Japanese Studies Community Engagement
The Japanese Studies program has a long tradition of community involvement, particularly in relation to the support of the teaching of Japanese at school level. The program has responsibility for the Melbourne Centre for Japanese Language Education (MCJLE), which was established to support and foster the teaching of Japanese, particularly at school level. Professor Ross Mouer chairs the Management Committee of the Centre, and Robyn Spence-Brown the Advisory Committee, which has members from all the key organisations involved in the teaching of Japanese at school level. Robyn Spence-Brown in also the tertiary representative on the Joint Standing Committee for Japanese, convened by the Department of Education & Training.
Members of staff also act as judges for the annual Japanese Speech Contest, and assist in selection panels such as those for the JET program, a Japanese government program which recruits young Australians to work for a year in Japanese schools and local government. Masato Takimoto is occasionally involved in translating and interpreting work at important conferences.
Most staff are also members of the Japanese Studies Centre, and participate in various programs organised through this body. The Japanese Studies Centre acts as an attractive interface between the Japanese Studies program and the community.
Japanese Studies Centre
The JSC runs a program of research seminars, which are attended by members of the academic community and the broader community with an interest in Japan.
In November 2002, the Centre launched the Monash University Japan Focus Group, to provide opportunities for members of the Monash community to strengthen their links with and knowledge about Japan.
As a self-funded unit, the JSC has built up a number of self-funding programs whose revenue contributes to the running of the Centre. The Centre's activities are facilitated and supported by its strong links with the Japanese government, represented by the Japanese Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne. These links involve in particular the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Centre enjoys strong links with the Japanese business community in Melbourne through the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and JETRO, which provide links with the Japanese community in general. Professor Ross Mouer is involved in 2003 in organising and giving, with Professor Gerry Griffin (Management Studies), a series of monthly seminars on Australian work practices for Japanese businessmen in Melbourne. The sessions are organized through the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne.
The recently expanded facilities of the Centre are available for hire to all community groups at a modest fee. The Centre lets office space to the Australia-Japan Society of Victoria. Free use of the Centre's facilities are provided for the activities of the Japan Club of Victoria, thus maintaining strong links with the long-term resident Japanese community in Melbourne. The Centre cooperates in a similar way with the Hope Connection, a Japanese community group that supports Japanese people in need (e.g., a Japanese language telephone Lifeline service).
The newly established Comics Library and Caf are open to the public and attract Japanese and other overseas students at secondary and tertiary level, as well as Monash students.
The Centre runs short study courses for Japanese university students, providing them with intensive contact with local students and families as well as on-campus formal study. This year the Centre is offering training courses for Japanese interns in Victorian primary and secondary schools.
In collaboration with the Japanese Music Archive, the Centre offers lessons in koto and other instruments, and runs concerts at the Centre, bringing non-university audiences to the campus.
The Centre offers a variety of non-credit courses to the general public in Japanese language and culture, the latter including manga (Japanese comic) drawing, and Japanese music.
From April 2003 the Centre will commence fortnightly film screenings, available free to the public and sponsored by the Japanese Consulate.
The Centre publishes academic and general papers and books, both on-line and in print.