Saturday, 9 September 2017

2017 FSFA Japanese Speech Contest

FSFA Japanese Speech Contest

The Frankston Susono Friendship Association held its annual Japanese Speech Contest at Monash Peninsula Campus on Friday 8th September. 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 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 for this year’s contest and 80 entries were received. Contestants were required to recite a short self-introduction followed by a set piece based on the story of Hachiko the loyal Akita breed of dog, 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.

FSFA Chairperson Peter Patterson 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.

FSFA Chairperson Peter Patterson

The evening’s program started with the primary divisions kicking off proceedings and over 35 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:

1st           Olivia Brown (Benton Junior College)
2nd          Molly Boulter (Derinya Primary School)
3rd           Frances Wu (Derinya Primary School)

Molly Boulter (Derinya PS) - 2nd Lower Primary

Frances Wu (Derinya PS) - 3rd place Lower Primary

Upper Primary:

1st           Jorden Lancaster (Derinya Primary School)
2nd          Alyssa Lancaster (Derinya Primary School)
3rd           Tess Uren (Toorak College)

Jorden Lancaster (Derinya PS), Alyssa Lancaster (Derinya PS) and Tess Uren (Toorak College)

Japanese Environment (Primary):

1st           Joe Coney (Overport Primary School)
2nd          Saya Piquet (Overport Primary School)
3rd           Nalu Brothwell (Balnarring Primary School)

Joe Coney (Overport PS), Saya Piquet (Overport PS) and Nalu Brothwell (Balnarring PS)

The secondary schools followed with students presenting a more detailed self-introduction and set piece in each of the 4 divisions. At the conclusion of these speeches the judges commented on the impressive standard of all contestants and recognised the enormous challenge of memorising and presenting a speech in the Japanese language, especially given that the senior division students are required to write, memorise and present a 3 to 5 minute speech on a Japanese themed topic.



1st           Aayush Khatiwada (Hillcrest Christian College)
2nd          Sarah Leong (Toorak College)
3rd           Ain Mohiddin (Haileybury - Newlands)

Aayush Khatiwada (Hillcrest Christian College)
 - 1st Junior Secondary

Sarah Leong (Toorak College) - 2nd Junior Secondary


1st           Caitlin Taylor (McClelland Secondary College)
2nd          Joan Graeson (St Peter’s College)
3rd           Beck Fan (Hillcrest Christian College)

Caitlyn Taylor (McClelland SC), Beck Fan (Hillcrest Christian College) and Joan Graeson (St Peter's College)

Japanese Environment (Secondary):

1st           Sarah Fujii (Frankston High School)
2nd          Sam Fujii (Frankston High School)
3rd           Len Coney (Naranga School)

Sarah Fujii (Frankston HS), Sam Fujii (Frankston HS) and Len Coney (Naranga School)


1st           Kimberley Ng (Toorak College)
2nd          Chloe Chilvers (McClelland Secondary College)
3rd           Kobe Souvannasing (St Peter’s College)

Kimberley Ng (Toorak College), Chloe Chilvers (McClelland SC) and Kobe Souvannasing (St Peter's College)

* Please note that some students did not give permission to publish their photo *

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Chairperson's Report 2016-17 - Peter Patterson

In the 35th year of our sister city relationship I pleased to report on the activities of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association over the past 12 months. Thank you to my fellow group of passionate volunteers who continue their great work to look after the sister city relationship on behalf of the Frankston Council.

Thank you to all the Executive members and others who have joined us and left us during the year. A very well done to Simon Hast, Therese Sakamoto, Bev Hannan, Vic Webster, Julie D’Arcy, Margaret Patterson and Helen Wilson. Good Luck Helen from all of us. Thank You also to Suzie Zagami and Fran Menting who were with us for part of the year.

Again, our collective thanks to Chris Hodgins for providing outstanding administrative support to the Association.

In February this year we held a reception at Frankston High School to celebrate the 35th year of our sister city relationship and the 20th anniversary of the Japanese garden. Those who attended included Mayor Brian Cunial, Councillors Hampton and Toms, Past Executive members, Life members and supporters of the sister city relationship. Speeches and ceremonial toasts recognised the work of many who have contributed to the fabric of the sister city relationship. See my speech attached to this report.

This year we completed a stocktake and documented of all the wonderful Japanese treasures we look after on behalf of the City. Thank you to Bev Hannan for this work.

We had a delegation visit of middle school students and minders from Susono on a short term stay on Frankston during August 2017. Thank you to Derinya Primary School community and Therese Sakamoto for looking after the group during their stay.

Simon Hast continues to manage our Japanese Garden at the Frankston High School. Thank you Simon. We have some work to do at the moment to recover the garden after being unattended for 5 months while building works at the school were completed.

