Phil-Aus leaders for better services in Cumberland
By Richard J. Ford (PRO-APCO Inc.)
On behalf of ASCON Inc.
August 20, 2016
Cumberland Council Administrator, Viv May held a meeting with multicultural leaders who represent the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network Inc. (ASCON) at the Council office in Auburn on the 29th of July 2016.
Among the community leaders present were: Ruben and Dr Cen Amores of Kapit-bahayan Cooperative Ltd (KCL) and the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc. (APCO) and representatives from the Asian Women Network, Kateb-Hazara Association, Somali Women Cultural and Welfare Association and Auburn Tamil Seniors Association. Brooke Endycott, Community Development Manager of Cumberland Council facilitated the meeting.
Primarily aimed to introduce ASCON and what it does for the multicultural communities in Auburn, the meeting was also an opportunity for the group to raise their concerns following the amalgamation to Cumberland Council. Mr May showed keen interest in getting to know about what each of those present does for the community and its relationship with ASCON. According to Brooke, “Mr May was very impressed and inspired by the work you do with the local community. He was also particularly grateful and interested in the ongoing partnership model between ASCON and Council”.
Among the concerns raised were: the future of ASCON and its signature annual project, ‘Flavours of Auburn’ and other projects like the Auburn Cultural Food Tour, Multicultural Cooking Classes and the funding and in-kind support that the group expect from the Cumberland Council. In response, Mr May gave his assurance that ASCON will continue to be supported by Cumberland Council and the very successful Auburn model will be taken to the other areas that make up the amalgamated Cumberland Council. He expressed his awe and respect to the community volunteers for the extraordinary services they do and said, “Other organisations should have to learn from you”.
Mr May clarified that the role of Council is to help and facilitate what communities directly do for themselves by providing the infrastructures that the people need. He also emphasised the importance of using the grassroots approach to build strong communities. Ruben Amores was president of ASCON in 2010 when it was a loose network of small, emerging and non-funded community organisations and returned as president last year when ASCON wasincorporated. He was of course the recipient of the 2015 NSW Premier’s medal for a Lifetime of Outstanding Multicultural Community Service.
PARTNERS FOR CHANGE. Undersecretary Joel B.Maglunsod and OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac, together International Labor Affairs Bureau OIC Director Mary Sol D. Dela Cruz, meet with the group of repatriated workers from Saudi Arabia who sought assistance in claiming their unpaid wages and benefits from their employers.
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