The Friendship Force of the Sunshine Coast
Official club name: The Friendship Force of the Sunshine Coast Inc.
About the club
We are one of twenty Australian clubs and are affiliated with Friendship Force International. Our club was founded in 1989 and chartered in 1991.
We have a current membership of forty (45), most of whom are retired or semi-retired and are generally very active within the club .Our monthly newsletter the ‘Sunseeker’ keeps members informed of the activities of the club.
Our club hosted the Australian Conferences in 2002 and 2017.
We like to experience three inbound and up to two outbound journeys each year.
We have a General Meeting on the fourth Sunday morning of every second month, commencing January. (See Meeting Information)
Ambassadors from the Friendship Force Club of the Sunshine Coast have visited United States, Japan, England, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Canada.
The Club has hosted ambassadors from Japan, England, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, Taiwan, United States, Ghana, Canada Russia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Indonesia, and Brazil.
We also have interclub ‘domestic’ visits from other Australian Clubs.
- The club’s focus is on hosting and being hosted. Our purpose is to understand and appreciate people of different cultures as friends.
- It is non-political, non-religious, non-profit, not merely a travel club, nor a dating club.
- Journeys can vary in length from one phase (week) to three or four phases in different destinations.
- Each phase of a Friendship Force Journey is usually one week. This applies to both inbound and outbound journeys.
- All Journeys are conducted as Friendship Force International Journeys and bound by FFI rules.
- All ambassadors assemble as a group prior to the commencement of a phase where they are met by their hosts as a group. Individuals may extend their total trip independently before or after their Friendship Force journey/s.
- All outbound journeys have a Journey Coordinator, and inbound journeys have a Host Coordinator appointed. The coordinators conduct workshops before journeys.
- Ambassadors are encouraged to write letters of introduction at the request of their Journey Co-ordinator before departing and JCs send these letters of introduction from the group to the hosts at an early stage of planning.
- We all pay an annual affiliation fee to Friendship Force International to organise and promote the journeys.
- All Ambassadors pay a fee per Ambassador for each phase of a journey and this is forwarded to Friendship Force International. In addition there is a cost per person to cover costs of the hosting club’s program of group activities which have been agreed prior to the Journey. Add-ons (events, or activities, equipment hire, etc.) requested by individual ambassadors incur additional expense.
- Hosts receive no recompense for hosting.
- Application forms must be submitted by members wishing to host or to travel as Ambassadors.
- The club joining fee is currently $85, which includes a name badge and first year’s membership.
- The club yearly membership fee is currently $60 and is set each year by the Board.
- Our club produces the “Sunseeker” newsletter each month, available electronically to members.
- Australian clubs are grouped into three regions. We are in the Northern Region, and we have a biennial conference organised by each club in the region by rotation.
- We conduct interclub domestic visits with other Australian clubs.
- Our club has a rich social agenda and conducts many activities such as coffee and chat mornings, theatre outings, picnics, BBQ’s, wine tastings, bus trips, dine-outs, guess who’s coming to dinner and progressive dinners.
- Our membership covers all Sunshine Coast from Caloundra to Noosa and the Hinterland.
- Members may travel with other clubs on outbound Journeys. They should attend the preliminary workshops if possible. Those wishing to travel with another club must have their application endorsed by our club President.
- Our club is incorporated and insured.
- Interested persons are very welcome at our meetings, which are held on the fourth Sunday of every second month beginning January.
- Prospective members must attend a meeting of the club before they can make an application to join. They are then interviewed in their home by club officials and have their membership application approved by the Club Board.
Membership is open to all. Once your membership application is approved and you pay your dues you are encouraged to host and travel.
The basis of Friendship Force is hosting in all its various forms. Members are normally expected to home host – with the assistance of Co-hosts, Day-hosts, Dinner hosts, and Activity hosts. Such shared hosting greatly assists home hosts, who may have work or other commitments during that week.
One of the real joys of membership is the opportunity to open your home to someone from a different country. Many who are unable to travel themselves are able to sample the culture of a different country in this manner.
No. Hosting is not for profit and Hosting Program fees simply cover the costs of group activities agreed prior to the Journey and are comparatively small. Additional fees reflect costs for activities chosen as add-ons, or explicitly excluded from the program. You are expected to give a meaningful gift to your home-hosts and to take them to dinner once. Remember, we are focusing on faces as well as places, and the joy of making lifetime friends from another culture cannot be measured in monetary terms. That is why we call it The Friendship Force Experience!
There are no restrictions. if you are in good health and you would like to learn more about the millions of other people who live on our planet, you may very well be a Friendship Force person.
Sometimes we have too many wishing to go, and there may be a waiting list. The number of Ambassadors is limited to the capacity of the Host Clubs.
Will I get to know other club members? As new members you get back what you put into the club. We believe it is pointless joining a club if you don’t participate. It is up to you as to how you are going to enjoy the fellowship, etc. Members should promote their club whenever they are with a group of people – ask them to bring their friends and family to club functions, especially hosting events. The club hosts ‘guess who’s coming’ dinners, BBQ’s, dine-outs and other functions so that club members get to know one another. Going overseas on a Journey is a bonus.
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