The JLTAV Annual Conference was held on Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April for the sixth time at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in South Wharf. Our two-day conference is the Association’s annual flagship event and we are pleased to be able to host this at a city venue to enable ease of access to the venue from colleagues across Victoria and further afield. As an Association, we are also proud to offer the largest two-day annual conference for Japanese teachers in Australia.

This year’s event was well supported with a large number of attendees from metropolitan and regional Victorian Government, Catholic and Independent schools, as well as a number of presenters from interstate in attendance. We are pleased to see the number of attendees at the conference increasing each year.

The keynote addresses on both days set the scene for some exciting professional learning. On Friday, we were privileged to listen to Ben Sacco, the National Program Director of ReLATE at The MacKillop Institute, who spoke about trauma-informed practice in schools. On Saturday, Chris Daicos talked about developing resilience in our students.

This year the format for the two days was again different and included a site visit to the National Gallery of Victoria. A range of workshops were offered which showcased contemporary approaches to teaching Japanese. In total, we had 61 breakout sessions. The Japanese teaching community in Victoria and Australia is fortunate to have such amazing teachers willing to share their knowledge. Sincere thanks to our colleagues who generously gave their time and graciously responded to our calls to present a workshop. With their support we were able to put together a varied program of professional learning for the two days.

The breaks throughout the day gave teachers the opportunity to network and to peruse the 12 exhibitor stalls set up in the conference venue. As always, our exhibitors were very generous and contributed many prizes that we awarded to delegates. We greatly appreciate their generosity and support of the JLTAV. A list of our 2023 corporate members can be found on the links section of the JLTAV website.

This year the Annual General Meeting for the JLTAV was again held at the Conference at the conclusion of Friday’s workshop program. We were pleased that a number of JLTAV members stayed for the AGM. We warmly welcome the JLTAV committee for 2023. The list of committee members can be found on the ‘About Us’ page of the JLTAV website.

The success of the conference is attributed to the hardworking JLTAV committee members. Many thanks are extended to the committee who work tirelessly in ensuring the success of all the JLTAV events. In particular, I acknowledge Kathleen Duquemin, conference co-convenor, for organising the comprehensive digital conference book, a valuable resource for teachers every year, and for doing a lot of work ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure the event ran smoothly. Special thanks also to Terue Kato, the JLTAV Office Manager and Bookkeeper, who spent a great number of hours completing administrative tasks for the event. We greatly appreciate Terue’s support and thank her very much.

We acknowledge the support of the Department of Education and Training (DET). We have once again been fortunate to receive a substantial grant, enabling us to provide this professional learning and others at a much lower cost throughout the year. Just as importantly, we acknowledge the close relationship and support that we share with the Monash Japanese Language Education Centre (MJLEC), through Mrs Anne De Kretser, the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria (MLTAV) and The Japan Foundation, Sydney.

It was pleasing to see so many teachers, both new and experienced, in attendance at this year’s conference. We hope the event inspired everyone with new ideas for a great year of teaching Japanese in 2023. Plans are already underway for next year’s conference and we look forward to presenting another exciting conference in 2024.

You can find the short video of photos from the conference HERE

Nathan Lane

Kathleen Duquemin

2023 JLTAV Conference Convenors

JLTAV Inc. (Reg. No. A0024691U)