Once again, it is my pleasure to report on the activities of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association over the past 12 months. A small group of us continue to look after the sister city relationship on behalf of the Frankston Council. Thank you to all the Executive members and others who have joined us during the year. Chris Hodgins continues her sterling effort with admin support to the Association.
This year saw the retirement of long time Susono Mayor Dr Shunji Ohashi. Dr Ohashi has been to Frankston a number of times and has been a fantastic supporter of the sister city relationship. The new Mayor is Mr Kenji Takamura.
Simon Hast continues to manage our Japanese Garden at the Frankston High school. He organised several working bees during the year to prune a number of the plants and keep the bamboo under control. New tiles are been made to replace those damaged in past storms. We are also looking to re-render the wall to freshen it up.
This year we have made every effort to contact all former Exchange Students. We have been able to contact 26 of 38 Students. On 4 May 2014, FSFA organised a reunion function at Frankston High school. We had great turnout of former students and families. Julie D’Arcy is putting together a portfolio of the former students with plans to present it at the Australian Fair in Susono in November.
The Mayor of Frankston City will lead a delegation to Susono this year for the Australian Fair on 23 November 2014. The group will include a student band from Frankston High School and community representatives. A group from Derinya Primary School will also be in Susono at the same time.
FSFA made arrangements for the State member for Frankston Mr Geoff Shaw to visit Susono this year.
The Sister School relationship between McClelland College and Tomioka Junior High School in Susono continues to develop. Brendan Hickey from McClelland College has joined the FSFA Executive to keep us up to date with the relationship. FSFA has loaned its Torii Gates to the school to help in development of their Japanese Style Garden.
One of our former Exchange Students, Sam Warrington is working in Susono as an Assistant Language Teacher. Recently SOFA asked FSFA to help find a person for a Community English teacher. FSFA had for many years been recruiting people for various teaching roles in Susono. It is great to have that responsibility again.
Our annual Speech Contest at Monash University continues to develop and evolve and is well supported by local schools. We have this year’s contest on this Friday.
I would like to thank the Frankston Council for their ongoing support of our work and allocation of funding for our activities each year.
I thank you all for your attendance tonight and thank you again to all the Executive members and supporters of our sister city relationship.