Monday, 1 October 2007

Chairman's Report 2006/7

I have pleasure in presenting the FSFA Chairperson’s report for 2006/2007. It has been a celebratory and wide ranging year. Thank you to all those people who have worked on the Executive this year.

I also thank the Frankston Council, in particular Chris Hodgins, for the fantastic support of our work.

The following outlines the highlights of our year. The diversity and richness of our program is the subject of an ASCA Award submission for best overall program.

Student Exchange Program

A program established in 1983 for students of Frankston and Susono to attend school and be hosted for up to 12 months in the other city. From time to time a city will send a small group of students for short stays of up to 2 weeks.

Lachlan Hood spent 4 months in Susono from last November. We hosted a student from Susono, Fuyuko Sanada last year.

Applicants are now being sought from both cities for the 2008 program.

Secondary School Visits to Japan

A group of 25 Frankston High School students visit Japan every two years. They spend 2 weeks in Japan and include a visit to Susono and to its sister school in Kawaguchi Kita. We arrange home hosting for 3 days in Susono for the group. A group from Frankston High School will be visiting Susono in September this year. Three students from Susono, who are with us tonight will be in Frankston for 3 weeks. They are attending Mount Erin College. Thanks to Principal Roger Page and his staff for their support. Thanks to the Hood and Foxtell Families for hosting the students.

Frankston Sea Festival

The Frankston Sea Festival is an annual event organized by the Frankston City Council. The Festival was held on the Frankston Foreshore with many activities and displays.

Australian Arrow a subsidiary of Yazaki is the gold sponsor to the Frankston Sea Festival. , which gave them an opportunity to help promote Frankston Susono Friendship Association and for us to work with Australian Arrow to promote Japanese Culture to visitors to the festival. The concept works extremely well for both organisations and will be become a major promotional vehicle for us. The Council has also assisted by encouraging activities that have a Japanese theme. Our display at the Festival included Origami, Kite making, Calligraphy, Shiatsu massage, Sister City Display and Japanese Doll Making. While the Sea Festival is in addition to our Cultural Fair, we are focusing more on the Sea Festival each year.

The Festival continues to attract a wide cross section of people from the Community and further promotes Japanese Culture in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.

ASCA Conference

Frankston City and FSFA have been represented at the last 7 ASCA conferences in Darwin, Adelaide, Bunbury, Bendigo, Orange, Noosa, La Trobe and Devonport. Frankston Council’s General Manager Corporate and Governance Mark Brady is on the ASCA Executive.

In 2006 we won the Best Single project award and have submitted for the Best overall program award for 2007.

Japanese Teaching Positions

This year we have Tom Gardiner commencing a Assistant English Language Teacher position in the next weeks and replacing Therese Sakamoto who is returning to Frankston.

We have also filled a Community English Language Teacher position in Susono.

History of FSFA

This is being updated and republished as part of 25th anniversary. The updated written history and an electronically recorded pictorial history will be distributed free of charge to FSFA and SOFA members.

Policies Manual
Michael Fuller maintains our Policy and Procedures Manual which is a collation of all our documentation. It is an excellent reference source for new members and members taking on new roles.

Relationship with Japanese Consul General
FSFA has developed strong links with the office of the Japanese Consul General in Melbourne. The Chairperson has been invited to the last 5 years Japanese Emperor’s Birthday parties at the home of the Consul General.




Website

Friend of FSFA Bev Harris at the Frankston City Council is creating a new website under the Council’s main website. It will be found at http://fsfa.frankston.vic.gov.au/

25th Anniversary Brochure

In December 2006 FSFA published an information and promotional brochure covering its activities, achievements and a short history of the sister city relationship. The brochure is used to convey information to the community, to recognize the work of many volunteers and to celebrate our many successes. The brochure is also to mark the commencement of the next 25 years of our sister city relationship.

25th anniversary Celebrations

The 25th anniversary of the Frankston and Susono Sister City Relationship is 2007.

To celebrate the occasion FSFA organized a number of events on behalf of the Frankston City Council for 19th, 20th and 21st of January 2007. The events coincided with the annual Frankston Sea Festival. The Festival is a key part of our promotion of Japanese Culture and we work in cooperation with Australian Arrow a major sponsor of the Sea Festival.

A delegation of some 25 citizens from Susono lead by the Mayor Dr Shunji Ohashi, visited Frankston for the Sea Festival and to celebrate our anniversary.

A formal celebratory dinner was held on Friday 19th January 2007.  Also on the Friday a ceremony was held at Frankston High School to mark the 10th anniversary of the Japanese Style Garden.

