ABOUT 50,000 residents of Filipino background in western Sydney have lost their "voice".
Their one-hour community radio program, Radio Kawayan, aired over Blacktown, Fairfield and Holroyd every Sunday, has been terminated by SWR-FM Community Media Association Inc. for a breach of its rules.
The 7pm-8pm program was established with much fanfare last year in a ceremony attended by Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly and the Philippine consul- general Ann Jalando-On Louis.
SWR FM administration manager Joanne Horder sent chief presenter Josefina Musa a letter on June 21 informing her that the board had imposed immediate suspension.
Ms Musa was informed last month that her program was terminated after her meeting with the board of management led by chairman Paul Wilesmith.
Her offences were listed as giving her station access card to a person who was not a member of SWR FM 99.9 Blacktown and authorising him and others to broadcast the program on June 17.
Ms Musa said her team of seven volunteers were not given the opportunity to inform the community the program had been terminated.
"We regretted having violated the SWR house rules and are sorry for what happened," she said.
"I asked my co-host Jake Lapuz to present the show as I had to go to Port Macquarie on family business.
"Jake has been with us since we started and we were in the process of registering him."
She said it was her first offence and that she should first have been given a written warning before the termination.
"As a novice broadcaster I should be guided and mentored, not penalised," Ms Musa said.
"I think a little compassion, consideration and leniency should have been accorded to us."
When contacted Ms Horder refused to comment or allow the Sun to speak with its board chairman Mr Wilesmith.
To sign an online petition go to: www.radiokawayan.