The Australia-Japan Society of Victoria Inc (AJSV), was established in Melbourne in November 1963.
The AJSV was the first organisation of its kind in Australia. It was set up at a time of growing political and commercial interest in Japan as a significant emerging economy. The AJSV was founded through the initiative of Mr Stanley Gilmour MBE, then Executive Director of the Victorian Employers Federation. There were 10 people at the inaugural meeting, who became its first members, keen to establish an organisation to promote common interest between Australia and Japan.
The first office of AJSV opened on 22 April 1965 in the “Japanese Room” at the Melbourne University School of Architecture. An organising committee from AJSV assisted in the fit out of the room during the previous two years of design and planning. The AJSV office remained in the Japanese Room for many years, then moved to other locations around Melbourne as needs and programs of the organisation evolved.
Membership of AJSV grew quickly after its establishment, with dedicated volunteers among the AJSV membership planning and staging a wide range of programs and events – such as regular business luncheons, social and cultural events including the annual Gala Dinner, hosting various delegations from Japan, the establishment of a Women’s Group, Youth Exchange and Scholarship Programs, Mentoring Program, and regular Newsletters. The AJSV Kanpai Club (now Konshinkai), was formed to facilitate networking for Japanese business executives stationed in Victoria, and Australian returnees from Japan wishing to maintain their engagement with Japan.
Throughout its history, the AJSV has maintained collaborative working relationships with the Consulate of Japan in Melbourne, and the office of the Governor of Victoria. The Consul General of Japan to Melbourne and the Governor of Victoria remain formal patrons of the AJSV. The AJSV works closely with other Japan-related organisations in Victoria, including Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Melbourne (JCCI), the Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee (AJBCC), and the Japanese Society of Melbourne.
In 2003 the Society received an award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of its work and contribution to the Australia-Japan relationship.
To this day, the AJSV and its community of dedicated volunteers works diligently to strengthen understanding and friendship between Australia and Japan - in accordance with the Vision of those 10 founding members in 1963.