The following is an extract from a global Yazaki newsletter:

The Susono delegation arrived in Melbourne Friday morning, bringing with them some much hoped for rain. Shaking off any fatigue, the group went directly from the airport to AAPL Headquarters to enjoy the ever popular Australian morning tea, before touring the office and factory. Next came a visit to Frankston High School to have lunch with the students, and view its Japanese garden. The Japanese style garden was constructed as a lasting symbol of Frankston's sister city relationship with Susono. An Australian style garden has been constructed in the grounds of Higashi Junior High School in Susono. In the afternoon, after introductions, delegation members went off to spend time at the homes of their individual host families.

On Friday night over 90 people attended the 25th Anniversary Festival at Frankston international Hotel held under the auspices of the City of Frankston. The evening saw Dr. Ohashi making a wonderful speech, as well as speeches by Mayor Aitken, FSFA Cahirperson Peter Patterson, SOFA Chairperson Mr. Iizuka, Mr. Iwata from the Japanese Consulate Melbourne and Mr. Kan Ito from Australian Arrow.

At the celebration, the honour of "Frankston  Susono Friendship Association Lifetime Member" was bestowed upon AAPL, in honor of which AAPL President Ito presented traditional Japanese "happi" coats to the members of the Frankston and Susono City Friendship Association on behalf of Yazaki Corporation. All the attendees ate the traditional Australia fare with gusto as they enjoyed the astonishingly professional jazz performance of the Frankston High School Brass Band, and the traditional folksy sound of an Australian country music band. The Frankston High School Brass Band journeyed to Japan in 2005 to participate in the Aichi Expo, and also gave a brilliant performance at Y-CITY. All present agreed on the enormous power of music to forge the bonds of friendship.
Before they knew it, the Susono’s delegation busy weekend was drawing to a close, so to celebrate their stay AAPL decided to throw a farewell party. Among the many guests to offer kind words were Susono Mayor Ohashi, who gave a wonderful speech in English to the thunderous applause of all, AAPL President Ito, Frankston Susono Friendship Association Chairperson Peter Patterson, and Susono Overseas Friendship Association Chairperson Iizuka, who shared their experiences from the three days. Over and over again their words were interrupted with standing ovations.
After dinner, the party guests danced to the country blues music of famed Melbourne singer George Kamikawa. Many of the party-goers then formed circles to join in the “Awa-odori” and other traditional Japanese “O-Bon” Festival dances.



Those who attended the Dinner included Mayor Glenn Aitken, Frankston City Councillors, Mr Steve Gawler CEO Frankston City, Dr Shunji Ohashi Mayor of Susono and Mrs Ohashi, Hideo Iidsuka, Chairperson SOFA, Mr Shinya Iwata, Director of Japan Information & Cultural Centre, members of the Delegation, FSFA Executive members, and invited guests.


My speech on the night was:

Konnichiwa  Hajime mashite.  Watashi no namae wa Peter Patterson desu.
On behalf of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association I welcome you to the 25th anniversary celebrations and a special welcome to Frankston our dear friends from Susono. 
Thank you for being part of our festivities this weekend and we hope you all have great time. 
Many of the Susono delegation are first time visitors to Frankston, so we hope you will go home to Japan with great memories from your time with us. I am very happy to have my friends Dr Ohashi, Mrs Ohashi and Mr Iidsuka with us tonight. Thank you.
We have a wonderful program of activities planned for the Frankston Sea Festival. Many hours of work has gone into its staging.  Thank you to the FSFA Executive, the team at Frankston High School and the staff at Frankston Council. 

Thank you to our host families for giving the delegation from Susono an opportunity to experience life in an Australian Home. I am sure that the host families will get as much pleasure out of the experience as our visitors will.

Please enjoy the weekend and lets celebrate our sister city relationship and the culture of Japan. I have put together a visual presentation to show you some of our significant achievements.

To recognize the 25th anniversary of our sister city relationship we have published a booklet on our work, our successes, some highlights of the journey and some memories from some who have been involved.

Tonight is a celebration of the work of many volunteers in two countries over 25 years. Our relationship is unique in that it is managed and maintained by the citizens of each city working on behalf of the city. It is our strength and passion that glues us together. Together we look after and educate each others children, we promote one another’s culture, make life long friends and share our lives with one another. To those people of Frankston and Susono we salute you.

We win awards for our work, we give life changing opportunities to our youth, we fall in love with Japan and we have a bloody great time doing it.
Stand up everyone and acknowledge the moment. Lets Toast
Arigato Gozaimasu

I also made English/Japanese presentation on the Sister City relationship.

