March, the Australia Japan Society of Victoria welcomed 18 participants to Melbourne as part of the Asian Pacific
Children’s Convention Mission Project (a visit connected with the Invitation
Project where Australian children visit Fukuoka each July).
The aim of the visit was to allow children from Fukuoka to be given an opportunity to
go overseas and deepen their cultural understanding through participating in a
program of home stay, school visits and cultural activities with local
children. I know that the visit was a complete success with many
opportunities to participate in family life and meet new friends.
The group was made up of 15 young people (aged 10 to 18) and 3 leaders.
Whilst the leaders stayed in a city hotel, all the young people were hosted by
AJS members, past participants of the APCC or school families connected
with AJS members. Whilst the visit short (four nights in home stay), the
participants managed to fit in many varied activities, including a school
visit, visits to Healesville Sanctuary and the Victoria Markets, beach trips,
shopping, bush picnics, sporting events and a visit to the Japan
A farewell party was held on the last evening of the visit and the host
families were entertained by the group who sang traditional Japanese songs and
showed us a traditional dance witch some of our host families knew so they
joined in.. At the end of the evening, the participants left with the
host families and met at the airport the next day to say goodbye see you again
2010 the 2009 JA’s got together at Jemmas (a 2009 JA) house for a BBQ and Pool
great to get together and talk about the fun times we had in Japan and to also talk about the
friends we made while we were there.
time was had by everyone that attended.
Jemmas family for hosting this event – Lets hope it is the first of many.
year the BCIO's common activity was to run a photo competition and exhibition
to share our culture and our APCC experience with people around the world.
The winning Australian photos were selected by Jonothan Masom form the AJS and
have been sent to Hawaii where they will be board mounted and then travel the
world on a travelling photo exhibition.
The Australian winners were;
From the 18th
of Jan to 6th Feb 2010, the Toorak Library hosted the Exhibition.
Thanks goes to, Lindsay Mackay, the 2009 Australia PA, who worked tirelessly to
organise this exhibition.
Ambassador (JA) selection process started late last year in the hope to find six
eager eleven year olds to represent Australia at the 2010 APCC. After submitting applications
through their school Japanese teachers, a fun day was organised to observe how
the children interacted with similar aged peers. After close observation twenty
children were selected and later invited to be interviewed. After the interview
between the child and representatives from both the APCC liaison office in Australia (The Australia Japan Society
of Victoria) and the Bridge Club, an announcement was made as to who was
selected to attend the 2010 APCC.
The lucky 6 children have been selected and now the preparation begins.
Three meetings are planned to be held over the next six months. Firstly there
will be an information session to allow both the JA’s and their parents to
learn more about the APCC and the Bridge Club. The second
meeting will be a sleepover meeting where the children will spend the night
together and bond as a group, while learning more about their responsibilities
as a JA and what to expect on their visit to Japan. During this meeting there
will also be time to put together a performance to do at the Bridge Club
Festival while in Japan. The third and final meeting
will be held to collect any final information, practice the prepared
performance and swap collected souvenirs so each child had a box full of things
to give out to their new friends at the convention.
In 2009 Bridge Club Nepal established a new library for children at the Seti Devi School in Pharping, Nepal. Bridge Club Australia sent a package of books and materials to help establish
this library. The books were all related to educating the children about Australia and opening their eyes to the world.
635 books in total were donated to the Library and continuous support is
necessary to continue the growth of this library and support the children with
If anyone would like to send additional books, please contact Bridge Club Australia President, Erin Maitland, at firstname.lastname@example.org for
Following our yearly tradition, members and friends
of the Australia-Japan Society and Bridge Club Australia
gathered in the beautiful Rhododendron Garden in Olinda on Saturday 20 September to enjoy traditional Japanese-style cherry
blossom viewing (Hanami).
Just like in Japan, we
enjoyed a picnic while viewing the beauty of pink and white cherry blossom
trees. We were also joined by the happy
bright daffodils that had come into bloom throughout the gardens.
Bridge Club Australia
organised Japanese games for the young and young-at-heart, including the
Japanese summer game of suika-wari (a bit like a watermelon piñata). This involved blind-folded competitors being
guided by their team-mates to crack open a watermelon.
As some visiting Japanese students pointed out,
the Australian watermelons were much larger than Japanese watermelons. As a result, they took much longer to be
defeated than the Japanese variety.
Everyone took quite a few turns to attack the melons and when the
winners were finally declared, the melons were in a less than appetising state.
Luckily we had some spare watermelons to enjoy
after the game and to share with our Japanese friends.
Families and friends could also have their names
written in Japanese calligraphy, have a go at Ikebana flower arranging and view
a traditional Tea Ceremony. Some Bridge
Club members tested out the kites they had created at the 2009 Reunion at the Osaka festival and there
were also quite a few frisbees being thrown about.
In 2007 the Australian PA saw a need for
establishing BC's overseas to have access to a computer to help run their BC's
This year we made 2 newly established BC's very happy!
Mitateti Mote from Kiribati
Julie Andrews from Vanuatu
There were many BC's that applied to receive a laptop but the decision was made
to let these two BC's to be the first to receive them.
We hope to continue this program and support the establishment of new BC's in
all of the participating APCC countries.
Below are some photos of the donation program as well as two pictures of the
classrooms the laptops will be used in Kiribati, just look at all those
children’s happy faces!!
Unfortunately, this years Asian Pacific Children’s
Convention was severely disrupted due to the presence of H1N1 (swine) flu both
at the Marine Camp as well as the Global Camp where the Peace Ambassador
program was held. This led to the cancellation of much of the APCC program including the school
visit, host family stay, performance event and Energy and Ecology forum. Given
the difficult situation, the children coped remarkably well. We were lucky
enough to be able to meet our host families and enjoy four days with them after
the Marine House Camp, although we were not allowed to stay in their homes. In
this time we went sightseeing and got to sample some Japanese food.
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