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YG’s Silver Anniversary celebration reflects its generosity and caring values

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Maria Smith
Maria Smith
Maria Smith is the former Chairperson of the Australian Filipino Community Services, a non-profit organisation based in Victoria.

On the 21st of October at the Village Green in Mulgrave, the Young Generation Filipino Senior Citizens Club of the South East (popularly referred to as YG) celebrated its 25 years of generous and caring service to the Filipino-Australian community, attended by over 250 excited YG family and friends, special guests and representatives from community partners.

Following the national anthems and an invocation prayer “I Offer My Life” by the Australian-Filipino Community Services (AFCS) Sayaweh Group, YG President Maria Norma Patrizi acknowledged the presence of Consul-general Maria Lourdes Salcedo, John Pandazopoulos Hall (JPH) Chairperson Brian Oates and the Australian-Filipino Community Services CEO Corina Dutlow. 

President Patrizi also recognised the leadership and commitment of YG founders including former President Demetria ‘Nanay Metring’ Reyes, current Secretary Virginia ‘Tita Gie’ Wright, Vice President Rod Bagon and Treasurer Evelyn Unwin, committee team members Erma Barbaric, Madel Alba, Yolanda Harbinso, Cora Biclar and other selfless volunteers. 

Patrizi also especially thanked Pastor Eric Maliwat “for all his sacrifices, coordination, excellent media and other support, mentoring and art works”. Certainly, she did not forget to thank her husband Renato for his moral support.

 In her news-filled speech, Consul-General Salcedo reiterated the 77-year Philippine-Australian comprehensive-strategic partnership ensuring more opportunities for engagement in the areas of security, modernising the armed forces and economic benefits, and for Filipinos to dig deep into talents and skills to better serve the Filipino community, and consider dual citizenship to enjoy “the best of both worlds”.

Likewise, Con-Gen shared the most recent establishment of the Philippines-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group reflecting the Filipino community’s ongoing presence and relevance in the wider Australian society, and invited everyone to the launching of the “Pasko sa Melbourne” at the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) and the UBE Festival in February 2024 in partnership with the AFCS. Following her speech, Con-Gen officially appointed and led the oath taking of the new YG officers.

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YG member-dancers performed the Paseo de Plaza, Estudyantina, Sa Libis ng Nayon and A Kind of Hush. The Red Carpet Walk from YG birthday celebrant- members dressed in fashionable gowns created an Oscar-awards-atmosphere to the excitement of the audience! There was community dancing, numerous raffle prizes from various donors and pleasantly sufficient food choices.

(L-R) Mr Patrizi, Pres Patrizi, Chair Oates, writer Smith).   Photo: Supplied
(L-R) Mr Patrizi, Pres Patrizi, Chair Oates, writer Smith). Photo: Supplied
YG President Patrizi (right) with ConGen Odette Salcedo
YG President Patrizi (right) with ConGen Odette Salcedo

First YG President (the late Gloria Palma) started YG in 1998 as a social club (The Young at Heart) with the assistance of the Centre for Philippine Concerns Australia (CPCA, now AFCS). Two years after, former President (for 23 years) Mrs Reyes and second President, the late Mr Abelardo Guevarra changed its name to the current one. 

 Elected in 2022 with a big shoe to fill, new President Patrizi reiterated she “will strive to carry on the goals and mission of YG and that is mainly to promote, encourage and enhance the wellbeing of our seniors”, hoping that it will continue to prosper with all the ‘younger generations’ growing “younger with love, peace, unity and grace”. Through the years, YG has made a difference to the lives of our Filipino-Australian seniors and their families through its creative programs, thanks particularly to generous government funding and support of selfless, dedicated volunteers. Long live YG!

Maria Smith
Maria Smith
Maria Smith is the former Chairperson of the Australian Filipino Community Services, a non-profit organisation based in Victoria.

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