Saturday, 12 October 2019

Japanese Garden Working Bee

Our pre-Hanami Party Japanese Garden Working Bee was held on Sunday 13th October with a number of tasks completed by a small but hard-working group of committee members and friends.

The purple flowers of the rhododendron always look spectacular!
A bamboo screen to cover the hose reel.

Earlier this year Brendan Curtis from the Melbourne Zoo visited our garden and made a number of recommendations. Some of these have already been undertaken but many were completed during our working bee.

These included upgrading the galvanized edging between the white pebbles and the garden beds, trimming and dead-heading the many flowering bushes and trees, mulching the garden beds, fertilizing and feeding the plants, shrubs and trees, as well as some general weeding, raking and tidying.

The new edging looks schmick!
The raised edging should provide an improved barrier.

A huge thank you to our crew who included FSFA Chairperson Julie D'Arcy and her partner Tim who provided much needed gardening expertise and a trip to Bunnings for another 7 bags of mulch, Vice-Chairperson Simon Hast, our great friend Ralph Halnon who travels from Newport to attend our meetings and working bees, Adrian Thomas, and Bev Hannan and Vic Webster who supplied a delicious morning tea of coffees, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Tim Tams! These were very much appreciated.

Julie, Simon, Ralph, Adrian, Tim and Vic enjoying morning tea.

I hope the results of our hard work are adequately portrayed in the photos included in this report.

The many azaleas and other plants have been trimmed and dead flowers removed.

Our 2019 Hanami Party will be held next Sunday 20 October commencing at 12 noon and we hope that many of our FSFA friends will be able to join us to enjoy and admire our Japanese Garden. Parking will be available in the Overport Primary School carpark - the entrance is opposite the Frankston South Leisure Centre on Towerhill Road.

Future planting of mondo grass will enhance this area.
The blossoms have started, but should peak by our Hanami Party!

Sunday, 15 September 2019


Article submitted by Mrs. Therese Sakamoto, Japanese Teacher Derinya Primary School

Every August we look forward to welcoming the student delegation from our sister city Susono. Ten students from schools all over Susono are selected to represent their city for the eight day trip and it is an opportunity for new friendships to be established between the citizens of Susono and Frankston. After the students are matched with host families, communication commences between the families in Susono and Frankston. Exchanging emails and video chats prior to departure from Susono lessens the nerves for everyone with introductions already complete.

Smiles all round!

Members of FSFA Executive Committee joined host families and staff of Derinya Primary School to welcome the delegation on Wednesday 7th August. After formalities, everyone shared an Aussie afternoon tea before heading off to commence the homestays.

'Soran' festival dance performed at the whole school assembly

For the next week, the students immersed themselves in school life at Derinya through participation in Year 5 and 6 classes. With the Year 6 Market Day conveniently scheduled during the delegation’s visit, our Susono friends busily prepared 300 ‘yoyo balloons’ to sell alongside their Derinya buddies. These festival toys from Japan proved to be extremely popular on Market Day and many Derinya students could be seen happily bouncing their Japanese yoyos in the playground for days afterwards! The Susono students enjoyed boomerang art, bush dancing and Aussie sport (AFL and cricket) in addition to regular lessons. They also treated us to the fabulous upbeat festival dance, ‘soran’ at our whole school assembly and the farewell party.

Yo-Yo balloons for sale at Market Day

Rajio taiso exercises during the Year 7 Japanese class at Frankston High

On Tuesday 13th August, the delegation attended the official opening of the Susono Friendship Garden in Susono Way as representatives of Susono and were introduced to the Mayor of Frankston and other important guests. One of the students, Tenka, whose father works at Yazaki World Headquarters in Susono was invited to assist in the unveiling of the official plaque, with Jarvis, one of the Derinya students. The group also enjoyed a visit to Frankston High School and participation in a Year 7 Japanese lesson and concluded the day with tree-surfing and tube sliding at Arthur’s Seat.