Frankston High School continues to be a great supporter of our cause. It will be the venue for next year’s Japanese Fair. Principal John Albiston will represent the High School on this year’s Executive.

Our annual Speech Contest at Monash University continues to develop and evolve and is well supported by local schools. Our contest this Friday has attracted record numbers of participants. We also appreciate the support of those who have volunteered to be judges. We are developing a great network of people in the broader “Japanese community”. Thank you to those who have contributed to the success of our speech contest. There are some 26 schools in the region teaching Japanese and 8 schools in the city of Frankston.

In recognition of the number of Japanese expats in the broader Frankston community, one of our goals is to set up an informal Japanese Network. FSFA would be the catalyst and the organiser of the first event. After a false start earlier this year we plan to have a gathering in our Japanese Garden this spring to coincide with blossom blooming. Our Hanami is planned for late October so will can sit under the sakura and network with one another. We plan to enjoy some great Japanese food and beverages.

A member of our Association Mr Sorin Ionascu continued his great work as a Community English Language teacher in Susono. This fulfils his dream of living in Japan for an extended period. He has been well assisted by his wife Mirella and both have become loved members of the Susono community. We look forward to seeing Sorin and Mirella back in Frankston in February 2018. We supported Sorin and Mirella at the International Fair in Susono with a range of Australian goods.

The Frankston Council has approved in principle the naming of a service road in front of the Frankston Private Hospital as Susono Way. This is subject to community consultation and other processes. Once approved a tribute garden and signage will be constructed in a reserve opposite the Hospital. Signage will publicly recognise the sister city relationship and the contribution of AAPL to the Frankston Community.

After a break of a number of years, FSFA has submitted an application for an Australian Sister Cities Award. The submission was under the Community Involvement category and related to the 2016 Japanese Fair. Thank to Simon for putting the submission together. We shall keep our fingers crossed.

Jess Hast has been developing our new website. It is slowly getting there has we feed in more content and evolve the structure of the website. Thank you to Jess for her work to date. Keep up the good work.

We have started early preparations for a Japanese Fair on 6 May 2018 and a delegation visit to Japan for the Australian Fair on 30 September 2018. We all look forward to these two events.

It is sad to see that AAPL/Yazaki is closing in Frankston in the coming weeks. The company was a significant contributor to the Frankston Community in many ways. The company of course brought Frankston and Susono together and we always indebted to the company for that. We will be recognising the contribution of AAPL/Yazaki to Frankston in our new Japanese garden.

I would like to thank the Frankston Council for their ongoing support of our work and allocation of funding for our activities each year.

I thank you all for your attendance tonight and thank you again to all the Executive members and supporters of our sister city relationship.

For the longevity of this organisation and the sister city relationship we need some new faces and to connect with some from the past. I look forward to seeing some new folk around the Executive table this year.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

35th and 20th Anniversary Celebrations - Chairperson Peter Patterson


Welcome everyone to the celebrations of the 35th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Susono and 20 years to the day that the Japanese garden here at Frankston High School was officially opened.

Today we are 40 people in number who represent the journey that has been undertaken in those 35 years.

With us to today are:

