THE PHILIPPINE TIMES DEC 2023 Edition, Page 24, Article written by Lee Montajes (MOTIVATIONALEE)


On the importance of community broadcasting, Melvin Mata explains ‘it is a big channel for counteracting stereotypes and discrimination…and language and cultural preservation, which is making Australia a better place to live now and for the coming generations’.

Melvin was born in the Philippines and is a naturalised Australian.  In high school, he was heavily involved in journalism as an editor of the school newspaper, winning various national journalists news and sports writing competitions.   His early appetite and passion for journalism, news and sports was evident even then.

Melvin was first introduced to community broadcasting in 2019 when a Filipino-Australian Elder leader, Walter Villagonzalo, encouraged him to join him in broadcasting at Stereo 97.4FM.   Melvin did and shortly after, he moved to 979FM Melton Community Radio to present the Filipino-Aussie program, Good Vibes Pilipinas (GVP).

Today, Melvin Mata is the Vice President of 979FM’s Committee of Management and Representative for the Ethnic and Multicultural Group at the station.   He presents GVP with co-hosts May Red Zafra and Aldrin Santos, which has continued to play an integral role in providing information, entertainment and community services for the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD).   GVP was the winner of the 2023 Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Award for Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting.  The program was also a CBAA finalist for the 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Contribution Award.

As well as having its own radio program, GVP is a not-for-profit body involved in hands-on volunteering and charity contributions to multicultural communities.  GVP has collaborated with a wide range of associations and community groups to provide aid and support – including in the areas of family violence, mental health, bushfire incidents, food and shelter, as well as initiating multicultural events for charity.

Melvin is also a Board Director at Gawad Kalinga Australia, a charity organisation working towards ending poverty via community empowerment and development.  As a long-standing community leader, Melvin has also contributed to the multicultural sports sector as an International Basketball Referee and Australian Open Tennis Umpire.  In 2022, he was inducted into the Victorian Multicultural Commission Honour Roll.

‘Being a CBF assessor allows me not just to learn new things in community broadcasting but also to …to ensure responsible compliance and accountability to grantees’, Melvin shares.  ‘At least in a little way, I can play a vital role in supporting the growth, diversity, and sustainability of Australia’s community broadcasting, ensuring that it continues to serve the necessities and interests of communities in the whole country’.

Tune into Good Vibes Pilipinas with Melvin Mata every Tuesday 8-10pm and Saturday 6-8am on 979FM!

You can check the article here:

Philippine Embassy congratulates Good Vibes Pilipinas for winning the Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting

Our next finalists announcements for the 2023 CBAA Community Radio Awards are for the Outstanding Volunteer Contribution Award, brought to you by award sponsors The Centre for Volunteering.
Life FM Adelaide – Life FM Roadies
3CR Community Radio – Dr Joe Toscano – 20 years on the CRN
979fm Melton Community Radio – Melvin Cerilo Mata and Good Vibes Pilipinas
Lofty 88.9 Adelaide Hills – Geoff Cleggett
Phoenix FM 106.7 MHz – Anne Conway OAM
Congratulations to all the finalists, and join us at 2pm as we announce the finalists for Outstanding Youth Contribution.
Check out the full announcement schedule here:
And whether you’re a finalist or want the knowledge to put you in the running next year don’t forget to register for #CBAAConference2023 here:

Next up in our announcements of 2023 CBAA Community Radio Awards finalists is Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting.
2MFM – Ramadan Around the World
979fm Melton Community Radio – Good Vibes Pilipinas (Filipino-Australian Program)
City Park Radio – Spanish Multicultural Program City Park Radio 103.7 F.M
Edge Radio 99.3FM – Chinese Community News and Current Affairs
Triple H 100.1 FM – Radio Tagumpay
Congratulations to all our finalists! Keep an eye on our feed as next we find out the finalists for Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Engagement.
Check out the full announcement schedule here: And whether you’re a finalist or want the knowledge to put you in the running next year don’t forget to register for #CBAAConference2023 here:

Governor of Victoria recognised sports volunteer Melvin Mata

Governor of Victoria, recognised sports volunteer MELVIN MATA

The Governor of Victoria. Hon. Linda Dessau AC. and Anthony Howard AM QC organised an exclusive event for Victorians to be recognised for their contribution as Community Sport and Recreation Volunteers, held in Government House. Melbourne on 1 September 2022.

