Milestone for Filipino-Australian Labor Party Supporters
Filipino-Australian supporters of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) marked a milestone with the official launch of the Filipino Friends of Labor on Sunday, July 15.
The formation of The Filipino Friends of Labor was officially launched by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP, Federal Member for McMahon at Sydney Town Hall before the Labor supporters.
Members of the Filipino Friends of Labor are Filipino-Australian supporters of the Labor Party guided by its core values and principles as it engages in mainstream political dynamics of their new home – Australia.
The group is the expression of the Filipino-Australian aspirations within the Party predicated on the best interest and the common good of the community.
It is the political link between the community and NSW Labor.
The group aims to help build strong relations between communities in Australia and the Philippines by engaging in community activism based on issues directly affecting Filipino-Australians.
Mr. Ed Husic MP, Federal Member for Chiefly, before introducing Mr. Bowen, said that “Filipinos perform a very vibrant part of the Labor Party particularly in the Western Sydney.”
He also said that “there is no more fitting way for the us to recognise their enthusiastic support for the Labor cause but being able to have the Filipino Friends of Labor established and being able to create a voice for Filipino-Australians within a great party.”
In an interview, Mr. Chris Bowen said “It’s a great event. It recognised the long-standing friendship between the Filipino community and the Labor Party and gave it a formal structure and a formal name. It’s an opportunity for Filipinos to contribute to the Labor cause and for Labor members of the parliament to spend time with the Filipino community over and above what we do now, so it’s a great day and they should be congratulated for their efforts.”
In his speech, Bobby Lastica, convenor of the group called on to Labor supporters to “behold and become the light on the hill in rebuilding NSW Labor.
“For now is the time to accept that the core values of Labor are intrinsically linked to our shared cultural values.
“Now is the time to link arms as active members and supporters of the Party that has given us our ticket to prosperity.
“And now is the time to raise the standards of our community activism to those issues that really matter between the communities in Australia and the Philippines.”
Michelle Rowland congratulated the group’s convenor “for all his hard work and commitment to making this a reality.
“I would also like to acknowledge every member of the Working Party for their dedication to this great cause.
“Today is an important day, not just for the Filipino community, but for the wider Labor Movement.”
The Filipino Friends of Labor is a network of committed volunteers trying to help in rebuilding and reforming NSW Labor through its Community Dialogue programs.
Members of the Labor Party present during the launch were Ed Husic MP for Chifley, Michelle Rowland MP for Greenway, David Bradbury MP for Lindsey, Clive Troy, Founding Member of Australia-Philippines Business Council, and Emeritus Mayor Charlie Lowles, and Mayor of Blacktown Allan Pendleton.
Officers and members of the Filipino-Australian community were also present.
Photos courtesy of Mr. Paul McInnes