The Sea Festival was held on 20th and 21st January 2007 between noon and 10pm on Saturday and noon and 5pm on Sunday. FSFA in association with SOFA had a large display on the Frankston foreshore that included numerous Japanese games, Kite Making, Origami, Calligraphy, Japanese Doll Making & Shiatsu Massage. Our Susono guests also brought lots of Japanese treats to try. We also had Sushi Making and tasting at 12.30pm each day

At 1.00pm & 3.00pm Saturday and 2.00pm Sunday we organized performances by Wadaiko shamisen ensemble WASABI (Taiko) and for possibly the first time in Australia, Awa Odori (Japanese Festival Dancing) band and performers from Susono. We also organized functions for the Saturday night and a farewell BBQ on Sunday night.

A long remembered farewell party was held on the Sunday evening to conclude the celebrations and to thank the visiting delegation.
Again from the Yazaki global website newsletter


Together the guests from Susono, their host families, and AAPL employees and their families enjoyed an Australian style barbecue, later topped off by Australia’s famous “Pavlova” meringue cake for dessert.

Everyone was having so much fun that no one wanted to go home, but all good things must come to an end, and so the party finally wound down to conclude the group’s whirlwind tour. As Susono Mayor Ohashi said in his speech, the three days just flew by, but short though it may have been, it was time well spent getting to know each other and together looking to the future.

Thank you to David Lee for making a fantastic DVD of the celebratory weekend.

City Sign

Communities and Cities acknowledge their sister relationships in many ways. Signage at the entrance and at the municipal boundaries is a longstanding and popular way of doing this. Frankston’s roadside signage displays with pride their relationship with Susono Japan. It would be fitting if one of those signs could be placed in the community of Susono.

Therefore, FSFA and the Frankston City Council decided to present to Mayor and Citizens of Susono, two signs to be displayed in a public place in Susono. One is a large 2M x 1.5M city entrance sign and one a smaller sign showing the kilometers from Susono to Frankston.

The signs were presented by Mayor Glenn Aiken of Frankston to Mayor Shunji Ohashi of Susono at the 25th Anniversary Dinner in Frankston on 19 January 2007. The sign is now in Susono and will be located in a garden and the front of the city offices.

Too often gifts are put in cupboards or on restricted display. We wanted a lasting gift to be shared by all the community of Susono.

Art Exhibition

In April 2007, the Frankston Arts Centre in conjunction with the FSFA opened an Art Exhibition designed to stimulate interest in our sister cities through art and the internet. Using Google Earth as a means of exploring Frankston and Susono from above, youth are encouraged to submit art about “My Street”. An art exchange program has been organized with the exhibition in Frankston’s Cube 37 featuring art from youth in Susono. Thank you to Merryn Tinkner and her team for her support of this project.

Google Earth enables everyone to “visit” and explore their sister city without leaving their home. You gain an excellent understanding of the layout, topography and other features of the city.

Japanese Garden

We continue to be proud of the Japanese Style garden that FSFA constructed at the Frankston High School.

The 10th anniversary of the garden was celebrated in January this year with both the mayors of Frankston and Susono being present. A luncheon and ceremony was organized by John Albiston the Principal of the Frankston High School. More than 100 people attended the event including members of FSFA and SOFA. The delegation from Susono presented several carved stone animals to be placed in the garden.

Thank you to Mr Noel Ferguson for writing a brief history of the garden and is part of our 25th anniversary brochure.




Relationship with Yazaki

I participated in a Global Stakeholder forum conducted by the Yazaki Corporation in Japan. The Forum was held on Tuesday 28 March 2006. I presented a paper at the forum on the activities of FSFA and the work we are doing linking the community of Frankston to Yazaki’s Australian affiliate company Australian Arrow which is based in Frankston. This project was part of an ASCA award submission in 2006.

Our great work is acknowledged in Yazaki’s 2006 Social and Environmental Report.

In recognition of the relationship with AAPL/Yazaki over more than 25 years, the company was awarded life membership of FSFA.

Thank you to the Councillors and staff of Frankston City for their support and encouragement of our work. To the host of volunteers and supporters of the Association, an outstanding effort.

We administer the sister city relationship on their behalf. The Yazaki Corporation has been part of our relationship for the 25 years and we thank them for their part in the relationship.

We also thank the communities of Frankston and Susono for giving so much back to us in support and encouragement.


We all look forward to another 25 years working together.