Published On: Thu, Nov 1st, 2012

A Liberal controlled City Council of Blacktown

First things first.  The Prayers and Acknowledgment of Country are two of the noted changes introduced by the Liberal-controlled council.  While respecting religions of all denominations and worships, and even unbelievers, Christian prayers are the hallmarks of Australian institutions and it is but proper that prayers return to Council Chambers under a Liberal controlled Council.  This is a first act that characterizes and distinguishes the conservatives from the new age believers or non believers.

Acknowledgment of Country is a respectful tradition that should instill affection to the heirs of the original owners of the land.  But the verbal invocation must be matched by heart-felt embrace towards indigenous people.  A parroted Welcome to Country can descend into tokenism because of its perfunctory recitation.  An Acknowledgment must be inclusive of all the indigenous people that once lived in the City of Blacktown, the traditional owners.  Any question as who do we acknowledge must be enshrined in the Acknowledgment.

I am sure that these two first acts will elicit different responses.  Already, there were misrepresentations as how to achieve a genuine Acknowledgment of Country, and some aboriginal leaders in Blacktown are being whipped by Labor for hostile reactions.  But a consensus must be reached once and for all on who composed the traditional owners apart from the Darug people, the well recognized original inhabitants in Blacktown, who, I am certain, will keep the recognition.  There are claims that must be settled and council’s policy must not be tied down to have a proper and genuine review.  I can assure the community, however, that there is no disrespect in the consultation and review being undertaken, particularly the Darug people.  Needless to say, the portrait of the Queen once again occupies a position of honour in the Council Chambers.

Already, Council now has a truly independent audit committee that will elevate its findings beyond the realm or perception of bias and has earned the attention and  support of Minister for Local Government.  Council will also recommend that councillors or staff’s expenses during conferences are paid on reimbursement bases even before the same is proposed in the amended Code of Conduct.

Philippine President in Sydney

We welcome Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to Sydney.  It is a missed  opportunity that he would not visit the City of Blacktown where most Filipinos live.

I once proposed a decent and respectable Rizal Park in Blacktown, but met strong  opposition from some Filipino leaders who reasoned that it may devalue their property.  What we have in Blacktown is a small Rizal Reserve with limited development potential and unworthy of the name of the Philippine National Hero.

The City of Campbelltown had upped the City of Blacktown in recognizing  Dr. Jose P. Rizal, with a Park worthy of the universality and the genius that Dr. Rizal is, and where the most imposing Rizal Monument in the Southern Hemisphere will be unveiled by the Philippine President.  It could have been in Blacktown!


Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel through social media. .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Happy
  • Amused
  • Bored
  • Sad
  • Angry

About the Author

- Atty. Jess Diaz, originally from Paranaque City, Practising Lawyer in the Philippines and first Filipino lawyer admitted to pratice law in Australia. Formerly Senior Legal Counsel, Citibank, and now Principal of Diaz & Diaz Lawyers. Elected as a Liberal Councillor at Blacktown City Council in 2008, the first Filipino in a City Council in Australia. A Jaycees (JCI) Senator and Knight Grand Officer of Rizal (KGOR) in the Order of the Knights of Rizal, Past President of Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA), Founding President, Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC), Former President of Philippine Australian Community Services, Inc., Co-Convenor of Philippine Australian Community Foundation Trust and chaired the Filipino Consultative Committee with the NSW Board of Studies and was a Member of the NSW Board of Adult and Community Education.

Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Rudolfo Atienza says:

    I would like to agree with you, only if it is genuine. Your’s is a mother statement reverberated numerous times by politicians without any serious intention except by increasing the votes.
    With prayers, are you really serious? Religion and politics can never mix. Religion has to be redefined so that it can be meaningful in today’s generation. You cannot say that if you pray, you are better off that those that do not! Give us a break! We are not that stupid!!!
    You promote Rizal yet you are aware that this person is not a compliant Christian. His life is not a model of good christian moral. In a strict Catholic standard, he is promiscuous, plus he is a Freemason.
    Now, please tell us, is this your model that you wanted us to emulate, my dear councillor?

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisements