serve its readers.

To the new guard, be a force for truth and inspiration, change and challenge to continue to have a profound social impact to our readers and to the Australian community in general.

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