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To maintain kinship among all Filipino-Australians and foster friendly relationships with all Australians To sustain and uphold the spirit and mission that Australia, our adopted country, has bestowed upon us, while recognizing and preserving our Filipino identity by upholding its culture and traditions. To restore, preserve, and continuously strengthen and improve the Filipino identity, and uphold its traditions, symbols, legends and culture of excellence.

FANT: The Beginning

The Filipino-Australian Association of the Northern Territory had its beginning from the original Filipino Association of the Northern Territory (FANT) formed by a small group of professional Filipino-Australians in October 1973. Under the leadership of Lino Molina as first president, the association made impressionable presence in the Darwin community through social gatherings characterized by cultural displays of dances, costumes, food and hospitality. See more.

An interim committee composed of Lino Molina, John Rivas, Sam Marquez, David Astley, Lilia Marquez, Edna Rivas, Brian Manning, Elena Ralph, Lydia Astley, NicanorPagsanjan, Joe Villanueva, worked to finalize the constitution prior to formal election of new office bearers and Executive Officer.

By its second year, a first and modest "Barrio Fiesta" was celebrated at a function in the residence of Lino and Cynthia Molina at Parer Drive, Wagaman. Featured at the celebration was the induction of the in-coming office-bearers: John Rivas (President), Nicanor Pagsanjan (Vice-President), Elena Javier (Secretary) and Lilia Marquez (Treasurer), by then Mayor Tiger Brennan, (NT News, 1974).

Cyclone Tracy disrupted the activities of the Association. Many Filipino-Australian families were relocated to other places in Australia for a considerable length of time. Upon their return to Darwin, many concentrated on rebuilding their lives as a priority. The FANT group re-gathered in 1975 to host the Philippine Independence Day celebration in a function aptly called "Filipino Night" at the St. Paul Primary School assembly. As a precedent to future celebrations, the function was aimed to promote Filipino customs and traditions to the wider community. The promotional work grew stronger through FANT participation in the multi-cultural activities in Darwin (e.g., the performance at the Amphitheatre, Government House, Civic Centre, Don Hotel Casino, Casuarina High School, Darwin High School, Parap Festival).

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FAANT through the years

FAANT has been in existence for more than 30 years. The Filipino-Australian Community has been increasingly confident of the role FAANT plays in promoting Filipino-Australians in the NT. FAANT collaboratively works with the Office of Ethnic Affairs, and other NT government departments such as Asian Relations and Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Sports and Recreation; local government such as Darwin City Council; the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, to forge the link between the Northern Territory and the Philippines. The NT Government has a viable business link with Davao City.See more.

The NT government has recognised the role of FAANT in hosting the Philippine contingents to the Arafura Games, Philippine delegations to NT Trade Expo, AustAid and the several official visits of the Philippine Ambassadors to the NT Parliament and to the Department of Asian Relations and Trade.

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1973 - 2000

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The concept of Barrio Fiesta, patterned after the Barrio Fiesta in Sydney, was introduced in 1998, to showcase Filipino culture to the wider community. The Barrio Fiesta was also a fund-raising program. A brainchild of FAANT, Inc. Vice-President John Rivas, to generate funds as monetary counterpart to the funding given by the NT Government for the construction of the new building, this activity also recognized the contributions of the Filipino community in the multi-cultural atmosphere in Darwin and NT.

The families who made big contributions to the Barrio Fiesta fund-raising program of FAANT are the pillars of the building project. Through their effort, money was raised for the construction of the building with $60,000 that kept the FAANT afloat. In recognition of their contributions FAANT kept a plaque at the FCC in their honour. (To name some: Whiskey and Lourdes Valles, Percy and Maria Mitchell, Jun and TitaViojan with Lisa Greenslade, Nemia Ravenswood, Marie Fenis, Jun and NidaFenis, Susana Dizon, Edgar and Aileen Javier, Jr and Marta Boholst, Apol and Joy Craufurd ...).
FAANT played an active role during the visit of President Fidel Ramos to the NT for bilateral trade relations talks that led to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines and the Northern Territory.

During the Arafura Games, a sporting event held every two years in Darwin, FAANT provided billeting and transport assistance to Philippine team officials and athletes.

