Saturday, 12 November 2022

2022 FSFA Chairperson's Report


2022 FSFA Chairperson’s Report

The past year has been challenging for all of us due to having to live with the on-going effects of the coronavirus. These unprecedented times has impacted FSFA in many ways. but due to the on-going commitment from the committee members, FSFA continues to plan for the future.

Earlier this year we were able to resume our face-to-face meetings at Frankston City Council which has been great. The Committee continue to meet on the first Tuesday of each month, with some members choosing to ZOOM into the meeting.

Frankston City Council continues to support the FSFA Committee in promoting cultural experiences to the Frankston community. We acknowledge the financial support which assists with funding events such as the Japanese Fair, Speech Contests and our Hanami party.

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary with our Sister City, Susono. Unfortunately, we have not been able to celebrate with our friends from Susono in person, however we have participated in celebratory ceremonies via ZOOM which have been very successful.

As the year progressed, were able to resume some of our usual cultural activities within the community.

In September FSFA hosted another very successful Speech Contest at Monash University. The speech contest was well attended and the 47 students who participated all spoke very well.

Our Japanese garden continues to be a wonderful sight at Frankston High School. On October 23rd 2022 we were able to hold a Japanese Hanami party for our FSFA Committee and members of the community. The Hanami party was attended by the Mayor of Frankston, Nathan Conroy and Councillor Sue Baker.

Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID, our friends in Susono had to postpone their scheduled trip to Frankston which was planned for October 2022. We hope to welcome them back to Frankston in the future, and at a recent ZOOM meeting between FSFA and SOFA, SOFA have invited FSFA to visit Susono in October 2023 to attend the Australian Fair. Hopefully we will be able to meet again in person next year.

Our small, but dedicated committee members continue to do a wonderful job in promoting FSFA and sharing their love for Japan to others. Simon Hast (Vice Chairperson) does an amazing job in overseeing the Japanese Garden at FHS, and organising the working bees which the other committee members assist with. Bev Hannan continues to keep the financial books balanced which is fantastic. Therese Sakamoto and Sam Warrington do a great job in communicating with our friends on SOFA as both (being past FSFA exchange students) are fluent in Japanese. Our other committee members, Anita and David Cross, Vic Webster, Helen Wilson and Adrian Thomas are all valued members of our small team and assist wherever required.

On October 10th 2022, Simon, Therese, Bev and myself gave a presentation to Frankston Mayor and Councillors about the history of our Sister City Relationship, including some of the highlights from over the past 40 years. It was an opportunity to invite the councillors to assist with future activities that we have planned, including assistance with holding another Japanese Festival and also future delegations to Susono.

Overall, it has been another busy year for FSFA. Our small Committee remains dedicated to the Association and hopes to resume even more activities in the future such as our Japanese Festival, hosting students from Susono on school delegations and visiting Susono. 

Thank you to all those who have made the past 40 years such a success, including the current and former Committee Members, as we look forward to the future.

Stay safe and well,

Julie D’Arcy

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Japanese Garden Working Bee - October 2022

Our Japanese Garden working bee was planned many months ago with the expectation that the Susono delegation would be arriving later this week for their visit and the Japanese Festival. The festival was to be held at Frankston High School's senior campus with our Japanese Garden to be a feature of the day's activities. With both the delegation visit and the Japanese Festival postponed it was decided to still hold the working bee to prepare the garden for our Hanami Party which will be held on Sunday 23rd October - just 3 weeks away.

The purple rhododendron has plenty of buds ready to flower

Members of the FSFA committee who were able to attend met shortly after 9 a.m. with a range of tasks undertaken including dead heading and trimming the many azalea shrubs, along with some weeding, raking and general tidying in the garden. It was also an opportunity to water and fertilize to help with the anticipated spring growth.

The pink cherry blossoms are starting to emerge

The garden appears to be in good order with plenty of colorful flowers, the start of the cherry blossoms and the stunning red maple the showpiece of the garden. The rhododendrons have plenty of buds ready to burst into full boom with their spectacular purple and pink flowers - the coming weeks should produce quite a show. The mondo grass is doing well but still not back to the pre-drought era of lush growth - a work in progress!

