Solidarity Philippines Australia Network (SPAN)


SPAN is an Australian based network of individuals and organisations active in solidarity with the struggles of the Filipino peoples for Human Rights, Self-Determination, Social Justice, Peace and Democracy. SPAN identifies with the poor and oppressed majority of the Philippines and acts upon its special concern for women and children in general and indigenous peoples in particular.

The aims and objectives of SPAN are to:

  1. promote the unity of the Filipino and Australian peoples by providing material and moral support to the peoples' organisations in the Philippines and inform Australians through publications, fora, meetings and other educational and cultural activities of the work of the peoples' organisations and facilitate direct people to people contact with the members of these organisations at the grassroots level; 

  2. promote the rights and welfare of the Filipino migrant community in Australia towards a better economic, cultural and political life and mobilise the Filipino and wider community to work to end the activities of Australian business interests in the international sex trade which profits from trafficking in Filipino women and children; 

  3. pursue justice for migrant Filipinas and other women of non-English speaking background and their families who are victims of domestic violence and marital murders and challenge the Australian Government to respond effectively to the domestic violence, sexual abuse and the many times above average rate of homicide perpetrated against Filipino women and children by Australian men since 1980;

  4. cooperate with other groups towards developing an Australian solidarity culture that responds to the expressed needs of the peoples' organisations in the Asia-Pacific region for a Just and Peaceful world;

  5. support the spiritual and cultural re-empowerment of the Indigenous Peoples in Australia and the Philippines and act in solidarity with all oppressed peoples throughout the world for Human Rights, Self-Determination, Social Justice, Peace and Democracy.


SPAN Membership:

Membership implies agreement with the Aims and Objectives of SPAN. Organisations and individuals who agree with the aims and objectives of SPAN shall be accepted into the network upon payment of the annual membership fee. Members have the right to determine for themselves, in consultation with other members, how to implement the aims and objectives of the network given the specific characteristics of the localities in which they work. Members have the responsibility to contribute to the development of a lively, warm and inclusive solidarity spirit based on equality and mutual benefit, cooperation and collective accountability.

SPAN Branches:

Three or more members may form a branch of the network in any locality with the same rights and responsibilities as individual members. Branch decisions shall normally be arrived at by consensus. Where a member calls for a vote, the decision shall be by simple majority. Branches shall integrate collective support for the initiatives of the members into the coordinating work of the network. Branches shall facilitate reports on branch activities and other solidarity materials to the Communications Centre (CC) on a continuous basis. Branches shall elect a branch coordinator to the CC who shall, where possible, have access to telecommunications.

SPAN National Conference:

The policy making body of SPAN shall be the National Conference (NC) which shall be open to all financial members. The NC has the power to alter the Aims and Constitution of SPAN, approve the formal statements of the network and determine network business. Individual members present at the NC shall have one vote. A member shall be accorded delegate status where branches notify the Communications Centre in advance of the NC the name(s) of its mandated branch delegate(s). Branch delegates shall exercise one additional vote for each financial branch member not present at the NC. The NC venue shall normally rotate between the various regions where there is a SPAN branch. The registration fee for the NC shall be determined so that a pooled fares scheme operates such that each branch is enabled to send one delegate at the equalised rate. Members shall be entitled to receive written notification of the NC and an agenda which shall include any proposed resolutions at least one month prior to each NC. The NC shall elect the coordinators of the network who shall be collectively responsible for running the Communications Centre.

Communications Centre:

The Communications Centre shall facilitate dialogue among members by means of publications, teleconferences and all forms of electronic communications. The CC shall edit and distribute a network newsletter throughout the Filipino community, the Justice and Peace network and the wider community. The CC shall arrange taped teleconferences as required in between National Conferences in order to facilitate network business. The CC shall assist the work of the branches which shall, in turn, support the coordinating work of the CC. The CC shall arrange any necessary face-to-face meetings on its own initiative or by request of any member.

2nd June 1996