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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Filipino-Australians vying for various Local Council positions in Victoria

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Victoria will have Local Council Elections on October 24, 2020.

A record number of Filipino-Australians are vying for representation in various Victorian Council elections this year.

There is a growing Filipino community in Victoria and there is a need for more Filipino-Australians to represent the community in local government.

There is a need for more Filos to become active citizens leading in the Filipino associations, in migrant groups and the local community.

The candidates are seeking the support of  the Filipino Community in Victoria, Australia and everywhere.

Here are ways you can help:

  • Vote [1] for them if you are in their Ward
  • Ask friends and family to  Vote [1] for them
  • Spread the word of their candidacy to your networks
  • Pray for them to be elected
  • Donate to their campaign

Joe Aguilus

Candidate for Meadow Valley Ward,
Hume City Council

Joe Aguilus is a successful leader, businessman and academic. He is a published author and holder of numerous qualifications. 

During his ten years living in Broadmeadows, he has always fully participated in the community. He is a candidate for the Meadow Valley Ward.

Vision

• To make the Hume City Council safe, sustainable and successful

• To create a modern, vibrant and inclusive community, embracing multiculturalism, diversity and positivity

• To help families, especially those in need

• To attract investors, generate jobs and stimulate growth and prosperity through modern infrastructure.

Background

Joe, a Migration Agent, has successfully run a migration and education consulting agency (i.e. Aguilus Solutions). In 2019, he published – ‘The Secret of IELTS Success.’ Specifically, it looked to solve the problems faced by people wishing to migrate to Australia and other English-speaking nations. He later wrote ‘Choosing the best registered migration agent for you,’ with an aim to protect the public against unscrupulous practices. 

Joe also participated with the Department of Home Affair’s discussion paper – ‘Creating a world class migration advice industry.’ The aim was to create a safe and equitable environment whilst maintaining the highest level of professionalism. 

To further help the community, Joe sits as a Non-Executive Board member with a non-for-profit community and refugee services. He has worked with different agencies and has volunteered in several capacities. 

He urges voters to ask the hard questions and demand greater accountability from public officials. He is passionate for public service. 

Faced with the Covid-Pandemic, he adds, “It is imperative for leaders to step up and ensure that no one is left behind. We need people who are willing to stand up and do what must be done, for the greater good.”

Learn more about Joe Aguilus and what he can do as Councillor for the Hume City Council. Visit Facebook@aguilussolutions.com.au.

Sam Alcordo

Candidate for Simpson Ward,
Whitehorse Council

Sam Alcordo has lived in Vermont for the last 16 years now. For Sam, Vermont is a great place to raise a family.

His three children completed their primary years in the local state schools and have played with Vermont Vultures for nearly all their growing years.

Sam migrated to Australia after 14 years living in Germany where he finished secondary school and earned his qualifications as a Chef and in hotel management. He worked in some of the best hotels in Germany, Asia and Australia, and is now enjoying sharing his skills and experiences as a teacher.

Community involvement

  • Board of Management — Neighbourhood House Box Hill South
  • School Council — Rangeview Primary School
  • Team Manager — Vermont Vultures Basketball Team
  • Board of Management — in charge of members Integration of Mitcham Baptist Church
  • Active Fundraiser — mission team of Mitcham Baptist Church
  • Active involvement in Community Sunday Afternoon Tea with Vermont neighbours
  • Donor — “A Cuppa for Teachers” for Rangeview, Vermont and St. James Primary Schools (in cooperation with Rise & Grind coffee shop)

Other community campaigns

  • Petition for the retention of the community phone booth at corner Beddoe Street and Centre Road.
  • Petition for an off-leash dog park in Vermont. Outcome was an excellent result from like-minded petitioners for this idea.
  • Petition for Free Car parking for Healthcare Workers of Box Hill Hospital.

