Saturday 1 October 2011

Chairperson's Report 2010/11 - Peter Patterson

In a few days’ time a delegation of citizens from Frankston will travel to Japan to celebrate and acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Frankston and Susono. It is very fulfilling to know that we have maintained the passion and interest for all of those 30 years. What a fantastic achievement. Let’s look forward to many more years together.

Thank you to all the past and current Executive members for their tireless efforts over the 30 years. We are volunteers with a passion for the Japanese culture and pride in the community of Frankston.

Every year Chris Hodgins makes an outstanding contribution and we all thank her for the work she does on our behalf.

We continue to have a display at the Frankston Waterfront Festival each year. Sometimes small and sometimes big depending on the help we get and whether there is a delegation visiting. This year was a little smaller but a great way to promote our activities to the people of Frankston.

We are reconnecting with the many people who we have touched over the past 28 years. We have emailed and written to their last known address. The search will continue. We recommenced publishing a regular newsletter on our activities and events to keep everyone engaged. Thank You Simon hast for your work with the production of the newsletter.

During the past year we have held 2 very successful Japanese Speech Contests with entrants from local Primary and Secondary schools. The 2011 contest had 90 entrants in 5 divisions. We have a terrific venue at Monash University and great support from the local schools. Thanks to Therese Sakamoto, the FSFA Executive and trophy sponsors including our own Sorin Ionascu from Jims Test and Tag. At both contest we were pleased to have the Director of the Japan Information and Cultural Centre as a judge and sponsor. Thanks also to Sam Warrington co-ordinated the judges and Bev Hannan for organising the trophies and Simon Hast the techno guru. Mayor Kris Bolam also came along and presented trophies. As always Chris Hodgins prepared all the participation certificates.

At the end of September 2010 Mayor Chrsitine Richards held a series of cultural days in Wells Street. One of these was a Japanese day with activities to celebrate the Japanese Culture including Taiko and crafts. Thanks to Steve and Vic Walker, Sorin and Mirella Ionascu and Tom Gardiner with helping with that event.

FSFA is facilitating the establishment of several sister school relationships between Primary Schools in Frankston and Primary schools in Susono. The schools will be McClelland College, Derinya Primary and Overport Primary School. We plan to sign Memorandums of Understanding while we are in Susono next week.

We have taken back the maintenance of our Japanese Garden at Frankston High school. Again Simon Hast has been the organiser of this task and we have seen a significant amount of work in the past few months. It was looking a little unloved and a couple of working bees have the garden a real lift. The Council Arborist, Derek Lynn, is providing some technical advice and support.

After many months of trying we finally have a new website appropriately named We have to thank Fran Menting and her team for putting the new website together. We now have a great base on which to show our activities and events to the world.

On August 6 we held a social event at the Pattersons and raised a few funds for our youth development program.

In November 2010 we tackled larger scale fund raising by selling sausages in bread at the Christmas Tree Festival. 

In August we also hosted a group of students from Susono. These students were looked after by Derinya and Overport Primary schools and the visit is part of our Short Term exchange program between Frankston and Susono.

Much of the year has been devoted to organising of the delegation visit to Japan on 8 October and celebratory events here in Frankston in February 2012. We have 28 people including a band from Elisabeth Murdoch College in the main group and another group of 16 primary school representatives. The delegation led by Mayor Kris Bolam and Councillor Hill will be in Susono on October 15 and 16 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship and 40 years for Susono as a city. Thanks to the Executive members for their many hours of work to bring this event together.

We have 4 day program of activities associated with a Susono delegation visit in February 2012. These include a celebratory dinner, a Japanese Festival and tours of Frankston. There is a lot of work still be done in the next few months. The Japanese Festival will feature kite flying by local schools, Japanese performing artists and Japanese handicrafts and food. It will be held beside the Kananook Creek.

I would like to thank the Frankston Council for their ongoing support of our work and allocation of funding for both the delegation visit to Japan and the activities in February next year.

I thank you all for your attendance tonight and thank you again to all the Executive members. The next 6 months will be very exciting.