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  • What We Do

    Essentially Friendship Force is a social club dedicated to helping people make friends around the world and furthering world peace.  It is entirely non profit and the vast majority of the work is done by unpaid volunteers.

    Because many of our activities involve travelling to overseas clubs and staying with local members it is tempting to think of Friendship Force as a low cost travel club - but that would be incorrect.  Travel is certainly fun but the best part is meeting people from very different walks of life, learning from them and making friends.  And, while doing that, they will be learning from you and learning about Australia and Perth in particular.

    Everyone who joins Friendship Force are for the most part very social, they love meeting people, sharing stories and learning about other people's lives.  This is why the Perth club also has an active social calender, so that members can get together for dinners, meetings, interest groups and outings.

    A Journey

    This is the most obvious activity of the club... a bunch of club members get on an aeroplane and fly to some place where they are met by the local club.  The local members will host their visitors in their homes, feed them breakfasts and some meals and drive them around to events organised by the local club.  These events can include a welcome dinner, outings to special places and tourist spots, dinners with club members and so on.

    A journey (unofficially called an "exchange" by long serving members) lasts for a week and in that time the visitors will almost certainly form a bond with their host as usually the host will have pulled out all the stops to give their visitors the best time possible.  The same goes for many of the other members of the local club and so, by the end of the week, the visitors will come away with fond memories and a number of new friends to keep in touch with.

    The visitors to the club are called "ambassadors" and the hosts in the receiving club are naturally called "hosts".  The visiting club will appoint one of their members as the "Ambassador Coordinator" and it is their job to negotiate dates with the host club and the myriad of details necessary to organise the 15 to 25 club members on the journey.

    The host club will appoint a "Host Coordinator" and they, along with help from other members, will negotiate dates, allocate incoming ambassadors to the hosts, organise events, lunches, dinners, etc.

    The ambassadors need to organise and pay for their own travel, they also need to pay for entrance fees, incidental expenses and some meals.  There is also a modest fee payable to Friendship Force International to support their organising activities but other than this there are no additional costs (certainly no accommodation costs).

    Outgoing Journeys

    An outgoing journey or exchange is a visit from the Perth club to another club (normally overseas) and there will be two to four of these journeys in a year.  Because of the distance to travel Friendship Force Perth normally tries to group international outgoing journeys together (ie, back to back) to reduce travel costs.  The clubs that we visit are selected by Friendship Force International with input from us, although we can also negotiate directly with another club to organise a journey.

    Often the Perth club will also negotiate "domestic journeys" which are similar but involve visiting a club in Australia and these normally only consist of one week.  This is because the travel costs are less.

    Inbound Journeys

    We will also have two to four incoming journeys in a year with each lasting a week.  Often international incoming clubs will also visit other clubs while in Australia so they will be hopping across the country arriving from a club somewhere in Australia then leaving for another.

    A typical program for our ambassadors might go like this:

      Day 1: Collect the ambassadors from the airport and treat them to a welcome dinner with our club members.
      Day 2: Visit the Lord Mayor of Perth for a reception then on to a ceremonial tree planting event followed by a picnic.
      Day 3: Visit the Perth Mint and the Bell Tower.  Perhaps a ferry ride on the river.
      Day 4: A free day where the ambassadors and hosts can do whatever the wish (often this is shopping).
      Day 5: Visit some interesting places (Swan Valley, the Pinnacles, School of the Air, etc).
      Day 6: Tour Fremantle and finish with a farewell dinner (sometimes with entertainment provided by club members).
      Day 7: Drive our ambassadors to the airport and bid them a fond farewell.

    We also have incoming clubs from within Australia ("domestic journeys") and they get the same royal treatment.

    Meetings

    The Perth club holds a general meeting once a month, usually on the third Saturday of the Month at 10:45AM at the Centenary Park Community Centre, Daly St, Belmont.  This is where club business is discussed and and members catch up with each other.    Guests are welcome at these meetings but sometimes the date and location can change so it would be worthwhile contacting someone beforehand to confirm the date and location.

    Social Events

    Usually we will have at least one social event in each month.  This can include a picnic, theatre outing, Christmas in July dinner, etc.  When we have an incoming journey our members will join in even though they may not be hosting and this allows them to meet the ambassadors and that is another part of the social calender.

    The club also holds other events such as Dinner for Eight, surprise dinners and special groups (the arts and crafts group is particularly active).