Learn more about Sam and what he can do for Whitehorse Council. Mobile: 0492 953 499 | Email: samalcordo@optusnet.com.au

Ricardo Buensuceso IV

Candidate for Springvale North Ward,
Greater Dandenong Council

  • Springvale resident 
  • 14 years of experience as Welding Professional
  • President of Welders Group of the Philippines with 200,000 members

Vision

Ricardo’s vision for Springvale North Ward is to be a place that is welcoming where all residents feel belonging and have equal access to services and opportunities. 

He wants to see the Council build a socially and economically inclusive community, introduce a social procurement policy as well as promote and support community enterprises.

“Together, we can make the City of Greater Dandenong stronger, safer, and fairer for all and for generations to come,” Ricardo said.

Priorities

  • Active Citizenship
  • Social & Economic Inclusion
  • Support Social and Community Enterprises
  • Council to have a Social Procurement Policy
  • Local Jobs for Local Residents
  • Support for Start-ups and Small Businesses
  • Establish co-working spaces

Florence ‘Flo’ Dato

Candidate for Harrison Ward,
Wyndham City Council

  • Local Entrepreneur
  • Community Volunteer
  • Young family of two kids
  • Multicultural Safety Ambassador
  • 10-year Wyndham resident 

Florence Dato is a local entrepreneur, mother of two kids who go to school in Truganina, and volunteer for many community initiatives.

Florence understands the needs of Wyndham City and wants only the best for the community she loves, that’s why she is running for the council elections. She wants to see the council lead the way towards recovering from the pandemic and standing for social and economic inclusion.    

“Our community is growing in size and diversity. It needs opportunities for creating local jobs for residents and enriching our culture for future generations. This means a lot of work needs to be done: supporting education and training for all ages, investing in infrastructure and community safety and strengthening community engagement so that everyone has a sense of belonging and gets an opportunity to contribute to the community. I will deliver the changes our community needs such as more investment in creativity, equal representation of women and minorities, and more bus routes and parking at train stations,” Florence said. 

Florence moved to Wyndham a decade ago from the Philippines and worked in the automotive-warehousing industry at Toyota Australia, Altona. She co-founded the Wyndham Digital Hub Coop which aims to create more local jobs. She also co-founded the Bayanihan for Students and Migrants. She is committee member of The Migrant Hub Inc., one of Multicultural Safety Ambassadors in Victoria, and and active volunteer of the Migrant Workers Solidarity Network.    

“Wyndham needs reliable Councillors who have the vision to build up our community and listen to the community. I want Wyndham City to be stronger, safer and fairer for all and for generations to come. I listen and I want to know more about what you want to see in Wyndham City,” Florence said.    

Community engagement and participation

  • Management Committee Member,
    The Migrant Hub Inc
  • Co-Founder, Wyndham Digital Hub Coop
  • Co-Founder, Bayanihan for Students & Migrants 
  • Multicultural Safety Ambassador, Migrant Workers Centre
  • Volunteer, Migrant Workers Solidarity Network
  • Participant, WorkSafe Community Innovation (CALD communication tool)

Florence’s vision

“My vision for Wyndham is to build a socially and economically inclusive Wyndham community where everyone can belong and be given the opportunity to participate and contribute. Together, we can make Wyndham City stronger, safer, and fairer for all and for generations to come!”

Florence wants to see the council lead the way towards recovering from the pandemic and standing for social and economic inclusion.

It means creating an ideal environment for everyone such as:

  • creation of local jobs for residents 
  • support for education &  training for all ages
  • support for equal representation of women and minorities
  • strengthening community engagement and advocacy for more bus routes and parking at train stations, infrastructure, community safety, and other services or issues that are emerging on our rapidly growing local community

Learn more about Florence Datu and what she can do for Wyndham Council. Email: florencemdato@gmail.com | FB page: Florence Dato- Harrison Ward

Frank Gabriel

Candidate for Grasslands Ward,
Brimbank Council

  • Entrepreneur
  • Active Citizen
  • Healthcare Worker
  • Environmentalist

Local family man

Frank has been a happy resident of Deer Park and St Albans for 18 years with his wife and three children and they all love to call Brimbank home.