All 3 cherry trees should be in full flower at our Hanami Party

Thank you to Julie, Sam, Adrian, and Helen for their help in the garden and also Bev & Vic for delivering a delicious morning tea.

The spectacular red colours of the Japanese maple

Friday, 2 September 2022

2022 FSFA Japanese Speech Contest

The Frankston Susono Friendship Association held its annual Japanese Speech Contest at Monash Peninsula Campus on Friday 2nd September, the first in 3 years due to restrictions imposed by the covid pandemic. The Association is a group of volunteer citizens who administer Frankston’s sister city relationship with Susono, Shizuoka in Japan on behalf of the Frankston City Council. FSFA have worked to promote Japanese culture, the study of Japanese language plus student and cultural exchanges since the sister city relationship was established in February 1982.

The Association invited students from local primary and secondary schools to this year’s contest and 41 entries were received. Contestants were required to recite a short self-introduction followed by a set piece based on the folktale story of MomotarĊ (Peach Boy) and were judged by a panel of Japanese speakers. Contestants competed in Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Japanese Environment (Primary), Junior Secondary, Intermediate Secondary, Japanese Environment (Secondary) and Senior Secondary divisions.

Trophies to be awarded across the 7 divisions

FSFA Chairperson Julie D’Arcy welcomed all contestants, their parents and teachers before explaining the work undertaken by the Association and the importance of the annual contest in promoting the teaching of Japanese language in our local schools.

The evening’s program started with the primary divisions kicking off proceedings and 28 nervous and excited contestants presenting before the judging panel. Individual trophies were awarded to the top three students in each division, with the top contestant in each division also awarded a perpetual trophy which is displayed with pride at their school for the next 12 months.


Lower Primary (Prep to Year 3):

1st           Charlotte S (Derinya Primary School)

2nd          Oscar N (Dromana Primary School)

3rd           Max W (Derinya Primary School)

Commendation Award: Acacia C (Dromana Primary School)

Lower Primary trophy winners pictured with Julie, Therese and Sam

 Upper Primary (Years 4 to 6):

1st           Chloe K (Derinya Primary School)

2nd          Seb S (Overport Primary School)

3rd           Luciana D (Dromana Primary School)

Upper Primary trophy winners pictured with Therese, Julie and Sam

Japanese Environment (Primary):

1st           Cody T (Bayside Christian College)

2nd          Lydia T (Bayside Christian College)

Japanese Environment trophy winners pictured with Therese, Julie and Sam

The secondary schools followed with students presenting a more detailed self-introduction and set piece or Japanese themed topic in each of the 4 divisions. At the conclusion of these speeches Executive Committee member, former exchange student to Susono and judge Sam Warrington commented on the impressive standard of all contestants and recognized the enormous challenge of memorizing and presenting a speech in the Japanese language, especially given that the senior division students are required to write, memorize and present a 3-to-5-minute speech on a topic of their choice.


Junior (Years 7 & 8):

1st           Mele’ana L (Frankston High School)

2nd          Avinash S (Hillcrest Christian College)

3rd           Aurelia L (Haileybury - Newlands)

Commendation Award: Madhava R (Hillcrest Christian College)

Junior Secondary trophy winners with FSFA Chairperson Julie D'Arcy

 Intermediate (Years 9 & 10):

1st           Kato L (Frankston High School)

2nd          Lavanya J (Nossal High School)

3rd           Alyssa L (Frankston High School)

Intermediate Secondary trophy winners pictured with Julie D'Arcy

 Japanese Environment (Secondary):

1st           Hidemi I (Frankston High School)

2nd          Kai G (Nossal High School)

Japanese Environment trophy winners with Julie D'Arcy

 Senior (Years 11 & 12):

1st           Minuki S (Nossal High School)

2nd          Kayra K (Frankston High School)

3rd           Cecilia L (Nossal High School)

Commendation Award: Subi P (Frankston High School)

Senior Secondary trophy winners pictured with Julie D'Arcy

A special thank you to our panel of judges for assisting at this year’s contest; the teachers for their hours of hard work preparing their students; and the parents and families for their attendance, encouragement and support. Finally, our appreciation to Monash Peninsula Campus for making such a wonderful venue available to our Association and the hard-working members of the FSFA Committee for organising and running another successful Japanese Speech Contest.

Thank you to our wonderful judges!