Good afternoon everyone.

First of all,  please allow me to thank PCHN and ADHIKA particularly Mr. Manny Diel, Ms Josie Musa and Ms Evelyn Zaragoza for organising this groundbreaking event.

I would also like to acknowledge the presence of my fellow contenders for the  Presidential position of PCC and congratulate them in their efforts in wanting to assist the Filipino community in general. Welcome to the club, gentlemen.

To lead PCC as the peak body in NSW is a monumental and serious challenge in itself. It takes more than just a public expression of commitment and desire to serve the community.

To lead PCC, one needs to have a tenacious character to withstand all the challenges and constant criticisms thrown at the organisation.

To lead PCC, one needs to be firm and resolute with his or her decision despite the rambunctious objections of a very few disgruntled members.

To lead PCC, one needs to profoundly sacrifice personal time with one's family in order to spend precious time with the affiliates.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have proven to you all and to the community, time and again, that I possess those traits. I showed them when I led PCC during my first term as President

in 2010. I definitely exhibited them during the turbulent and chaotic times last year, and I will confidently continue to display them as I lead PCC in 2014.

To say that one needs to be a lawyer or an accountant to lead PCC is not only discriminatory and lamentable, but rather unappreciative of the true worth of a Filipino in wanting to serve the community.

During my incumbency in 2013, PCC has managed to uplift the profile and importance of the Filipino community particularly in the Australian political arena as evidenced by the unprecedented attendance of the Prime Minister of Australia, Her Excellency The Honourable Julia Gillard and the Premier of NSW, The Honourable Barry O'Farrell in our annual Independence Ball.

Last year, we also witnessed the opening of a new PCC physical address office in Parramatta at no cost to PCC unlike the year prior where PCC had to fork out over $7000 to rent an office which was only used once a month or even barely 10 months.

I am also proud to inform you that last year we were able to acquire a federal grant of  $2997 to purchase essential assets for PCC, mainly laptop,  overhead projector, digital camera and public address (PA) system. 

Furthermore, the introduction of a major supporter to PCC, which is the Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria who had made an unprecedented donation of $15,000 to our organisation. If I am not mistaken, this is by far the biggest amount of money donated to PCC by a single entity since PCC was formed 23 years ago.

Had the 2013 board not been hindered by some internal strife, we could have achieved much more as a team.

In closing, I am looking forward to a healthy exchange of information in today's event and would like to sincerely wish my co-nominees the best of luck in [this] week's election.

Mabuhay po tayong lahat.

Elsa Collado

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