Thursday, 1 October 1998

Chairman's Report 1997/8

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am very pleased to welcome you to the 1998 Annual General Meeting of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association.
As I am not seeking re-election to the position of Chairperson of the Association, this will be my last Annual Report.
This year has not been as hectic as have been past years, however it has still been a very successful year for the Association.
Our Student Exchange Program continues to operate with Shingo Naito currently with us from Susono. Unfortunately we were not able to select a suitable candidate to go to Susono this year.
Christina Noonan returned from her time in Susono as our 1997 exchange student. Christina will talk to us tonight about her experience.

The Exchange Committee is developing a strategy to promote and develop our program within the school system both within Frankston and its immediate environs.

The English Teacher Programme, which has now been in place for over 4 years, continues to operate very successfully. Joe Saunders has completed her contract as Community English Teacher and was been replaced by Wendy Cleak in June of this year.

Kerrie Church continues in the position of English Teacher for the Education Dept in Susono. Kerrie was able to extend her contract beyond that of her original terms.

The Association will again hold its Japanese Fair at the Cultural Centre on October 4. The plans that are currently being developed for the Fair will ensure that it is bigger and better than ever.

The Japanese Speech contest continues to be an event that has the potential to grow into a very fruitful and worthwhile event. Following the success of this event last year arrangements are well in band for the 1998 contest.

The Association continues to receive support from the Council through its annual grant and the administration support given ably by Kent Wingfield. Its most unfortunate that the Council has seen fit for whatever reason not to he represented on the Executive Committee by a Councillor. The Association plays a vital role in maintaining our Sister City link with Susono and it is most disappointing to hear rumours each year that some Councillors would like to see the demise of the Association. Councillors should before making such comments, become move familiar with the role that the Association plays within the Community. The Council I believe receives a Sister link on the "cheap" in comparison to a number of other organisations that have similar Sister City ties. The dedicated group of community minded people become quite agitated, and rightfully so, when they hear such comments coming from our community leaders.

Phil Barber has continued to produce an excellent Newsletter that is always full of interesting articles. Phil has decided not to continue on the Executive this coming year. Phil's contribution to the Association will be greatly missed and on behalf of the Association I thank him for the work he has done for the Association.

Another retirement will he that of Andrew Grigor. Andrew has been our Exchange Student Co-ordinator for the last two years. This position has a great deal of responsibility attached to it and Andrew has always put his best foot forwarded in ensuring that the program ran as smoothly as possible. Andrew has been a member of the Association for many years and was also an Exchange Student to Susono. Good luck for the future Andrew.


In closing, I would again like to thank all Executive members, past and present for their support and guidance over the numbers of years that I was your Chairperson. I am sure that the person who you elect tonight as my replacement will bring a new direction to the Association that will ensure that its future success is guaranteed.