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Ronald L. Gatbonton: A Pillar of Health and Community Engagement

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Ronald L. Gatbonton stands as a beacon of dedication, seamlessly blending his extensive experience in nursing, finance, and real estate. A graduate of the Angeles University Foundation with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2006), Ronald also holds a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking Management, illustrating his versatile expertise.

In the healthcare sector, Ronald has been a registered nurse at Sutherland Hospital since 2013, where he has consistently provided quality care and patient education. His commitment to the nursing profession extends to his role as a clinical nurse facilitator and educator since 2019, both at Sutherland Hospital and the Australian College of Nursing. Here, he trains and assesses aspiring nurses, fostering the next generation of healthcare professionals. His professional skills in team management, critical thinking, problem-solving, and mentorship have been instrumental in his success and influence in the nursing field.

Beyond healthcare, Ronald manages a multi-state real estate portfolio and serves as a director for Filomates Pty Ltd, an online community for Filipinos in Australia. His multifaceted career is a testament to his ability to excel in diverse fields, leveraging his knowledge and skills to make a positive impact.

Ronald’s dedication to community service is equally commendable. As a NSW Justice of the Peace, he provides invaluable services to the community. His contributions to the local business landscape were recognized when he was named a finalist in the 2024 Local Business Awards.

In his role as FiND Kalinga’s Cultural Health Champion, Ronald exemplifies the spirit of resilience and service. His mission to educate, motivate, and empower clients aligns perfectly with the goals of the FiND Network. Through exceptional service, Ronald strives to make positive changes in both the company and the lives of the individuals he serves.

Ronald L. Gatbonton is not just a professional; he is a dedicated community leader, an inspiring educator, and a passionate advocate for positive change. His journey and achievements inspire many, embodying the core values of excellence, dedication, and service. Below is the transcript of the interview.

Ronald L Gatbonton
Ronald L Gatbonton

Integrated financial strategy with compassionate healthcare delivery

My journey through finance and nursing during the pandemic has profoundly influenced my perspective on personal and professional growth. The pandemic has underscored one undeniable truth: life is short, and circumstances can change unexpectedly. This period has taught me the importance of pursuing what truly brings joy – hobbies, travel, friendships, aspirations, and the advocacy that I hold dear.

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This realization has also highlighted an often-overlooked topic among Filipinos: mental health and mindfulness. While we diligently focus on earning and saving, we sometimes forget that life is fleeting. It’s crucial to balance our ambitions with a mindful approach to our well-being, ensuring we don’t miss out on the moments that truly matter.

Financial stability through enhanced literacy fosters community resilience

In my view, living in Australia is a blessing, especially with access to free healthcare. However, many of us support family members overseas who have lost their livelihoods or faced hefty medical bills. A key takeaway from the pandemic is that nothing is certain or secure. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or asset-rich in the private sector, we’re all interconnected and equally affected. It’s wise to be financially prepared and maintain an emergency fund, not only for personal security but also to extend a helping hand to others in need.

Navigating cultural health needs with dual-role expertise 

Filipinos are renowned for their resilience and strong community ties, which have been significantly impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who complied with restrictions, the inability to gather as frequently strained relationships led to feelings of depression, mental health challenges, and homesickness. On the other hand, non-compliance contributed to the spread of infection and additional complications arising from the virus.

Harnessing cultural strengths for resilient health strategies ahead

Having worked on the front lines during COVID-19, I’ve gleaned several key lessons for our community. Effective community engagement and information dissemination are crucial. Our Filipino community is diverse and segmented into various niche and sub-region groups. Establishing key contacts within these groups to act as influencers can significantly enhance the spread of information and initiatives.

Filipinos are highly active on social media, which is a strength we can leverage. By serving as ambassadors for health promotions, we can effectively support national government responses to crises. The spirit of bayanihan, or communal unity, is intrinsic to us. We can establish community pantries and local support networks to aid struggling fellow countrymen during trying times.

As a health professional and advocate of financial literacy, I am committed to positioning myself as an educator and innovator. I will support and lead programs or projects that are rolled out to address challenges, ensuring the Filipino-Australian community is resilient and well-prepared for any future pandemics.

FiND Kalinga is a project supported by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA) through its COVID-19 Small Grants Projects. For more information about the FiND Kalinga, visit www.findkalinga.net.

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