I am very pleased to present the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria Inc. (JLTAV) report for 2023 which is a summary of the activities for the year and an assessment of the current state of the Association.

2023 Memberships

In 2023, we were able to organise many events and activities for students and teachers. The committee continued to meet online once a month to plan events.

Student Events

2023 Events Poster Competition

Students were invited to submit an entry and the winning design was included in the Annual Conference resource book and on the front cover of the Year 12 Morning booklet.

Year 12 Morning

The materials prepared for the Year 12 Morning were again shared to members via Google Drive. The materials included:

Julie Devine presented a one hour online session focusing on preparing for the oral and written exams for Japanese Second Language. 620 students from 89 schools registered for this session. Many thanks to Julie for preparing the online materials for the Year 12 Morning and for presenting the online session. We sincerely appreciate Julie’s support and the wealth of knowledge and VCE experience she brings to our Year 12 Morning each year.

Calligraphy Competition

The annual brush and pencil calligraphy competition took place in Term 3. In 2023, we had the following number of entries:

Brush: 193 in total

Primary – 93

Secondary – 100

Pencil: 162 in total

Primary – 119

Secondary – 43

Thank you to the teachers who encouraged their students to submit entries.

Junior Speech Competition

Our Junior Speech Competition was held at the Hawthorn Arts Centre on Sunday 27 August. It is very pleasing to see students engaging in their study of Japanese and this event provides an opportunity for students to showcase their Japanese skills. The table below outlines the number of registrations in each division.

DivisionNumber of registered students
Primary – Foundation to Year 2 (group)2
Primary – Year 3 and 4 (group)10
Primary – Year 3 and 4 (individual)6
Primary – Year 5 and 6 (individual)12
Primary – Year 5 and 6 (pair)14
Secondary – Year 7 and 8 (individual)21
Secondary – Year 7 and 8 (pair)34
Secondary – Year 9 and 10 (individual)19
Secondary – Year 9 and 10 (pair)42
Secondary – Open6

Model UN Conference in Japanese

Our 2023 Model UN Conference in Japanese was held over two days on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 July at the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership in North Melbourne. This year we had 168 students participating over the two days from 18 schools, supported by 22 teachers and 3 language assistants. The theme for this year’s event was ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

This event was organised by the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) (Victorian Division) and supported by the Department of Education and Training and the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria Inc. (JLTAV). The Model UN in Japanese provides the perfect opportunity for students to use their Japanese in an authentic context, and to work with students learning Japanese at other schools.

Many thanks to the teachers for preparing their students for the event. Many thanks to Mr Satoshi Sanada for his amazing support as the Secretary General. We very much appreciate all the preparation Satoshi did leading up to and throughout the two days. Thank you for the excellent support from our Language Assistants – Kari Fujita, Kaori Teramoto and Natsuki Wada, and to Dr Sally Northfield, the Executive Manager from United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division).

Teacher Events

2023 JLTAV Annual Conference

On Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April we held our conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The keynote speakers were Ben Sacco and Chris Daicos. The program was varied and included 61 breakout sessions focusing on: ICT/innovation, VCE, secondary, primary and curriculum/assessment.

Primary and Secondary Professional Learning Day

On Saturday 9 September, 24 teachers from primary and secondary schools participated in a professional learning day at The Tudor in Box Hill. The day was led by Jan Chalmer who shared a wealth of strategies and ideas to teach primary and secondary Japanese. We extend our grateful thanks to Jan for her engaging and informative presentations throughout the day.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s professional learning, a group of colleagues gathered at Okami Japanese Restaurant in Camberwell to celebrate Jan’s retirement. On behalf of the JLTAV we sincerely thank Jan for her amazing support of the JLTAV over many years. Jan has presented at many of our annual conferences and professional learning days. The Japanese community in Australia has certainly benefited from Jan’s expertise and passion for teaching. We wish Jan all the very best as she moves into retirement.

Year 12 Japanese Second Language Practice Exams

To further support VCE teachers we continued to develop practice exams. In 2023, we paid two panels of teachers to create two practice exams. These exams were sold to generate more money for the Association. The exam package included:

Teachers are still able to purchase the exams written from 2020 to 2022, and this provides passive income for the Association.

Other ongoing activities throughout the year have been monthly committee meetings, the maintenance of the JLTAV website and working on a new website, the running of the JLTAV Office, 2 days a week. In 2023, the JLTAV Office continued to operate out of the Japanese Studies Centre at Monash University in Clayton.

We recognise the importance of communicating to members about the Association’s activities. The JLTAV website, Japanese Language Teachers of Australia and the JLTAV Facebook pages, as well as the JLTAV membership list and Nihongo Victoria email group were used to advertise all events and competitions. Events information was also shared with the Department of Education and Training Languages Regional Project Officers and uploaded on the Department of Education and Training’s Access, Resource, Collaborate (ARC) website.

We remain thankful for the work and support of the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria (MLTAV), the Monash Japanese Language Education Centre (MJLEC) and the Japan Foundation, Sydney, as well as the Department of Education and Training (DET), who over the past years have recognised our work and efforts and provided us with a substantial grant to enable us to organise activities for teachers and students.

There have been many participants in the operation of the JLTAV over the year and it is difficult both to single out individuals, but also to name the many who gave up their time and skills to help. However, I wish to thank our hard-working committee, who even though most are full-time teachers, manage to give more of their time to discuss, make decisions and carry out plans. To balance teaching, family and other commitments whilst working on the committee in a volunteer capacity is greatly appreciated. Just as committees have always done, they have made improvements and initiated changes which make it easier for others to follow on. My sincere thanks to:

Vice President: Jessica Winstone

Secretary: Nicole Struthers

Treasurer: Katelyn Hurley

Ordinary Committee Members

Permanent Adviser

We extend many thanks to Anne and Hiroshi in their roles as Permanent Advisers on our Committee.

Many thanks to Terue Kato, the JLTAV Office Manager/Bookkeeper, for her amazing support. Terue does significant work ‘behind the scenes’ and manages our office expertly, and ensures the seamless administrative organisation of our events. Terue’s support is greatly appreciated.

We thank our colleagues who generously give their time and graciously respond to our calls to present workshops for our members. The Japanese teaching community in Victoria, and indeed Australia, is very fortunate to have such passionate and dedicated professionals willing to give their time to share their knowledge and expertise with their colleagues.

Japanese Language Education in Victoria continues to head into an exciting new era. As individual teachers, as staff groups, as leaders and as Associations, we must continue to raise the profile of Japanese Language Education in Victorian schools and ensure Japanese learning and teaching remains strong in Victoria.

Summary of teacher activities in 2023Summary of student activities in 2023
Professional learning:
– Annual Conference
– Primary and Secondary Professional Learning Day
– Year 12 Japanese Second Language Practice Examinations
– JLTAV Events Poster
– Calligraphy
– Junior Speech  
– Model UN Conference in Japanese
– Year 12 Morning resources available through Google Drive

Nathan Lane


JLTAV Inc. (Reg. No. A0024691U)