About us

The Japanese Language Teachers Association of Victoria, Inc. (JLTAV) is a professional association for Japanese language teachers in Victoria.

Membership of the Association provides access to high quality teacher professional learning, and student events that engage students in Japanese language studies.

The JLTAV Committee is made up entirely of volunteer teachers who work for the promotion and improvement of Japanese language teaching in Victoria. It does this by providing professional development for teachers and learning opportunities for students.

Interested teachers are also invited to join the Committee if they wish to contribute to our work. Together, we can make language teaching better for us all.

JLTAV Committee 2020-2021

Nathan LanePresidentSt Mary MacKillop College
Kathleen DuqueminVice PresidentGardenvale Primary School
Nicole StruthersSecretaryHoly Spirit Community School
Greg BrownCommitee MemberRuskin Park Primary School
Melissa FaulknerCommittee MemberBrighton Grammar
Hiroshi HondaCommittee Member
Shu OhkiCommittee MemberMelton Secondary College
Deanna WegmanCommittee MemberChelsea Heights Primary School
Jessica WinstoneCommitee MemberFairhills High School
Masahiro YamasakiCommittee MemberSyndal South Primary School
Dr Na Gu Committee MemberParktone Primary School
Vicki OkiCommittee Member Sunbury College
Kiko WatanukiCommittee MemberChatham Primary School
Anne de KretserPermanent ObserverMonash Japanese Language Education Centre

History of the JLTAV

The Japanese Language Teachers Association of Victoria was founded in 1972. About 20 people, being probably almost all the secondary and tertiary Japanese language teachers in Victoria at the time, plus at least one high school principal and one official from the DSE (the Directorate of School Education, currently the Department of Education and Training) got together and decided to form an association. The initial committee had about 6-7 members, and committee meetings were held in private homes, schools and universities.

Some years later, the Victorian government decided to formally introduce Japanese language education to high schools, and the JLTAV worked together to formulate the high school Japanese language curriculum.

In the 1980s, the federal and state governments began to allow funding for the establishment of foreign language education in schools. At that time, the Japanese economy was growing at a rate that seemed unstoppable, and as a result, many high schools began Japanese language programmes. Japanese became the most commonly taught language in Victorian schools, and as a result, the JLTAV committee grew and its network strengthened. The JLTAV was registered as an incorporated association in 1992.

Through the 1980s, most teachers in the committee were high school teachers, but from Lynn Gourlay’s presidency (1989-1991) and onwards, the number of primary school teachers increased dramatically. This coincided with the formal introduction of Japanese language instruction to primary schools. All of the Presidents from 1998 to 2012 were, in fact, primary school teachers. However, Lois Booth (President 2011-2012) pushed to recruit more high school teachers to restore a balance and help serve teachers at both levels.

For many years, the JLTAV ran a segment of the MLTAV (Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria) Annual Conference, especially under the guidance of Les Mullins and Megan McLaughlin. In 2003, Sue Hodgson (President 2001-2003) and Pam Spiegel (President 2004-2006) started the annual JLTAV Statewide Conference in its current format, in order to support teachers’ professional learning.

In 2007, the first JLTAV website was launched by incumbent President Naoko Nishikawa and the committee, with the support of a grant from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) in Victoria, and the MLTAV (Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria).

Today, the JLTAV remains one of the largest single language associations of teachers in Australia. The JLTAV runs many events throughout the year for teachers and students, as well as competitions for students. The website was relaunched in early 2016.

Text by William Blakeley, Secretary 2015-present. Based on memory, hearsay and reasonable guesses by Hiroshi Honda, President 1994-1995 and Committee Member 1987-2004, 2009-present.

If you have any information about our history, or anything you’d like to contribute to this page, please email us at jltav@jltav.org.au.

Past Presidents

1972-1974Sue Gilbert (nee Wilson)
1980-1981Helen Marriott
1982-1983Helen Patton
1984Lynn Gourlay (dec.)
1985Helen Lunn
1986-1988Megan McLaughlin
1989-1991Lynn Gourlay (dec.)
1992Jacqui Back
1993Debbie Dunn
1994-1995Hiroshi Honda
1996-1997Sarah Francis
1998-2000Ann Eagles
2001-2003Sue Hodgson (dec.)
2004-2006Pam Spiegel
2007-2010Naoko Nishikawa
2011-2012Lois Booth
2013-presentNathan Lane

Many thanks to Hiroshi Honda for compiling this list, made in preparation for our 40th Anniversary Celebration in 2012. Hiroshi amended it through further inquiry in 2016.

If you have any information about our history, or anything you’d like to contribute to this page, please email us at jltav@jltav.org.au.

Life members

Life members are chosen for making an outstanding contribution to Japanese language teaching in Victoria over an extended period, that has significantly influenced the pattern and/or quality of Japanese language teaching and learning in Victoria.

  • Sue Gilbert (nee Wilson)
  • Mioko Wood (dec.)
  • Ruben Ketchell
  • Lillias O’Dea (dec.)
  • Sue Burnham (dec.)
  • Pam Spiegel
  • Anne de Kretser
  • Jan Chalmer
  • Hiroshi Honda