FILIPINIANA | CURRENT AFFAIRS

Filipino Community Co-op Marks 30th Anniversary with Haiyan Fundraiser

Violi Calvert

Thirty years ago, a group of Filipinos set up a co-operative to fulfill their civic duties. This month they celebrate three decades of community work with a historic fundraising concert.

Filipino-Australians and the wider community who attended the Dami Im – Rose Fostanes Back to Back & Living the Dream Concert are yet to come down from cloud nine for being part of a very successful, enjoyable and historic event. For the first time in Australian entertainment history, two winners of the acclaimed television music reality X Factor show in two countries vastly distant from each other, have performed together. 

Dami Im, the winner of 2013 X Factor Australia is of Korean background, whereas Rose Fostanes, winner of the 2014 inaugural season of X Factor Israel originates from the Philippines. Both artists would have had their own fan base in the audience; however, during the concert there was equal intensity of applause and cheering after each number. The audience showed its solid appreciation of the talents and passion for music by both performers and all the support acts. 

The other underlying reason for the attendance by many in the audience was not only to watch what promised to be a great music event but also to help raise some funds for Help After Haiyan/World Vision Australia which aims to help in the rebuilding of the lives of the survivors of the catastrophic typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.  

The staging of this memorable event was the brainchild of Kate Andres, the chairman of the Filipino Community Cooperative Ltd. Kate wanted a special event to commemorate the 30 years of service to the community by Filipino Community Cooperative. She had been following the inspirational story of both Dami Im and Rose ‘Osang’ Fostanes in their respective X Factor journey. Then she thought, “why not bring the two artists on stage” and started the work to make that a reality.

At the close of the concert, Help After Haiyan (HAH) presented a certificate of appreciation to Kate as Chairman of the Filipino Community Cooperative. The certificate was presented by Violi Calvert who is part of the volunteer team of HAH. The presentation was made in the presence of the dignitaries who attended the concert, the artists and the officials of the Filipino Community Cooperative.

The certificate organised by HAH initiator Michelle Baltazar was accepted by Kate who expressed appreciation of the unexpected gesture of recognition. Kate commented: 

“Albeit I quoted a minimum amount to go to Help After Haiyan via World Vision Australia, inventory and accounting are yet to be completed as ticket sales and remittances have not been forwarded to Fil-Coop. We support the Help After Haiyan project and thank Ms Michelle Baltazar for initiating it."

She added, "This Dami Im and Rose Fostanes Concert was not only a fundraising event but a celebration of Rose and Dami's achievements and Filipino Community Cooperative's 30th anniversary as a voluntary community group working for others. The historic Centennial Hall is a fitting venue to toast two amazing talents and celebrate for a cause."

Kate thanked all who were involved on and off stage, especially Rose and Dami, FilCoop Board, the production crew, the sponsors, advertisers and media. "We could not have made it happen without you," she said.
Photos: Darryl O'Brien Photography 

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