Hindi ka nag-iisa, kahit nasa NT ka.
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.
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 the first president, the association made an impressionable presence in the Darwin community through social gatherings characterized by cultural displays of dances, costumes, food and hospitality.
An interim committee composed of Lino Molina, John Rivas, Sam Marquez, David Astley, Lilia Marquez, Edna Rivas, Brian Manning, Elena Ralph, Lydia Astley, Nicanor Pagsanjan, Joe Villanueva, worked to finalise the constitution prior to the formal election of new office bearers and executive committee members.
The Beginning (continued)
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 FAANT 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 FAANT 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).