Saturday 1 October 1994

Chairperson's Report 1993/94 - David Lee

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.

Our Friendship Garden, which is being jointly constructed by the Frankston High School 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.

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 Susono City. 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 Japan to take up the position.

Steve Walker was selected during the year to the position of English Language Teacher for SOFA. Unfortunately for Steve, she had to return to Australia after being hurt in a road accident. She will however, be returning to Japan once she has recovered.

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 Frankston 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.

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.

In the years to come, I am confident that the Association will continue to develop and grow, and that our community will become more supportive and aware of the opportunities offered by the Association.