16 | community
Government continues to deliver for pensioners
ore than 24,000 local pensioners have received an
increase in their pension this week to help them make ends meet.
From 20 March, local people receiving age, disability and carer pensions, as well as veterans’ income support recipients, received a fortnightly boost to their payments as a result of indexation.
Single pensioners on the maximum rate now receive an extra $6.70 a fortnight, and pensioner couples on the maximum rate now receive an extra $10.00 a fortnight combined.
Total pension payments for people on the maximum rate, including the base rate and pension supplement,
are now $755.50 a fortnight for singles, and $1,139.00 a fortnight for couples combined.
As part of this Labour Government’s historic pension reforms in 2009, we delivered the biggest increase to the pension in its 100-year history, as well as a fairer indexation system that ensures the pension keeps up with living costs. Since 2009, Labour’s reforms have delivered increases to the maximum pension of about $154 per fortnight for singles and about $156 per fortnight for couples combined.
I know local pensioners have the least room to move in their budgets – that is why we are making sure the pension increases over time,
Ed Husic MP Federal Member for Chifl ey
and why we are looking out for pensioners as we move towards a clean energy future.
I’m proud of what we’ve done in Government to deliver for pensioners, and I’ll keep standing up for local pensioners to make sure they get the fair go they deserve.
Ed Husic is the Federal Member for Chifley and Government Whip in the Australian Parliament. Ed has an extensive
Vol. 2 No. 7 | April 2012 | www.kalatas.com.au
APCO, from page 2
even as she remains part of the Honorary Advisory Team together with husband Ruben Amores and Jimmy Lopez.
background advocating for people’s rights before he was elected.
brings with him years of experience working in the public and private sectors and representing workers as the National President of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU). In the Labour Party Caucus, Ed is the Secretary of the Economic, Productivity, Innovation and Industry Committee.
Back: Jasper Dizon, George Stojkovski (General Manager Customer Service South), and Rob Mason RailCorp CEO. Front row: Mar na Tenedora (E-FARE member), Jessica Manthey, Laarni Dizon (CALD organiser). Photo by Bernade e Manthey
ilipino- Australians working
at RailCorp took part in Harmony Day on Friday, March 23, with
E-FARE sang tagalog songs during Harmony Day. Photo by Bernade e Manthey
RailCorp Pinoys in Harmony
performances at key Sydney CBD rail stations Circular Quay, Town Hall, Wynyard and North Sydney at 9am andCentral station at10am. The Filipino group, E-FARE (Enthusiastic Filipino Australian RailCorp Employees) was organised by Laarni Dizon from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Network, with a vision to promoting cooperation and acceptance within and between the diverse cultural groups that constitute RailCorp.
This was the first time RailCorp’s Filipino employees had joined Harmony Day. And this year’s Harmony Day theme was “Sport - Play, Engage, Inspire”.
E-FARE showcased traditional Filipino songs and dance. Special guest performers were Jessica Manthey and Jasper Dizon, children of Paul and Bernadette Manthey and
Laarni Dizon. They sang ‘Heal The World’ as a duet. Jessica sang two Tagalog songs, Ikaw and Pangako. The celebrations were followed by a grand performance at Central Station on the concourse next to platforms 1 and 2 where multicultural dance and choir groups from across RailCorp staff and employees in expression of their culture through dance and music.
Among the highlights of the celebrations at Central Station were a dance performance by Darlington Primary School, songs from Christian Guerrero, E-FARE - Filipino Dance Group, Tropical Soul Bachataeros - Bachata dance from the Dominican Republic, Natayogi, Chinese Lion Dance, Book of Vilah Band, Bollywood BHANGRA Dance, Cristina Ramon - Brazilian Samba Dance, RailCorp Band - Long Train
In 1966, the General Assembly of United Nations proclaimed March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
In 1999, Australians joined the international community celebrated inter- racial harmony by observing Harmony Day where ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in Australian society is celebrated. This is also a day to contemplate the benefits and achievements of our multicultural society, to promote respect, fairness, inclusion and a sense of belonging for everyone. In 2000, NSW Government adopted the Principles of Multiculturalism and all government agencies including RailCorp are committed to protect and promote these principles and to create an inclusive environment for employees
and customers from diverse backgrounds.
