A Special Message From the Australian Liaison Group

by | Apr 8, 2020

Greetings to our Friendship Force friends in Australia!

As we are all aware, we are living in extraordinary times and we hope that each one of you is taking care not only of yourself but of each other. As Friendship Force clubs are now in their own form of lockdown it is vital that we take the time to show that Friendship Force clubs are strong, caring communities who are determined to maintain our mission statements of “experience different views, discover common ground” and “Our mission is to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people” in our own care for our fellow members.

As an organisation, Friendship Force is, like many businesses and not for profit organisations, experiencing a huge reduction in revenue as Journeys are being cancelled. Without significant financial support to make up the shortfall, the things which we know and love about FF are at risk. Each of us need to think about the implications very carefully.

It is true to say that when we raise money for FF we despair because we see its value reduced by exchange rates and fees and we wonder if we can make a difference.

We don’t have to transfer money overseas in order to make a real difference.

FFI is present within Australia and New Zealand in the person of Kimberly Fraser. Our stake in all that FF represents is embodied in the work which Kimberly does. She supports clubs, responds to Journey questions, helps to match clubs in the times of doubt, she actually manages the entire matching process for the world, she monitors Australian and New Zealand contacts made via the FFI website and makes appropriate referrals. Most of her current work is directed to preparing for next year – she works 12 months in advance. To us, Kimberly is Friendship Force international in Australia and New Zealand.

What we are asking you to do is to support this crisis by supporting Kimberly to continue what she is doing which, in turn, means that FF can, literally, continue to do what we know and love. Money donated will stay in Australia and be spent in supporting the work which is done on our behalf by Kimberly.

We know that while we are self-isolating, we are also not able to do many of the things we usually do as FF members. We are not spending time in coffee shops or at BBQs or on being hosts or travelling or on Friendship Force dinners or raffles or whatever so why not use that money in a different Friendship Force way? You might like to donate regularly. You might like to donate the value of a Journey visit of, say, $200 in our currency, or prefer to make a smaller donation monthly, for example.

We would also encourage your club to make a donation separate from its members. As a community we need to support the community that works with and for us.

The banking details are:
Account Name: Friendship Force Australia Inc
BSB: 082309
Account No: 865626889

Include your name/club name as a reference and note it is for Covid-19 donation.

Remember, as clubs, and as members, we have a stake in the continuing presence of Friendship Force. We can demonstrate just how much of a stake by donating to maintain that part of FFI which works for us in Australia.

In friendship,
Friendship Force Australian Liaison Group

Australia Coordinator: Adrian Brown (FF Adelaide)
Northern District: Dennis McLean (FF Brisbane)
Central District: Kay Graves (FF Sydney)
South/West District: Lynda Polain (FF Adelaide)
National Treasurer: Andrew Nelson (FF Global Member)
Domestic Journey Coordinator: Graham Duldig (FF Bundaberg)
Webmaster & SP eFlyer: John Stapleton (FF Murray Bridge)

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