Kapit-bahayan Coop (NSW Australia): an organisation to be proud of
By Ruben Amores
June 26, 2016
A good organisation response to the actual needs of the community and achieves its primary objectives. It owes its success on having leaders who are capable and committed to serve with integrity and members who are vigilant and actively participate according to the directions of the organisation. The above social qualities are abundant in the Kapit-bahayan Co-operative Limited.
Among the KCL projects and activities that greatly contribute to the multicultural community are:
1. KCL coop houses are rented out to low and medium-income families at very affordable socialised rates in Auburn, Berala, Wentworthville, Merrylands and Canley Vale.
2. We cater to various nationalities because the need for stable, affordable and comfortable accommodation is a universal need and we are also actively engaging with mainstream.
3. The tenant- members are encouraged and supported to participate in community building activities of APCO Inc where KCL is a founding member and multicultural ASCON Inc that is led by KCL members too! Among APCO-organised activities are the massive emergency relief operations to assist victims and survivors of Super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and the recent Pista sa Nayon. ASCON is an aggrupation of several small and emerging non-funded ethnic groups based or operating in the AUBURN LGA.
4. The common area and facilities in the various housing clusters are being used for free by community groups. Many other facilities are being proposed for funding and construction to assist non-funded groups in their various community and social development activities.
The key elements to KCL’s success is following good practice in organisational management and ideal living. This includes:
1. Foremost in Kapitbahayan Coop is the development of an environment where people live with a caring and supportive attitude and other Filipino traditional social traits, yet respecting privacy and individuality and engaging with the mainstream Australian.
2. KCL is guided and follows the principles and concepts of International Cooperatives
3. Leaders are elected based on functional capability and lead by example.
4. The coop is 100% voluntarily managed (pro bono) by the tenants who are organised and trained to take on management and working committee roles.
5. All decisions are discussed and agreed upon via grass-root democratic procedures.
6. All units enjoy similar facilities, benefits and care irrespective of rental differences.
7. Rents are calculated according to government subsidised rates but no higher than prevailing market rates in the area.
8. Common areas are utilised, maintained and cared for responsibly by all tenants while interior and inside courtyards are maintained privately except for big maintenance works that are the responsibility of the coop.
9. Residents are encouraged to observe good environmental practices, health, security and safety in all its clusters.
10. Lastly, KCL strictly adheres to transparency by periodically holding Board of Directors and General Membership meetings following strictly democratic and governmental guidelines including financial transparency.
By consciously doing our best as a housing coop and a community organisation, we are promoting a good image of the Filipino community. As a result, Kapit-bahayan Coop and its members have been recognised:
1. KCL is the only 100% tenant–managed housing coop in NSW that was able to buy land to expand its housing stocks. This is the Canley Vale Affordable Housing Project that was completed in 2012.
2. KCL is the only Filipino community organisation in Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand and Ocean-Pacific Islands) that was awarded in 2012 by the ABS-CBN Global Bayaning Pilipino Award (Gawad Geny Lopez).
3. The only housing coop that organised and mentored another housing coop - Sedgwick Housing Cooperative in 2010 and helped organise other ethnics like the Karen Burmese. Ruben Amores.
4. A member, Dr Cen Amores is the only Filipino designated by the Federal Government in 2012 as a People of Australia Ambassador for championing multiculturalism.
5. In 2013, Cen is also the only Filipino awarded the highly competitive ZEST Outstanding Community Leader (Voluntary Capacity) in Greater Western Sydney and as ZEST Ambassador in 2014.
6. In 2015, Ruben Amores is the only Filipino awardee of NSW Premier Medal for Lifetime Service to the Multicultural Community.
7. A resident, PJ Lee won NSW, Australian and US natural body-building championships.
8. Another young resident, Jose Caballero III won NSW Junior Gymnastics championship in various categories.
Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd has shown that Filipinos can do great things anywhere. May other organisations be inspired and follow their example.
Thank you Munting Nayon for sharing Kapitbahayan Coop s many important relevant contributions to the general community. We hope other groups and organisations will be inspired to do similar community social development projects and activities not only to help directly our kababayan but also to promote the best in the Filipino wherever they are. Mabuhay tayong lahat
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