The Mansfield Friends of Venilale, FoV, have celebrated the 10th anniversary of the relationship and become an incorporated body, holding their first
official annual general meeting with an election of office bearers. Fund
raising continues to be an important aspect of the group and the Mansfield
community constantly offers its support as exemplified by the working bee for the Days for Girls Packs. The renovation of the Community Centre in Venilale is our key fundraising goal this year as well as continued support for scholarship holders. Our colleagues in Venilale have proudly graduated from Universities and some Mansfield locals will be visiting Venilale again this year. Two of our friends from Venilale are also hoping to visit us.
The Ridge Line Walk
at BOTANIC PARK
400 GLENROY LANE
$5 Student $15 Adult
(No Dogs Allowed)
Free BBQ courtesy of Mansfield
Rotary at Botanic Park finish
Shorter options possible
Section 1—Glenroy-Old Tolmie Rd ( 10 km approx )
Section 2—Old Tolmie Rd- Mansfield (8 km approx )
Registration 10am at 130 Old Tolmie Road (fifth power pylon)
Annual General Meeting
FoV has been a group of volunteers who became an informal sub-committee of the Mans-field Shire but during 2015 steps were taken to make it an incorporated body. The main rea-son for the change was so that FoV office bearers would be covered by the Shire’s Com-munity Group Insurance. As a result of this FoV’s first annual general
meeting was held in December 2015. An election for positions was held with the following results-
President –David Foster
Vice President – Michelle Harmer
Secretary – Janet Mackenzie
Treasurer – Kathy Crawford
Committee members – Jenny Dunlop, Andrew Crockett, Julie Aldous, Tom Ingpen, Marg
Attley, Ann Eldred, Will Twycross, Kim
Magnay, Maureen Englefield
Excerpts from the President’s Report
The last 12 months have seen FoV trending positively. There have been the usual
challenges to overcome but we have definitely enjoyed a successful year. At the Venilale end, there were changes in Friends of Mansfield personnel. Joni took the place of
Georgina as Friendship Liaison Officer. A new Tourist Officer (Ernesto) was appointed and new positions of Education Support Officer (Pedro) and Translator (Boss) were
created. The FoM committee was reduced in number and streamlined to become more re-sponsive but still maintain strong links with the community. Sr Manuel as Chairperson
remains a key player in our relationship.
Fundraising is a key activity. This year, the Bush Markets, Ridgeline Walk, Morning Tea, Tolmie Antique Fair, Mahjong group, sales of coffee and calendars, and sales of tais and other items at Made in Mansfield have all contributed. Promotion of FoV has been
successful. A string of articles in The Courier, two newsletters and the FoV website and page on the Shire website have kept us in the public mind. In addition, we now have an FoV Facebook page. We congratulate FoM for beating us to this social media opportunity.
There are a few aspects of our operations that it would be worth looking at. It’s probably time to renegotiate and renew the memorandum of understanding between Venilale Sub-District and Mansfield Shire – not urgent but worthwhile. We need to get new people involved with the committee. We need to come up with some extra ways of fundraising. A strategic plan might be the way to go or at least a vision for our future. Again, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of FoV.
FRIENDS OF VENILALE CELEBRATES
How do we know you will come back and do the things you have promised? That was the question posed by a village chief when the Mansfield Shire delegation visited Venilale in East Timor in 2005. Much to the delight of that village chief, Mansfield has lived up to its promises. Ten years later the friendship relationship is stronger than ever, with growing links and expanding projects. To mark the milestone, Friends of Venilale held a celebration in September 2015 at the Delatite Hotel with guests coming from near and far.
Guest of honour was Timor-Leste Ambassador to
Australia His Excellency Mr Abel Guterres. In fact it was Mr Guterres who led the 2005 Mansfield group which included Mayor Tom Ingpen, CEO Gary Gaffney, Community Services Manager Kaylene Conrick, councillors Will Twycross and Don Cummins, as well as other community members. A memorandum of understanding between the friendship towns was signed on 20 May 2005 in a moving and colourful
ceremonial occasion which seemed to involve most of the 16,000 population of Venilale Sub-District.
Mr Guterres pointed out that East Timor is enjoying peace, democracy and the rule of law. The trust developed between the Timorese and Australian people is significant, stemming from Timorese villagers’ support for Australian soldiers who they sheltered during World War II at great cost to themselves. Inaugural chairperson of Friends of Venilale Heather Matthew flew from her home near Murwillumbah to join the celebration. She compared the song From Little Things Big Things Grow with the Mansfield-Venilale relationship. The communication links at the beginning were tenuous but now mobile phone, email, Facebook and Skype are the norm. Initial projects were experimental but now are well established and diversifying.
A highlight of the evening was a Skype connection with Venilale. At the Community Internet Centre were Friends of Venilale’s Friendship Liaison Officer Joni Sarmento and Education Support Officer Pedro de Sousa, both of whom have visited Mansfield. Amongst the exhibitions was a set of beautiful photos taken by professional photographer Zoe Doubas. They were
complemented by a great selection of Timorese handicrafts
Friends of Venilale’s support for its friendship town takes the form of projects in education, tourism, handicrafts and health. The latest innovations include a Partner Project
between many schools and religious organisations in
Mansfield with schools in Venilale. There are also plans to develop a guest house at the Venilale Community Internet Centre.
TOLMIE ANTIQUE ROAD SHOW
Saturday, April 16,
Auction starts at 10 am
Donations gladly accepted
Contact –Marg Attley –0400256035
DAYPACKS FOR GIRLS
Daypacks for Girls hygiene kits were created by Noreen and Tony Carr so that girls could attend school regularly and not be forced to stay home for a few days every month because of lack of water and poverty.
Many Mansfield women
responded to a call from Ann
Eldred to come to MACE for one day to help construct these kits which must conform to high standards. There was a variety of jobs – machine sewing shields, waterproof liners, pads, wash bags, cutting out and hand sewing. The women from the patchwork groups in
Mansfield displayed impressive skills and everyone enjoyed the friendly atmosphere as they did what they could for this very worthwhile cause.
The Deckhands Mahjong Group support more medical scholarships in 2016
Friends of Venilale
If you want to know more about FoV or Venilale check out these websites:
If you do not wish to receive emails from FoV in future, please email email@example.com
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