Council extends helping hand with humanitarian help to Fiji

Published on 20 October 2021


Frankston City Council is extending a helping hand to Fiji to provide critical humanitarian assistance, particularly with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Kris Bolam, who initiated the assistance, was approached by the Victorian Multicultural Sports Association Inc seeking a contribution from Council for humanitarian support, noting the Frankston and Suva (Fiji) are in negotiations regarding a Friendship City relationship.

“Noting that we are in the process of forming into a relationship with Suva and highlighting the situation in Fiji with COVID, they requested urgent support,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Bolam reached out to business and community contacts, raising $8400 within two weeks on top of a $6000 contribution from Council.

The Mayor added: “There’s been significant corporate stewardship with community organisations and individuals providing support. It’s been a marvellous effort with many providing items and businesses providing discounts for the purchase of essential aid for what is an important cause.

“We are looking at a Friendship City relationship and when a friend is in need you do your best to support that friend. They are our friends. We have signified our intention to enter into an agreement with them,” Mayor Bolam said.

Victorian Multicultural Sports Association Inc President Victor Kumar said the assistance will provide a boost, adding: “This vital support will make a huge difference in Fiji, particularly to mothers and babies. It means a lot to the people of Fiji during these difficult times.”

The Mayor noted that Council has a Sister City relationship with Susono (Japan) and provided significant aid after the devastating 2011 tsunami.

“This is the right thing to do given the growing Pacific Islander population in Frankston City and it will be greatly appreciated,” Mayor Bolam said.

Councillors recently voted to provide the assistance, noting that Frankston and Suva (Fiji) have provisionally agreed to form a Friendship City.

Council has provided $5500 for the delivery of hospital beds as part of the assistance to Fiji to assist with their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their vote, Councillors acknowledged the relationships and contribution of the Fijian community to the diversity in Frankston and also noted the impact of the pandemic on our Pacific neighbours.

They supported the facilitation of this humanitarian initiative under the stewardship of the

Mayor to work with Rotary Club of Frankston Sunrise, who have deductible gift recipient

Status, to receive all goods and donations with respect to the humanitarian aid relating to the Fijian community.

They also noted Mayor Bolam has driven a community stewardship campaign for donations with funds raised to provide sanitary products for women and baby products for newborns, together with donations of children’s clothing, sanitiser and personal protection equipment.

This includes 4800 tampons, 4200 maternity pads, 3600 maternity liners, 443 baby bottles, 53 infant anti-rash cream, 36,964 antiseptic baby wipes, 5556 nappies, 3,888 disinfectant wipes, 1800 face masks, hundreds of donated baby clothing, pallets of donated baby food and cereal and pallets of donated sanitiser.

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