Local entrepreneur

Frank had many years of corporate experience overseas handling multi-million dollar transactions. He established and managed his own small business in Brimbank and like many of local entrepreneurs, he knows the pain the pandemic has brought to the local economy.

“I know how hard it is when our local residents lose their jobs. As Councillor, I will work hard to attract more jobs and support local businesses to grow and hire local residents. I will advocate for as many economic benefits for our community as we can get from the North West Melbourne City Deal,” Frank said.

Sports facilities for all ages

Frank founded and co-organised several sports group including basketball, tennis, baseball, chess and billiards. He plans to advocate for more sports facilities for all ages in Grasslands Ward and all of Brimbank 

Champion for multiculturalism

Frank has been an active member of the Filipino community and over many years engaged with many ethnic groups in Brimbank and the western suburbs.

He is a researcher and a historian on aboriginal, Vietnamese and migrant cultures. He speaks a little Spanish and Italian and loves to cook Indian food. He vows to advocate for 70% discount on use of Council facilities by multicultural groups to promote social inclusion and active citizenship.

Healthy living

Frank had 20 years of Nursing experience caring for babies, young people, adults, the elderly, and intellectually challenged. He wants to champion healthy living in Brimbank and will advocate for a Mental Health Nurse for each Ward.

Greening Brimbank

Frank organised the Kororoit Creek Bring a Yellow Bin Plastic Recovery Movement as well as other environmental projects in Brimbank. He wants to make Brimbank the Pines City of Victoria.

Learn more about what Frank Gabriel and what he can do for Brimbank Council. Mobile: 0432 437 593 | Email: fcgabriel@yahoo.com

Rufo Paredes

Candidate for Yarraville Ward,
Maribyrnong Council

  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Community Volunteer
  • Events Organiser 
  • 24 years Kingsville Resident
  • Husband, Father, Grandpa, Friend 

Achievements

  • Melbourne St Claire Reunion Lodge Worshipful Master Freemasons Victoria 2018-2021 
  • United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Victoria Member 2010-2020
  • Filipino Australian Foundation Inc. Lifetime Member
  • Filipino Australian Sports Association Founder 
  • Filipino Community Council of Victoria Vice-Chairperson
  • Migrant Resource Centre Westgate Management Committee
  • Migration Agent 1999
  • Volunteers Meritorious Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs 2001 & 2004
  •  Certificate of Appreciation – International Year of Volunteers 2001
  •  Other Awards & Recognition

Advocacies

  • Social and Economic Inclusion 
  • Support Business And Other Economic Activities Base On Development Of Innovative Projects That Are Focus On Medium And Small Scale Enterprise 
  •  Promote A Tourism Program That Will Highlight Yarraville Cultural Mix, Food, Shopping Facilities And It’s Proximity To The CBD And Docklands Area
  •  Improve Sanitation And Beautification Of Yarraville Ward
  •  Prioritise Local Jobs First Policy

Learn more about Rufo Paredes and what he can do for Maribyrnong Council. Mobile: 0457 100 593 | Email: paredesrufo@yahoo.com.au

Rafael Parolma II

Candidate for Taylors Ward,
Brimbank Council

Advocacies

  • More Local Jobs for Local Residents
  • No Toxic Soil Dumping in Brimbank
  • More car parking at Train Stations
  • Rebates from Rates for Seniors
  • More Support for Business Startups and Small Businesses
  • More Trees

Rafael Parolma II is a community resident with fresh ideas. He has lived and worked in the Middle East, Africa and Europe before migrating to Australia and has been living in the Brimbank community with his family for more than 20 years. He is a passionate resident of his community who believes in fair go for all.

Advocating sustainable practices

Through his own practices, Rafael has developed a simple innovative water recycling system to ensure minimum water wastage throughout his home and garden and has shared and encouraged others in his community with budget and easy sustainable practices. He hopes to create more green public spaces for families.