Mayor Brian Cunial
Frankston City Mayor
Not only Mayor but member of delegation in 2104. Former FHS student. Thank you for your support.
Deputy Mayor Steve Toms
Frankston City
Deputy Mayor
We hope a new found friend and former FHS student. Welcome Steve and we look forward to working with you.
Cr Colin Hampton
Frankston City
Member of 3 delegations and great supporter of our work. Thank You Colin for your vocal support of our work.
Simon and Tonia Hast
Deputy Chairperson FSFA
Current custodian and champion of our garden and teacher at FHS. Tonia is a Japanese Teacher at FHS. Daughter Jess has created and is managing our website. Thank you Simon and the Hast family.
Margaret Patterson
Committee Member FSFA
Patient, better half to me and long running member of our Executive. Our catering expert for the many function we have organised. Also Australian cooking expert in Susono during our visits. Thank You.
Fran Menting and Tom Hood
Committee Member FSFA
Fran an Executive member, and mother of two short term Exchange students to Susono. Fran also looked after our website and expert in Chocolate bananas. Thank You Fran and Tom for your help.
Therese Sakamoto, Mick and Emily
Committee Member FSFA
Former Exchange students and English Language teacher in Susono. Japanese teacher at Derinya. Now Executive member. Thank you for your involvement.
Suzie Zagami
Committee Member FSFA
Newly found member of the Executive and member of our last delegation to Susono. Thank You Suzie.
Helen Wilson
Committee Member FSFA
VP at FHS and head of the Senior school. Member of our Executive. FHS have had a representative on our Executive for many years. Thank You Helen.
Julie Darcy
Committee Member FSFA
First Exchange Student to Susono and is marking 34 years this week when she went to Susono. Japan was a very different place then. Julie is a member of our Executive. Thank You Julie for your support. 
John and Debbie
Principal Frankston High School
Our host and landlord for our Garden. Thank You for your support as a past Executive member. Thank You to FHS for their support over the whole 35 years.
Chris Hodgins
Frankston Council
Fantastic administrative support to the Executive at our meetings. Thank You Chris!
David and Barbara Lee
Former Mayor and Former Chairperson FSFA
One of the 5 names inscribed on the stones in the Garden. Was Chairperson of FSFA at the time. Thank you David and Barbara for your support.
Ken and Sue Rowe
Former Principal of Frankston High School
Former Principal and another whose name is inscribed on the stone in the garden. Great supporter in the earlier years. Thank You Ken and Sue.
Noel and Lorraine Ferguson
Former Mayor and Former Chairperson FSFA
First Chairperson of FSFA and the keeper of the history of the garden. One of our founding fathers and built the foundation on which we have prospered. Thank You Noel and Lorraine.
Steve Walker
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA and one time Community English teacher is Susono. Long-serving Executive member and Member of a number of delegations and wise counsel on our ASCA award submissions. Thank You Steve for your continued support.
Vic Walker
Life Member FSFA
Life Member of FSFA. Executive member and Treasurer. Member of delegations and bus driver. Thank You Vic.
Rod Johnston
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA. Passionate and active member of the Executive in the earlier years. Thank You Rod.
Des and Marj Dean
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA and long serving member of the Executive. Des was the longest serving member of the Executive and Champion of our Speech Contest. Great to see you Des and Marj. Thank You.
Bev Womersley
Former Committee Member FSFA
Bev and Fred Womersley we involved at the beginning and members of our Executive. Thanks You Bev and pass on our thanks to Fred who could not make it tonight.
Phil and Ellie Barber
Former Committee Member FSFA
Phil and Ellie were parents of Exchange Student Skye and Phil a member of the Executive. Thank you for your support.
Bill and Sandra Speirs
Former Deputy Principal Frankston High School
Vice Principal of FHS senior campus and great supporter of the sister city relationship. Thank you Bill and Sandra for being with us to today.
Yuka Mukaiyama
Teacher Frankston High School
Yuka is a long-serving Japanese teacher at FHS and involved with our work over many years. Thank you for your support Yuka.

There are many others who have made valuable contributions and I thank them also.

Several who are not with us today are:

The late John Richards, Former Chairperson of FSFA, his wife Lillian.
Judy Thomas, Life member and Secretary of FSFA
Fred Womersley member of First delegation to Susono
Marian Heale, a former Principal at FHS and custodian of the Garden.
Bev Hannan Treasurer of FSFA and long serving Executive member. Husband Vic Webster Executive of FSFA.

From the beginnings in 1982 through to today. Many highlights and many memories. We have displays around the room that capture many of these special moments. The people who have created those memories and the friends here and in Japan that we have made.
In total 100 people from Frankston have served in some formal capacity to manage and celebrate the sister city relationship with Susono. Japanese fairs, speech contests and delegation visits are some of the many activities we have organised and  shared with the community of Frankston. A great big thank you to every one of those 100 people.

The Japanese Garden has an interesting story that Noel Ferguson will share with us shortly. I thank those who created it, those who have looked after it and those who have taken pride in it. We have photos of the Garden through the years and the people who were part of getting it to where it is today. Considered by some to one of the finest of its type. Thank you to all of you.

To those of you here today, I wish to acknowledge you for contributing to the rich and robust fabric of the Frankston Susono relationship. There are very few sister city relationships that have lasted and been so actively promoted as ours. For example, our Japanese Fair last April attracted some 2000 people. In turn the recent  Australian Festivals in Susono have attracted record attendance. The interest in our respective cultures has not diminished.

We have won national awards for our efforts, given the youth of our city life changing opportunities and for many of us an avenue to display our passion for Japan.

Thank you to the Frankston Council who have delegated the responsibility for the administration of the sister city relationship to a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Some have come and gone and few have stuck around for a few years to keep the wheels turning.

In closing I report on the work behind the scenes on a public tribute to the Frankston Susono Sister City relationship. For a short while we had Susono Way that became the laneway behind the South East Water building. At our request the Council has been evaluating a number of other more suitable sites. One looks very promising and hope that the formalities can be settled quickly and we can get on with the work. I hope to announce more details soon.