Executive Committee

An introduction to our Executive Committee members:

Julie D'Arcy - Chairperson

Julie was one of the first exchange students to Susono in 1983. She has kept in contact with her host families and taken her own family, including her four children, to Japan many times. She is passionate about FSFA and our association with Susono and looks forward to working with the Committee to continue strengthening the bonds of friendship between our two cities, plus sharing our knowledge and love for Japan!

Simon Hast - Vice Chairperson

Simon first travelled to Japan in 1995 with teachers and students from Frankston High School and was blown away by the sights and sounds of this amazing country, plus the generosity and hospitality of its people. His involvement in FSFA helps him to maintain and promote contact with the Japanese language and culture. Simon has made 5 trips to Japan, the most recent with the 2018 Frankston Delegation, and looks forward to more in the future!

Executive Committee Members:

Therese Sakamoto

Therese is a Japanese language teacher who completed her student exchange to Susono in 1986. After more than 30 years she has maintained a strong connection to the city and thinks of Susono as her "second home"!

Bev Hannan

Bev is the longest serving member of our executive committee and currently performs the role of Treasurer. She has a great love of travel and particularly enjoys her trips to Japan and our sister city Susono. Bev's past roles have also included serving as a counselor to the many students who have come to Frankston on long term exchanges.

Vic Webster

Vic was introduced to Japan and in particular Susono, our Sister City, through his wife Bev Hannan. He has been an active member of the FSFA Committee for the past ten years and he especially enjoys our Japanese Festivals, visits to our Sister City, the Japanese culture and the variety of Japanese foods. Vic and Bev have home hosted many of our Susono visitors and also guests from other parts of Japan. Vic also enjoys travel and cruising to many overseas destinations. He is looking forward to another trip to Japan later this year to enjoy the autumn foliage and to renew friendships.

Bob Tanner

Bob finally made it to Japan in 2018 as part of the Frankston Delegation visiting Susono. His interest was piqued by daughter Lorin, who as a student travelled with Simon Hast on his first visit to Japan in 1995. Bob’s association with Frankston High School and the Rotary Club of Frankston lead to the hosting of several Japanese exchange students over a period of time. He also has three grandchildren learning Japanese at primary school, and embracing the Japanese culture after their visits to Japan. Bob looks forward to future trips to Japan.
Bob, a retired Civil Engineer, is a Past President and a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Club of Frankston, a former Board Member and Life Governor of Frankston Hospital.

Heather Tanner

Heather first visited Japan in 2000 and made a return trip as part of the Frankston Delegation to Susono in 2018. Over the years the Tanner family have hosted a number of Japanese exchange students through Frankston High School and Rotary.  As a new member of FSFA, Heather looks forward to her involvement with the association and future trips to Japan.

David Cross

David traveled to Japan for the 2018 Australian Fair in Susono as a new member of FSFA. The experience left a lasting impression and he looks forward to future trips to Japan and further developing relationships with our Japanese counterparts. He has a long history in community involvement, including chairing the Frankston Environmental Friends Network and Frankston High School Council, a member of Frankston Rotary Club, and was the Frankston Citizen of the Year in 2016. David is a passionate, long-term resident of Frankston and looks forward to promoting our fair city both here and in Japan.

Helen Wilson

Helen is the Senior Campus Principal at Frankston High School. She has welcomed hundreds of exchange students from Japan in her 30 plus years at Frankston High. Helen will be leading the 2020 Frankston High School Japan Trip and is looking forward to visiting Susono and learning more about the Japanese culture.

Adrian Thomas


Adrian married a Japanese lady in 1999 and lived in Japan for 9 years - during this time the people never ceased to amaze him! Their take on life was vastly different from any he had known. His family have settled in Melbourne and now with a young daughter, he believes it is important to remain connected with the Japanese culture. Hence, she attends Japanese Saturday school, the family travel to Japan every year, and they often host Japanese guests or have his wife's family staying with them ... Kanpai!!

Chris Hodgins

As a Council employee, Chris has been the support person to the Frankston Susono Friendship Association for the last 13 years. She was lucky enough to go to Japan in 2005 to visit our sister city Susono. It certainly gave her an insight into the Japanese way of life and was an amazing experience! Chris's involvement over the past 13 years has certainly shown her the hard work and dedication of the committee and their endeavours in keeping the relationship with Susono active and real. Although she is currently on long service leave, Chris will be attending meetings and helping out. FSFA encourages and invites anyone who has an interest in Japan to come along to any of the executive committee meetings (first Tuesday of the month).

Sam Warrington