Advoacating for a diverse community

As a person who has embraced and experienced living in different cultural settings, Rafael sees the tremendous value of cultural diversity and the richness it has brought to Brimbank. He has been involved in fundraising during diversity celebration events such as Filipino Fiesta and believes in multiculturalism to encourage harmony and help bridge the gap.

Advocating for education

Rafael is an avid volunteer for local schools in fundraising events for the community. He strongly believes in quality education and family values. He knows that improving school programs will produce well-rounded students.

Vision

Simple, attainable goals to create a more sustainable future for Brimbank.

Learn more about Rafael Palorma II and what he can do for Brimbank Council. Visit his Facebook account.

Walter Villagonzalo

Candidate for Chaffey Ward,
Wyndham City Council

  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Full-time Councillor
  • Community Volunteer
  • Innovator / Reformer
  • 32 years Wyndham resident
  • Husband, father, grandpa, friend

A full-time community volunteer for over 20 years, Walter Villagonzalo received in 2015 Wyndhams Community Engagement Award and was named Citizen of the Year.

Walter became a Councillor in 2016 and Deputy Mayor in 2018. A 32-year resident of Woodville, Hoppers Crossing with his wife, son, four daughters, and soon six grandchildren, he migrated from the Philippines with a strong background in military, information technology, insurance, business and community engagement. 

A social entrepreneur by training and practice, Walter organised The Migrant Hub based in Werribee which operated a community café and provided short term accommodation to more than 1,000 asylum seekers. He received the Project Achievement Award from the School for Social Entrepreneurs and received in 2016, the Social Enterprise Champion Award from Social Traders. 

“With me as Chair of the Future Focused Economy Portfolio, Council achieved a lot. We passed and are now implementing our social procurement policy, social and economic inclusion framework, Wynnovation Festival and Pitch Competition, Innovation Hub and Co-Working Space program, an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund, Innovate to Excellerate and many more programs to support our start-ups and small businesses to grow and create more local jobs,” Walter said.

Walter wants to continue the work he has been doing to promote social and economic inclusion, active citizenship, a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, support start-ups and small businesses, build more social and community enterprises, and create more local jobs.

He wants to see Wyndham become a hub for call centres – a centre for innovation and research on waste and recycling and host for large scale solar farms and additional millions of trees to increase our tree canopy cover, become carbon neutral, and create more local jobs for local residents. 

Walter vows to continue to serve the residents of Wyndham with integrity.

Achievements

  • President, The Migrant Hub Inc
  • Wyndham’s Citizen of the Year 2015
  • Community Engagement Award 2015
  • Councillor, Wyndham City 2016-present
  • Deputy Mayor 2018-2019
  • Chair, Future Focused Economy Portfolio
  • Deputy Chair, Smart City Portfolio
  • Deputy Chair, Environment & Sustainability
  • Member, Ministerial Council for Volunteers
  • Member, Victorian Multicultural Commission Regional Advisory Council
  • Several Volunteer Awards
  • Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International
  • Fellow, School for Social Entrepreneurs 2010
  • Australia’s Social Enterprise Champion 2016
  • Director, Multicultural Consulting Services
  • Director, Co-Farming Hub Pty Ltd
  • Co-Founder, Wyndham Digital Hub Coop
  • Graduate, Wyndham Building Blocks

Advocacies

  • Local Jobs for Local Residents
  • Growing a Culture of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • More Co-Working & Innovation Hubs
  • Social & Economic Inclusion
  • Social Procurement
  • Active Citizenship
  • Building Capacity of Cooperatives & Community Enterprises
  • 1 Million Trees for Wyndham
  • Wyndham – A Solar City
  • Wyndham – A Hub for Call Centres
  • Wyndham – A Centre for Research & Innovation
  • Community Benefits Agreement for Infrastructure Projects

Learn more about what Walter can do for Wyndham City Council. Mob: 0422 452 019 | email: wv@tpg.com.au

Melba Cabato Waugh

Candidate for Chaffey Ward,
Wyndham Council

  • Australia Post Licensee/ Entrepreneur
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Community and Church Leader /Volunteer
  • 27 years Resident of Wyndham
  • Married to Robert Waugh (Hoppers Crossing Bowling Club)
  • Children attended Cambridge Primary School and the Grange P12

Melba Cabato Waugh has lived Wyndham City for 27 years. She has seen Wyndham transformed from paddocks into a booming, fast-growing and dynamic city. Along with that transformation was the influx of residents from various cultural. professional and business backgrounds.

