BACNI COORDINATING COMMITTEE AND MEMBERS
There are two categories of membership in BACNI: Individual and Organisation Members.
The BACNI Committee 2009-2011
Chairperson Mila Cichello
Mila is a Registered Psychologist with history of community service in both mainstream and CALD communities. Mila has received government, professional and academic awards for her many volunteer roles which include: Immediate Past Vice-President of the Board of Management-Family Relationships Institute, Member United Nations Association Australia, Treasurer APS Psychology & Ageing Interest Group, National Student President 2008 for Australian Association of Gerontology, Chairperson of RICH Investment Club and Mentor to a number of researchers on ageing. Mila received the Victorian Government’s Award of Excellence (Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria in Community Services) from Premier John Brumby at Government House in December 2008. Mila is a mother, works part time, is share-carer for elderly parents and is trying to finish her uni studies.
Vice Chairperson Melissa Gamat
Melissa had an early exposure to community fundraising as a Miss Princess Quest candidate in the very early years of a Filipino organization in Melbourne in the mid-1990s. She had a stint in Japan working as an English teacher before accepting a PhD research position at the University of Melbourne’s Zoology Department. A remarkable young woman who juggles academic, social and community work in her stride, Melissa has unselfishly volunteered for Silayan Dance Academy and Melbourne Integrated Sports Club for many years. She received the Global Filipinos Youth Award in Sydney in 2008.
Secretary Francesca Borghini
A young professional fluent in Italian, Filipino, Indonesian and English, Francesca works as Human Resource Manager with a large multinational company in inner Melbourne. Francesca has been an active volunteer for BACNI events, by helping with catering, doing secretariat duties and teaching computer skills to other members. Francesca is a role model for many young Filipino Australians.
Treasurer Mertz Baera
Mertz has been an outstanding community volunteer in the Filipino Australian community for many years. Highly respected for her organizational skills and strict eye for record keeping, she worked for the Inner West Migrant Resource Centre before moving to administration and audit in the private sector in Melbourne CBD. Mertz is the much loved week end volunteer with Filipino Golden Age Senior Citizens Club of Victoria Inc.
Public Officer Christine Noveloso
Christine is a young solicitor who was involved with La Trobe University Filipino Students in her student days. She spent several years in Canberra and upon returning to Melbourne, became a valuable member of the Filipino Youth & Students Association of Victoria (FYSAV). Christine has just started maternity leave to enjoy first time parenthood with her partner.
Membership in the Network
The Network has two membership categories: Individual and Organization Members. All members have access to Leadership Development Seminars. Individual Members support the Elders or Committees of Organization Members in a flexible Intergenerational Mentoring arrangement, and Organization Members actively support one another’s activities informally or through project partnerships.
The Organization Members of the Network from 2009 are:
Filipino Australian Friendship Association of Geelong Inc
The Filipino Australian Friendship Association of Geelong Inc (FAFAG) was established in1981 by a group of Filipino and Australian families living in regional Geelong to provide a social environment for migrant Filipinos and their families, to promote Filipino culture within the community and to foster multicultural harmony. The group developed and grew rapidly with the members building their own FAFAG Clubhouse brick by brick on land leased from Council in 1980’s. FAFAG continues to actively bring together rural families in partnership with other associations in performing Philippine cultural dances, by organising cooking demonstrations, family discos, fundraising events and monthly community events at the Clubhouse. FAFAG is proud of their members who come from Filipino, Australian, Dutch and other nationalities. They are nurses, tradesmen, barrister, MP, health carers, farmers, students, senior retirees, grandparents- whose unity, respect for others and giving a person a fair go make rural Filipinos and Australians one family. FAFAG was awarded a VMC Award of Excellence for 27 years of service to rural communities at the Government House in December 2008.
Filipino Silayan Dance Academy
Filipino Silayan Dance Academy (FSDA) was founded in 1968 by Donarto Lawas, Josie Lawas and a small group of Filipinos living in Melbourne with the aim of preserving and promoting the Philippine culture of dance and music in Australia. FSDA had dancers of all ages from the growing Filipino community and the dance troupe was registered as Silayan Dance Academy with Victorian Corporate Affairs on 9 December 1981. FSDA offered a wide repertoire of folk dances including Pandanggo Sa Ilaw (Candle Dance) and Tinikling (Bamboo Dance). Since their humble beginnings the Academy received wide acclaim throughout Australia through their performances across Melbourne and rural Victoria, through the Victorian Art Centre, Dallas Brooks Hall (Festivals Of All Nations March 1982), Moomba festivals (Melbourne), Folk Fest (Footscray, 1993, 1994) and various TV shows. At present FSDA remains active in teaching Philippine cultural dances by working in partnership with other Filipino groups. FSDA was awarded a VMC Award of Excellence for 40 years of community service at Government House in December 2008.
Melbourne Integrated Sports Club Inc
Melbourne Integrated Sports Club Inc (MISCI) is a nonprofit sports association founded in the Western suburbs of Melbourne in 1976 by Sammy Riego and a group of Filipino migrant families. They worked many unpaid hours as basketball coaches, in order to foster Filipino unity and culture through passion for sports. When several interstate Filipino sports directors formed the National Association of Sports in Australia (NASA) in 1976 and agreed to coordinate Easter Sports Fest at a different capital city each year, MISCI signed on as the Victorian organizer. The Club has grown from strength to strength over the years- its junior players becoming senior players; some moved on to other clubs but most come back to join the yearly Easter interstate games. MISCI has stayed true to its roots- it remains in Sunshine, and continues to work for young people; with the help of committed volunteers, players and families, and the kind support of Filipino- Australians. MISCI has welcomed other nationalities into their teams, including many Sudanese and other refugees from the Horn of Africa.
Pilipino Elderly Association of the South Eastern Region Inc
Pilipino Elderly Association of the South Eastern Region Inc (PEASER) is a voluntary senior citizens group established in 1993 in Clarinda, City of Kingston, to assist Filipino older persons access social activities and services. PEASER volunteers visit local nursing homes to entertain through singing and dancing, support other Filipino-Australian organisation and perform at multicultural events. PEASER was recognised for Community Volunteer work by Premier Steve Bracks in the International Year of Volunteers in 2001, received Victoria’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs for Meritorious Service in the Community in 2004 and on Australia Day 2006, received the City of Kingston’s 2006 Community Group of the Year Award for “making its own unique contribution to the broader community while still keeping the Pilipino cultural heritage alive”.