RailCorp provide better services to customers and to
attract and retain talented employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. “RailCorp’s workforce reflected the diversity of its customers, with more than a quarter of RailCorp staff identifying as coming from a family whose first language was not English,” said Rino Matarazzo, RailCorp general manager of customer service for the Sydney CBD.
“We value diversity in our employees, we are extremely proud of it and we provide equal employment opportunities for everyone in order to maintain a diverse and skilled workforce that is capable of meeting our current and future needs. “It is truly a priviledge to be able to celebrate Harmony Day with our staff and customers because it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the combined successes of our diverse society,” he said.
Meanwhile, in his acceptance speech, the new President, Jhun Salazar, reinforced the outstanding and pioneering efforts of the founding President and vowed to carry on the tradition of excellence and service for all. He expressed that his natural ascent to presidency (he served as Senior Vice President in initial two years of operation) is not only “an honor but a responsibility” and unabashedly stated that he is possessed with a “heart for servitude.” He also challenged his fellow officers to emphasize that APCO should be “more inclusive rather than exclusive” and thus would welcome all other Filipino organizations and individuals to join in and enjoy the benefits and privileges of the programs continued from the past and forging into the future. “There is always something for everyone in APCO as programs, activities and services are designed to enhance community capacity-building, solid collaboration and advocacy for the socially vulnerable sectors of our community, not to mention a more professional enhancement of local artistic and cultural undertakings. We mean to change lackadaisical attitudes of our kababayans and make them more pro- active towards collaborative undertakings. Involvement is indeed the crying need of the hour and APCO can only lead the way towards trail-blazing, path-breaking ventures that shall provide our community better advantages and elevate our migrant community to greater heights. “
FREEDOM BALL and other Main Projects
In conducting the first meeting of the board following their election, Salazar rallied everyone to start focusing on the Philippine Freedom Ball (114th anniversary celebration of the Declaration of Philippine Independence) set on Sat, 9th June 2012 at the Grand
Ballroom Bankstown Sports Club, with admission tickets of $100 (premiere) and 80 for general patronage. A special Production and Programming Committee headed by Mars Cavestany has been delegated with Emylee Tuzon, Emma Braceros and Rudy Reyes as members. Other designated committee heads include Lee Meekan and Amor Ramos (Reception), Gerry Musa (Playbill),
Papaioannou, Violy Miguel and Mariam McCauley (Solicitation) and Josephine de los Reyes (Ways and Means).
The induction of officers will be held simultaneous with the Freedom Ball. President Salazar also reiterated the major projects APCO is bound to accomplish this year including the launching of Marx Canoy’s cookbook entitled My Island Recipes: Fusion of Philippines and Australian Cuisine earlier at 5pm at the same event. APCO shall likewise spearhead the major production sometime in August-September of the first ever full-length original Filipino sarsuela musical written no less by our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal entitled Beside the Pasig conceived, designed, and directed by Dr. Marcelino Cavestany of Filipinas- PETALS as a continuum as well as fitting finale to the Rizal Radio Festival triumphantly held with SBS Filipino Language Program and the Radio Broadcast Cell since October of last year through to the end of the year and then picked up again and going through the rounds of all existing community radio stations in NSW beginning from Radyo Bandila, to Radio Dalisay, followed by The Mob and Radio Sandigan, and finally at Radio Kawayan, Radio Tamaraw, Radio Mabuhay, and Pinoy Radio.
A massive membership campaign has likewise been launched so that newly organized groups or non-registered community organizations and interested individuals can join. For enquiries call: 88409334 or 0423870074 or 0414352606. (All Rights Reserved)
Newest Filipino Radio Program
Tune in on Tuesday, 3rd April from 8:00 - 10:00 PM on 2MCR-FM, 100.3 FM on your dial with Charles Chan on Radio Rizal in Campbelltown. The newest addi on to the growing Filipino radio programs in NSW.
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