At our recent conference we were pleased to award life membership of the JLTAV to two of our amazing colleagues. The criteria for awarding life membership of the JLTAV is:

Yuichi Deguchi

Yuichi has been very active in the Warrnambool community for over 29 years, supporting Japanese teachers in south west Victoria through his involvement in local networks. Yuichi was the first language teacher to bring Japanese language study to Warrnambool, and he established the first regional network for Catholic primary schools in this area, and the biennial Japanese school/home stay program with Doshisha Elementary School in Kyoto. Yuichi’s work in Catholic education has also seen him contribute to the Victorian Catholic Education Authority ‘Guidelines on Quality Languages Education’ and the 2020 – 2022 Languages Strategy ‘Now We’re Talking!’ 

Beyond the support Yuichi has offered in his regional community, he has supported the development of Japanese Language Education across Victoria through his regular presentations at our annual conference. Over many years there has been a great demand for sessions on Japanese teaching pedagogy delivered by Yuichi. A very talented musician, the songs he has created for his students have been used widely by our colleagues in both primary and secondary schools.

In addition to Yuichi’s many contributions to our annual conference, he has been a regular mentor at our highly successful immersion seminars, working with small groups of non-native Japanese speaking colleagues to develop and extend their language skills. He has also been a mentor for the secondary college language staff in his area.

In preparing this introduction, Yuichi’s colleagues from Warrnambool were contacted and we received a beautiful message from Anne Robertson:

I first met Yuichi in 2014 when I began teaching Japanese part time in the Warrnambool district. At that time he was teaching Japanese at the 6 Catholic primary schools in the district and had been doing this amazing workload since 2000? He was and still is welcoming, generous with his time and resources and he was always ensuring his classes were engaging and funny. When I became a Languages Leader in 2019 I would ask Yuichi for support with sharing resources with new teachers and he was always overprepared. His guitar and “home made” songs were hilarious and he was legendary across all the schools. In fact, I could not even begin to calculate the number of students he has taught over the years. If you ask people from Warrnambool of a certain age if they know any Japanese, it will always be followed by the words “Deguchi sensei”.

Yuichi has worked tirelessly not just for his community in Warnambool, but for his colleagues across Victoria. He has always been so generous with his time and sharing his expertise for the benefit of our colleagues and learners of Japanese.

It is our great pleasure to introduce Yuichi Deguchi as a life member of the JLTAV in 2024.

Takanori Hayakawa

Takanori has quietly gone about supporting the development of Japanese Language Education in Victoria and further afield, yet his work has had a significant impact. He has been teaching for over 20 years at Rosehill Secondary College in north-west Melbourne.

In the early 2000s, Takanori was actively involved in work for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, in exam writing panels and oral assessing. During this time, he was also a co-author of the Hai 1 textbook series.

Takanori has always responded so generously to requests to assist with JLTAV events. For many years he was the editor of the Year 12 Morning practice exam and voice artist for the listening component of the exam, and ever so humbly never seeking recognition for all the work he did to produce practice exam materials of the highest quality. He has also generously presented at our Annual Conference for many years. Our colleagues have benefitted from the wealth of knowledge he has shared covering a broad range of topics.

Takanori has also been instrumental in the success of our Immersion Seminars over many years, volunteering his time to support the development of the language skills of non-native Japanese teachers. His presentations at our immersion seminars have always been creative and engaging, enabling our colleagues to leave more confident in their Japanese ability.

A gifted linguist, in more recent years Takanori has shared his love of Haiku with colleagues at our conference, and he is actively involved in the Australian Haiku Society, leading workshops on how to write Haiku. In fact, in 2018 an academic paper on his work was included in the AALITRA Review: A Journal of Literary Translation.

It is our great pleasure to introduce Takanori Hayakawa as a life member of the JLTAV in 2024.