Wednesday 1 October 1997

Chairperson's Report 1996/97 - David Lee

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am very pleased to welcome you to the 1997 Annual General Meeting of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association.

I believe that the past year has been a very successful one for the Association. Our Student Exchange Program has been successfully reinstated, with two students, Hiroko Ninomiya and Ayona Oda from Susono now with us and our own Christina Noonan is in Susono.

The program is progressing very well and we look forward to its continued success. Applications are currently being sought for the 1998 Program.

Our English Teacher Program continues to flourish with both Joe Saunders and Kerry Church being offered an extension to their current contracts. This is very pleasing to the Executive as it shows that the Executive of Susono has the confidence in our selection process and more Importantly the people that we as an Association are sending to fill these most important positions.

Perhaps the most significant of the year was the 15th anniversary of the sister City relationship and the official opening of our Friendship Garden at the Frankston High School that was part of this celebration.

This project has been ongoing for a number of years and it was I am sure very pleasing for all those involved in the project that it has now been opened. The opening ceremony was part of the 15 year Anniversary celebration and it was indeed very appropriate that the opening could occur at this time as we were able to host a delegation from Susono which included the Mayor of Susono Dr. Ohashi, to share in the weekend of celebrations and festivities that were held to mark this historic occasion for both Cities. It was truly a great weekend and further developed the bond of friendship between the two Cities. A great time was had by all!

During the year our Cultural Fair was held for the first time at the Cultural Centre. Once again this was a very successful venture and was well received by our community. I am quite positive that by changing our venue to the Cultural Centre, the Fair will continue to grow and become a very Important date on the cultural calendar of the City of Frankston.

During the year Commissioners were replaced with elected representatives. Its is early days for the new Councillors, but I hope that we will continue to receive their support and that of the Council during their terms in office.

The council has provided much support during the year. Kent Wingfield has been our nominated administrative support and has done a great job for us taking our minutes, circulating our newsletter and acting on our behalf as our liaison with Council and Council Officers. Nothing has been too hard or too much trouble for him. Thanks Kent.

Our Japanese Speech contest continues to blossom with the event again scheduled for mid August this year. The Sub Committee is also looking at expanding this contest into primary schools and hopefully that will occur a little later in the year.

We have also, with the enthusiasm and persistence of Phil Barber revamped our Newsletter. Phil has done a great job with this project and I congratulate him for it. It is no easy task to co-ordinate some 12 people to provide articles for the Newsletter and Phil has done this in a very professional manner and I hope he continues with it.

In many ways this year has been a little easier than last. However, this only occurs when you have an Executive that works together and shares the workload. This has occurred this year and a number of our younger members have taken on extra responsibilities and have performed these tasks exceptionally well. To the whole Executive thank you for you support during the year and congratulations for a job well done.

To those Executive Members who have decided not to continue after tonight, thank you for your support and involvement. The Association has benefited from your involvement. Whilst you may have retired from office, I hope that you can continue to support the Association in whatever way you possibly can.

In closing, I believe that the Association has had a very successful year. We have continued to develop awareness in the community of our existence, and the opportunities that we provide for our community.

There is no reason to think that the Executive Committee that you elect tonight will not continue in this vein.