Performances by Filipino entertainers like Marco Sison and Nikki Valdez were hosted by FAANT at the Filipino Community Centre for the Darwin Filipino-Australian Community, under the coordination of John Rivas, FAANT Vice-President.

A reception at the Filipino Community Centre was held for Filipino delegates to the Aust-Aid Program to study aspects of local government at the NT University. Likewise, visiting soldiers of the Philippine Army serving in East Timor were given a reception organised by FAANT president Sam Marquez.

FAANT officials proved vital in the NT Government's trade missions to the Philippines, in 1998 and 1999, acting as advisers regarding cultural affairs. The presence of FAANT President Sam Marquez and his wife, Lilia, in the delegation, were deemed to impress upon the Philippine president the special interest and consideration that the NT Government give to the Filipino-Australian community.

FAANT has made several grant assistance applications to the NT Government for the improvement of the facilities of the Filipino Community Centre with the growing population of Filipinos in Darwin. In 1995, a small building was erected at a cost of $96,000.00 which included the fencing of the entire premises. The construction was first carried out during the time of Nerissa Goodrem, FAANT's President. This small amenity building was built by Aubsley, Building Construction, owned by Sam Padro. Jorge AraoArao was the engineer for that building project.

The NT Government granted the Filipino Australian Association of the NT the amount of $100,000.00, for the construction of a larger community hall. FAANT supplemented that amount with funds raised from the Barrio Fiesta. The financial assistance of the NT government was complemented by the industrious efforts of the fund-raising officer, John Rivas, FAANT's Vice President, under the administration of Sam Marquez, President. Through the assistance of the NT Government Office of Ethnic Affairs, the basketball court and car park at the Filipino Community Centre were paved during this time.

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2001 - 2010

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From 2000 – 2008, the Harmony Day Youth Concert, organised by FAANT as part of the multi-cultural activities in Darwin, showcased the talents of Filipino youth and those of from the wider community in Darwin. Various school groups participated and show-cased their talents at this youth concert which ran for 8 years, from 2000 to 2008. FAANT received a multi-cultural award for this program and for the Barrio Fiesta.

The hosting of members of the Philippine teams to the Arafura Games was undertaken by FAANT. Accommodation arrangements for the Philippine sporting delegation to the Arafura Games through the "homestay" program was carried out by President Sam Marquez, Lily Marquez and Edna Rivas from 1993 to 2000 and continued by John Rivas and Edna Rivas from 2000 to 2013.

FAANT also organised the Study Tour Program which brought students from Kabankalan Catholic College in Negros Occidental for 10 days in Darwin. Students were hosted by families in Darwin as part of their cultural enrichment program. They attended schools in Darwin, visited historical, cultural and ecological sites in Darwin and Kakadu National Park. They had courtesy visits to the Chief Minister and Lord Mayor of Darwin. The Study Tour program took place in 2002 and 2004.

FAANT staged concerts which featured renowned Filipino stage performers like Pilita Corales, Ivy Violan, Marco Sison, Nicky Valdez, Bimbo Cerrudo, Janet Basco, Dulce Amor, Raymond Lauchengco, Victor Wood and others.

FAANT also wrote the historical account based on anecdotal evidence on the settlement of Filipinos in the NT - the three waves of Filipino Family Migration to the NT in 2003. Most of the NT clippings on the early history of FANT/FAANT are in this book. There are copies in the storeroom.

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2011 - Present

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FAANT PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2014 (click to view)

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Filipino Community Centre

The Filipino Community Centre, managed by the Executive Committee, has been used extensively by the Association, the Filipino-Australian Community, and patronised by many school and cultural groups.See more.

As the founding Filipino-Australian association in the NT, FAANT has been held in high regard by the NT Government and the wider Darwin community. Through its active fund-raising program, initiated in 1977, the Office Bearers and Executive Committee Members of this Association were able to build this Centre debt-free and the only one of its kind in Australia. FAANT owns the land title for the Filipino Community Centre situated at the corner of Amy Johnson Avenue and Batten Road in Marrara, NT.

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Location: location icon

Filipino Community Center
Lot 3461, Batten Road
Marrara, NT 0812
(08) 8945 4570