Thursday, 1 October 2009

Chairman's Report 2008/9

This last year has been busy with a range of activities to manage. We continue to be part of a successful and enduring Sister City relationship. Thank you to all the members of the Executive for their support and hard work. I hope you continue to be involved with us in the future. Some of the highlights for the year were:

Waterfront Festival

We had a large display at this years Frankston Waterfront Festival. We were assisted by a delegation from our sister city of Susono. The delegation was led by Deputy Mayor Masaru Sugiyama and SOFA Chairperson Hideo Iizuka. The group of 26 included an Eisar Festival Band. The visit was very successful and both visitors and locals had a great time.

Susono Street Sign

Frankston City Council has renamed a street Susono Way. This was seen as a means of visually recognising our sister city. The renamed street is adjacent to major redevelopment beside the Kananook Creek.






Student Exchange

We had visit by 8 junior high school students and 2 teachers from Susono in August 2008. They were hosted by Derinya and Overport Primary Schools and stayed with families from those schools. Thanks to Therese and Miharu for organising and managing the visit. We had plans to host another group this year but Susono cancelled because of the Swine Flu scare.

Kirsten Hood will be undertaking a short term exchange to Susono in November. We wish her well. She follows her brother Lachlan who went to Susono several years ago.

The long term exchange program is in limbo at the moment and is unlikely to be reinstigated.

Japanese Sister City Study

Ross Mouer from the Japanese Studies Centre at Monash University and Jun Tsutsumi from Ehime University Matsuyama Japan are conducting a study of Japanese Sister Cities here in Victoria. We have been actively involved in the work of Ross and Jun. Along the way Ross has become a honorary member of our Association. He assisted with translation duties at the Susono Delegation visit. The study included interviews and a recent workshop that brought together representatives from the Victorian sister cities, Japanese Consul General’s Office and CLAIR. It was a first time that we had spoken with one another. The group will continue to meet on a regular basis and put in place ways of sharing resources and ideas.
Ross will be our guest speaker tonight and will provide more details on his study.

Community and ALT Teacher positions

We continue to assist SOFA and the Susono Board of Education to source people to be Assistant Language Teachers and Community English Teachers in Susono. We have several local young people in teaching position in Susono and look forward to giving more Frankston people that opportunity.

Study of Japanese Gardens

Peter Sharp and I completed a questionnaire on our Japanese Garden. This was part of a study. Peter is now head of a group of volunteers at Frankston High School looking after ou Japanese Garden. The questionnaire is part of a study of over 400 Japanese gardens worldwide by Dr Makato Suzuki and Naoko Makita of the Tokyo University of Agriculture.

Article by Doug Neil in the Studies magazine

Our sister city relationship featured in a major article in the Studies Magazine. The article discussed the concept of sister cities and used the Frankston Susono relationship as the model. The article also looked at the relationship with Yazaki. The magazine goes to schools all over Australia.

Osaka Festival Torii Gates

Our Torii Gates were loaned out several times during the year. They regularly feature in the Melbourne City’s Osaka Festival in the Treasury Gardens.

ASCA Conference

Sorin Ionascu represented Frankston at the 2008 ASCA Conference in Gosford and Rose Conboy and Judy Heeps represented us at the 2009 ASCA Conference in Tamworth. Thank you to the three Executive members for their work. Special thanks to Judy for her comprehensive report of the Tamworth Conference.

CLAIR and the Japanese Consul General

We continue to have an excellent relationship with CLAIR and Japanese Consul General’s office. 2 Staff from CLAIR visited Frankston in Febuary. Kenji Ikeda Director of CLAIR in Sydney is planning to visit Frankston for our next meeting and make a presentation on CLAIR’s activities.

Thank you again to my colleagues and Frankston Council for their support. We work on their behalf on a task and role that we are all passionate about. We look forward to the next delegation visit to Susono in late October this year.