President's Update - September 2020
Dear Friends of Lospalos, This year has been a year like no other with the coronavirus pandemic creating unprecedented challenges for us all. As the newly elected President for Mornington Peninsula Friends of Lospalos (FOLP) I wanted to take the time to write and update you on recent changes to the Committee. Many of you may not be aware changes to the Local Government Act 2020 meant all s.86 Friendship Committees in Victoria were dissolved from 1 September 2020. In recognition of the longstanding relationship between Friends of Lospalos and the Commission, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council (Council) approved a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 1 September 2020, enabling us to continue the vital work still needs to be done. The Mornington Peninsula Friends of Lospalos is now a not-for-profit incorporated organisation. What has changed? Not much, it is business as usual, only with a few added benefits such as we now have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. I want to stress this change is also consistent with other local government friendship networks already in existence across Victoria. As I embark on this new journey with you, I want to begin by thanking you all for your ongoing support throughout the years. To Mornington Peninsula Shire Council who have been by our side since 2001 when all this first began I thank you for your renewed vote of confidence in us. To the Friends of Lospalos committee my heartfelt thanks for all your tireless work. There have also been other developments since we last wrote to you. The Friends have met with Ambassador of Timor-Leste Ines Maria de Almeida, Samuel Soares First Secretary from the Timor Leste Embassy in Canberra, New South Wales Consul General Luciano da Conceicao, and with Graham Wise and Mandy Glassey from the Wise Foundation. Of course, we would love to be organising events so that we can all come together in person. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 restrictions, this has not been possible. We are, however investigating several different ways in which we can remain engaged during the pandemic, and I look forward to bringing these ideas to you in due course. In the meantime if you would like more information about our work, or want to support us with fundraising efforts, please don't hesitate to contact us. Socially quarantined regards, Colleen Hammond President, Friends of Lospalos Inc.