Firstly, on behalf of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association, I would like to welcome you to the Association's Annual General Meeting.
The year that has just past has been another very busy and productive year for the Association, perhaps with the highlight of the year to my mind being the successful organising and running of the second Cultural Fair.
The Association was also able to receive a very large delegation from Susono, which arrived to coincide with the Cultural Fair. The delegation's participation was certainly a bonus in giving the Fair just that little bit extra in promoting Japanese culture and tradition. It was estimated that over 1,000 people visited the fair.
, which is being jointly
constructed by the Friendship Garden and the
Association, gained some momentum during the year. Many working bees have been
held to clear and prepare the area for landscaping to take place. Rocks have
been positioned and whilst the Susono Delegation was here, a joint tree
planting ceremony was conducted to commemorate their visit and the beginning of
the Garden in full earnest. Frankston
The Association currently has two students in Susono participating in the Student Exchange Program and is hosting two students from Susono. The program has now been running very successfully for 12 years and many Frankston students past and present have gained a valuable experience from their involvement in this program.
One of the many reasons for a delegation from Susono coming to Frankston was to select an English teacher for
. Members of the
Association's Executive were involved in canvassing suitable applicants for the
position. As well as this, assistance was given to the Susono Interview Panel
in the actual interviewing of candidates. The successful applicant was Amy
Steny, who has just recently flown to Susono
City to take up the position. Japan
Steve Walker was selected during the year to the position of English Language Teacher for SOFA. Unfortunately for Steve, she had to return to
being hurt in a road accident. She will however, be returning to Australia once she
has recovered. Japan
This year we also held our first ever Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools. The competition attracted many entrants, with the organiser, Des Dean, and his Committee confident that the event will continue to gain support and be bigger and better next year.
In the coming year I would anticipate that there will be a need f or some changes in the way in which the Association conducts its business with Council. I am sure that you will all be aware of the reforms that are occurring in the area of Local Government.
The City of
is part of this reform process. It is anticipated that come November this year,
an announcement will be made concerning Frankston. Regardless of how the
outcome might effect Frankston as a City, the Association will, I believe, be
placed in a position where it will have no alternative but to review its
relationship with the new Council. Having stated this, I do not believe that
the Association will be disadvantaged in any way but it will have to adapt to a
new phase in Local Government. Frankston
I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking a very hard working Executive who, this year in the face of many adversities, has made significant progress for the Association.
The organising of the many activities, other than the normal management of Association affairs that go on during the year such as co-ordinating the Student Exchange Program, the organising of the Cultural Fair, arranging homestays for members of the delegation and translation of speeches just to mention a few, would not come to fruition if it were not for the members of the hardworking committed Executive Committee.
To those people, whether they be members or not, who have assisted the Association during the year by supporting social events or by opening their homes for homestay for the delegation or the Student Exchange Program, I thank you on behalf of the Executive. This generosity is essential in ensuring that our relationship with Susono continues to develop and grow.