Appointments to the Board of the Australia-Japan Foundation

Media release

7 June 2010

Six new members have been appointed to the Board of the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) for three year terms from 2010-13. They are: Mr Tim Lester, Partner-Arthur Allens Robinson in Perth; Mr Peter Yates, Director-Oceania Capital Partners; Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Professor of Australian Studies and History, University of Melbourne; Ms Melanie Brock, Director of a Tokyo-based, Australian company, Agenda; Mr Tony Ellwood, Director, Queensland Art Gallery; and Mr Greg Earl, Asia-Pacific Editor, Australian Financial Review.

The new and continuing Board members represent the key sectors supported by the AJF, including business, higher education, the arts, media and community. They bring an impressive range of skills directly relevant to its program of work in Australia and Japan, and a wide and influential network in both countries.

Mr Lester has recently returned from Japan where he was a successful corporate lawyer and Chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce. Mr Yates has a background in investment banking, media and the communications industry. Both are fluent Japanese speakers.

Mr Ellwood is highly regarded among leading Japanese art galleries and institutions as a supporter of Asian arts. Professor Darian-Smith, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia and immediate past president of the International Australian Studies Association, is actively involved in supporting Australian Studies in Japan.

Ms Brock is a long-term resident in Japan where she has established an Australian chef and hotelier network which aims to build professional linkages between Australia and Japan in the hospitality industry, and promote Australian gourmet produce in Japan. Mr Earl was, until 2006, the Tokyo-based correspondent for the Australian Financial Review and now occupies a key editorial post for that newspaper covering North Asia.

Mr Peter Corish AM will continue to chair the Board for a further two years and Ms Catherine Harris AO PSM will remain a Board member until the end of 2010. Mr Bruce Gosper, Deputy Secretary, is currently the ex officio representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The AJF is a non-statutory, bilateral foundation in DFAT. It was established in 1976 with the aim of strengthening and further developing Australia-Japan relations. The AJF provides funds, under the International Relations Grants Program to suitably qualified individuals and non-government organisations in Australia and Japan in support of projects that help advance Australia’s engagement with Japan and contribute to informed discussion on key bilateral foreign and trade policy issues.

Further information about the AJF and a profile of Board members is available on its website www.ajf.australia.or.jp

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