Harnessing up for tree-surfing at the Enchanted Adventure Garden


Over the course of the week, the ten young students from Susono had forged new friendships and felt like part of an Australian family. Ten Frankston families had shared their homes and daily lives with the Susono students. They had experienced a typical week and weekend together. In eight short days, they had all settled into life together and even those with limited confidence had bonded beautifully and learnt to joke around together.

Friends now and into the future!

Suddenly, it was time to say goodbye. Strangers had become closer than friends. They had become family. There was much joy for all the memories they shared and much sadness that it had come to an end. At the Farewell Party on the final evening and Departure Day the next morning, everyone’s hearts were filled with a mixture of joy and sadness. With many tears, hugs and promises to keep in touch and meet again, our Susono delegation and their Frankston families and friends parted.

Sad farewells on the final day

Friday, 6 September 2019

2019 Japanese Speech Contest

The Frankston Susono Friendship Association held its annual Japanese Speech Contest at Monash University - Peninsula Campus on Friday 6th 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 73 entries were received. Contestants were required to recite a short self-introduction followed by a set piece based on the story of Tsuru no Ongaeshi (The Grateful Crane) 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.

A full table of individual and perpetual trophies!

Retiring 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.

The evening’s program started with the primary divisions kicking off proceedings and over 30 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           Seb S (Overport Primary School)

2nd          Emily B (Derinya Primary School)

3rd           Lucy S (Derinya Primary School)

Commendation Award: Audrey P (Overport Primary School)

Lower Primary winners Lucy, Emily, Seb and Audrey with Peter Patterson

Upper Primary (Years 4 to 6):

1st           Alyssa L (Derinya Primary School)

2nd          Lucas J (Derinya Primary School)

3rd           Naomi F (Derinya Primary School)

Upper Primary winners Alyssa and Lucas

Japanese Environment (Primary):

1st           Joe C (Overport Primary School)
2nd          Nalu B (Balnarring Primary School)
3rd           Saya P (Overport Primary School)

Japanese Environment (Primary) winners Saya, Nalu and Joe with Peter and trophies

Primary Division winners with the perpetual trophies which will be displayed at their schools

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 our newest 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 Japanese themed topic.


Junior (Years 7 & 8):

1st           Caspar B (Haileybury - Newlands)

2nd          Subekchha P (Frankston High School)

3rd           Smruti S (Haileybury - Newlands)

Junior Division winner Caspar with Peter and trophies

Intermediate (Years 9 & 10):

1st           Anirudh K (Haileybury - Newlands)

2nd          Charli E (Frankston High School)

3rd           Sophia L (Haileybury - Newlands)

Commendation Award: Amélie R (Mornington Secondary College)

Intermediate winners Anirudh and Charli

Japanese Environment (Secondary):

1st           Sarah F (Frankston High School)

2nd          Luka R (Haileybury - Newlands)

3rd           Hannah N (Frankston High School)

Commendation Award: Len C (Naranga School)

Japanese Environment (Secondary) winners Sarah and Luka with Peter and trophies

Senior (Years 11 & 12):

1st           Alesha W (Hillcrest Christian College)

2nd          Gerald D (Frankston High School)

Senior Division winner Alesha with Peter and trophies

Secondary division winners Caspar, Anirudh, Sarah and Alesha with Peter Patterson

Individual highlights of the evening were Sarah F winning the Japanese Environment (Secondary) Division for the 6th year in a row - a clean sweep! Joe C winning the Japanese Environment (Primary) Division for the fourth time in 5 years! Anirrudh K winning the Junior and Intermediate Divisions in consecutive years. Plus every contestant who displayed commitment, courage and worked hard to practice and deliver high quality speeches in their second, or possibly even third language.

A huge thank you to our 5 wonderful judges who gave up their time to come along and assist us conduct another very successful evening. We also appreciate the contribution of both the students' families and especially the teachers and language assistants at their schools who have spent many hours supporting and encouraging their students. Our contest would not be possible without your high level of commitment. Arigatou gozaimashita!

And best of all, the night was over in time for us to pack up and make it home to watch Collingwood defeat Geelong! GO PIES!!