“Wyndham needs a Council whose composition reflects the needs, aspirations and dreams of this new and diverse community. I believe I can be that voice in the Council to represent the Chaffey Ward residents. Through regular community engagements, we can shape the future of Wyndham,” Melba said.

Having migrated from the Philippines, Melba first worked with Australia Post Retail and later became a licensee of multiple Post Offices. She received various awards for being Australia Post’s Best in the Network, Best in Customer Service and Community Engagement, and Excellence in Sales.

Melba’s career background has been varied. She was Regional Director of Fiber Industry Development Authority, a government agency under

the Philippine Department of Agriculture. She was also a University Lecturer and manager of College Assurance Plan company.

Ever since she landed in Australia, she has been actively involved in community programs and activities in her capacity as Chairperson, Committee Member, or volunteer to name a few.

She was Chairperson for the Cultural Display, Philippine Pavillion during the Melbourne International Folkfest in the 1990s. She was also Chairperson of the Philippine Princess Committee for the Philippine Australian Foundation. She has been a recipient of many community awards for her involvement.

Currently, Melba is the President of a charity organisation called Bridge Builders for Australasia (BBFA), and Treasurer for the Australian Council for Multicultural Entrepreneurs (ACME). She is also actively involved in church as a member of the Oversight Committee for West City Christian Church.

“My professional background can attest to my ability to engage with a variety of people. My involvement in community groups speaks of my unselfish desire to bring about change. better quality of life, the inclusion of and engagement with different sectors of the community to listen to their needs, aspirations, and dreams for their families, the community and for Wyndham as a whole,” Melba said.

If elected, Melba will advocate for the active promotion of Wyndham as a tourist destination for regional and international tourists.

“Wyndham has a lot to offer to satisfy the senses of tourists. We have the Werribee Mansion and the Open Range Zoo, the Victoria State Rose Garden, Local Winery, Werribee Races, Equestrian Centre, Harbour Marina, Werribee Vegetable Gardens, Point Cook Coastal Park, RAAF Museum, etc.,” Melba said.

“This can be a recovery measure to help boosts the sales revenue of our local businesses such as restaurants, retail shops, accommodation venues. local tourist guides and local transport services,” Melba added.

She also wants to promote an annual 3-day Multicultural Folkfest event in Wyndham to celebrate the diverse culture of its residents. According to Melba, the festival will showcase different cultural shows with music, dancing, fashion, crafts display and sales, food and drinks stalls.

“This event will be a way to foster unity in diversity, a better understanding of other races and culture, and a way to harness the talents of our youth and keep them connected to their own roots and identity as they build their new identity in this country. When our youths experience a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose, crime and lawlessness will be eradicated,” Melba said.

Melba promised to be supportive of the advocaies of other elected councillors in terms of making Wyndham a manufacturing hub to create local jobs, a business hub, incentives for start-ups, create safer communities through Neighborhood Watch, youth programs for upskilling especially in technology, sports and recreation, aged care support services, active and healthy lifestyle, well-maintained parks and open spaces, a greener Wyndham, more free parking areas near train stations, centre for innovation and research, host for solar farms and hub for call centres.

” I will serve the Wyndham Council and the people according to Christian priciples and values with honesty and integrity,” Melba said.

Learn more about what Melba Cabato Waugh can do for Wyndham Council. Mobile: 0403 007 950 | Email: melba_waugh@hotmail.com.


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