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

For many years Kathleen has devoted so much time, energy and passion towards supporting Japanese Language Education in Victoria and further afield. Earlier in the year she embarked on a career in the corporate sector, leaving Gardenvale Primary School where she had been teaching for the past 15 years to commence work at the VCAA.

The date when Kathleen first joined the JLTAV Committee is unknown. Over the years she has been instrumental in organising and initiating many of the Association’s events, from the soranbushi dance competition many years ago to more recently our Shuwa Project focusing on Japanese sign language, and our highly successful immersion weekends. Kathleen has been the co-convenor of our Annual Conference for many years, an event which goes from strength to strength each year and has become the largest yearly conference for Japanese teachers in Australia.

Kathleen has conceptualised, organised and conducted many professional learning events for colleagues. Our colleagues’ professional learning has been enriched because of their willingness to share their ideas and resources generously and selflessly at many conferences and professional learning days, not just in Victoria, but interstate and overseas. In the feedback from our conference, we have always had comments from our colleagues saying they want more of Kathleen’s sessions. Kathleen’s passion for teaching Japanese is phenomenal. Our colleagues who have visited her school to see Kathleen in action and to learn from her would leave being inspired and having learnt so much.

Outside of the JLTAV, Kathleen’s commitment to ensuring Japanese Language Education flourishes has been inspirational. She has been involved in the writing of the first Australian Curriculum for Japanese, numerous consultancy projects creating resources for Education Services Australia and the VCAA, and our graduate teachers have benefitted from being mentored by Kathleen in the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria (MLTAV) Mentoring Program. Kathleen’s work has been published in proceedings for the National Symposium on Japanese Language Education (NSJLE), University of Hawaii and the Edizioni in Italy. In 2017, Kathleen was a recipient of a Certificate of Merit from the MLTAV in recognition of her exceptional and outstanding contribution to languages teaching in Victoria.

The Committee of the JLTAV believe no one is more deserving of this award than Kathleen. Kathleen has volunteered countless hours of her time to ensure the JLTAV remains a strong association that supports Japanese teachers, and we very much appreciate all she has done. This year Kathleen steps off of the committee as she commences work at the VCAA. Her impact on Japanese Language Education in Victoria and further afield has been significant. Kathleen is admired and respected greatly by her Japanese teaching colleagues and we extend our best wishes to her as she embarks on the next stage of her professional work journey with the VCAA.