Among the hundred who were invited and recognised for the very special occasion was the lone Filipino-Australian on the list, Melvin Mata. Athletes, coaches, organisers, managers, administrators, officials and volunteers were among those honoured from various existing sports, including a few veteran paralympic volunteers….READ MORE


Filipino-Australians receive recognition for championing multiculturalism

Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022 inducted 28 individuals including four Filipino-Australians.

  • The Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022 recognised the local individuals promoting culturalism and diversity.
  • The Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll replaces the Meritorious Service to the Community category from the VMC’s annual Multicultural Awards for Excellence.
  • Filipino inductees of VMHR shared message of inspiration to the next generation of leaders through a student forum.
With more than a hundred nominees, the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022 has recognised 28 unsung heroes with four coming from the Filipino-Australian community.

Speaking to SBS Filipino, inductees shared their passion for helping people and being grateful for having an opportunity to serve.

Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022 Inductee Sherley Hart (from left), Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2021 Inductee Marisa Vedar, VMHR 2022 Inductees Beng De Leon, May Red Zafra and Melvin Mata. Credit: SBS Filipino

Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022 Inductees. Credit: Victorian Multicultural Commission

May Red-Zafra

“It’s actually because of my work in Tagalog Learning Incorporated wherein I try to propagate and maintain the Filipino language and I think it’s really important to really work with our community, and understand the needs, especially with our kids.

I think that it makes me really value the work that I’m doing for the community. I know there’s a lot of work to be done but we have a good start. This recognition of our work and I’m sharing it with my team really motivates us to really keep going.”

May Red Zafra teach students the Filipino language. Source: SBS / May Red Zafra

Melvin Mata ‘On Air’ on his radio program. Credit: Melvin Mata

Melvin Mata

Good Vibes Pilipinas has just been around for three years but maybe the timing of COVID is a blessing in disguise since a number of associations are missing at the time, we are very active.

During that time, you will see who is present at times of disaster. For example with COVID and bushfires happened, that’s what when we contributed to the community, not only to Filipinos but to the rest of the multicultural community.”

Beng De Leon

I think it’s very flattering in fact I’m deeply honoured. This is an award not only for me but more for the organisations that I have been involved in for the last three decades. In particular, the Couples for Christ, CFC-ANCOP which is our work for the poor and also being part of the media which is 3ZZZ 92.3 in Melbourne where I have served as a volunteer broadcaster every Friday since 1991.

This is really a recognition for all the work that my fellow broadcasters and fellow ANCOP and CFC workers in being part of a wider community of Victoria, in particular, promoting this multiculturalism in Greater Melbourne and greater Australia as well.”

Beng De Leon speaking at the Laverton Community Hub. Credit: Beng De Leon

Sherley Hart speaking in front of Filipino/Australian Association Of Ballarat Inc. (FAABI) event. Credit: Filipino/Australian Association Of Ballarat Inc. (FAABI)

Shirley Hart

“Ballarat is also a home for many many Filipinos. It is a progressive regional and a big city now. Not only in Ballarat, but I also mentored all the way to the other side of regional like Horsham, Hamilton, and Bendigo.

All the rest I am connecting them because it is important because there are more areas there that are now inhabited by many Filipinos.”
Marissa Vedar

In a student forum recently held at the Consulate General in Melbourne, the four awardees shared inspirational messages to the next generation of leaders.

Aside from the inductees of the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll 2022, Marisa Vedar, who was recognised this year for her efforts as a community leader by Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2021 also addressed the students.

Marisa commends the volunteers working behind the scene and look forward to passing on leadership to the next generation.

“I’m actually very very happy, the award is an affirmation that we are on the right track in doing whatever we are doing. It’s also a confirmation that we are reaching the right target people. It’s an affirmation that our vision and mission are correct.”

“It’s also a celebration of the hard work that we’ve been doing and I share this with all the volunteers of Gawad Kalinga, especially with the Director who has been so hardworking, especially during the pandemic times in helping our kababayans needing help.”

Philippines-Australian Relations Anniversay Climax


Four Filipino Australians Inducted To Victoria's Multicultural Honour Roll