Why Learn Japanese? 2016

Why Learn Japanese? 2015

This event is aimed to encourage students to study Japanese in senior years. This event has always been well-received, because of its inspiring speeches from guest speakers who are non-native Japanese speakers, who have lived in Japan and continued to use Japanese in Australia and worldwide and also the fascinating cultural demonstrations. Best suited for students in years 8 to 10, as they approach the end of compulsory language studies. (Please note: In 2016, there will be no film session.)

Cost: $6.60 per student (includes $0.60 GST)

Please make sure you or your school is a member of the JLTAV for 2016.

This activity is provided with funding support from the Department of Education and Training.

Application procedure

  1. Complete the online registration form
  2. Before pressing submit, print the form (it is a TAX INVOICE) and organise the payment by Friday 22nd April. Late applications are not accepted.
  3. Please send the payment advice to jltav@jltav.org.au. No paper advice required. Please only register once and wait until after the closing date to receive registration confirmation from the JLTAV Office
  4. You will receive confirmation from the JLTAV office by Friday 29th April.
  5. You will receive tickets and a letter from us prior to the event.

Payment details

** EFT only **

  • Account Name: JLTAV Inc
  • EFT to BSB: 033-034 Account Number: 61-1599 *The bank details have changed.*
  • your school reference: section of Net-Banking form
  • If you are sending money from your personal account, please write the name of your school in the reference section of Net-banking form.
  • If your students are paying to attend please collect all money first and register as a class and not individually
  • It is the individual teacher’s responsibility to follow up the registration payment with the finance department of their school

Other notes

Some other things that might need to be considered…

  1. arrange a school trip form
  2. inform school admin plus students and other teachers
  3. book a bus
  4. ask other teachers to come with the group &
  5. arrange lunch

We are looking forward to seeing you and your students at the venue!


9.45Taiko performance
9.55WelcomeNathan Lane
Consulate-General of Japan in MelbourneChiharu Akine
10.00Taiko workshop
10.20SpeakerJacyl Shaw
11.00SpeakerMichael Maher
11.10VCE information and lucky drawBonnie Yue
11.45Awaodori traditional Japanese danceMelbo Ren
12.10Lucky draw
12.15Yukata dressingSala
12.35SpeakerJason Jones

Travel subsidy form

To claim a travel subsidy, please download, complete and email the following form:


Event report

On Friday the 6th of May, close to 900 students from 35 different schools gathered at Monash University’s Robert Blackwood Hall for one of the JLTAV’s biggest and most successful annual events, the ‘Why Learn Japanese? Day’.
This event gave students studying Japanese insight into the life-changing benefits and opportunities Japanese has to offer through thought rousing talks and cultural performances from professionals who use Japanese in their careers and everyday lives.

The day’s proceedings opened with an exciting, ground shaking performance by Melbourne’s very own Wadaiko Rindo, headed by Toshi Sakamoto and Junko Sakamoto, who set the mood for the day’s exciting schedule. Consul Chiharu Akine of the Consulate-General of Japan then addressed the audience, encouraging students to have fun and persevere in their language studies – recounting her experiences in learning English and the skills and opportunities she has gained along the way. Proceedings for the day were then handed over to the very genki MC for the day, Jenny Chiu, who ensured that students and teachers were always wide awake and engaged before each presentation.

Wadaiko Rindo was invited back to the stage to run a taiko workshops with the students, which prompted a very enthusiastic response from the students with many volunteers putting up their hands. The lucky volunteers were able to learn the basics to taiko drumming very quickly and perform amazingly as an ensemble with resounding applause from the audience.

The first speaker for the day was Jacyl Shaw, Director of Culture and Community Development at the Carlton Connect Initiative. Jacyl recounted her numerous experiences over the years learning and working with Japanese and where this had led her, and her story about meeting the Imperial Family of Japan on one of her exchange opportunities was met by disbelief from the audience! Jacyl emphasized that we should all aim to become global citizens, and by learning a second language we are all one step closer. One of the key takeaway points from Jacyl was that by learning Japanese, students are opening doors for themselves for the future, and becoming more innovative and perceptive thinkers in the process!

Next we welcomed Karate JKA to the stage to give a workshop on the basics of karate, which also prompted a large, enthusiastic group of volunteers. Students were given a chance to learn the correct form, technique, and movement involved in Karate, and even learnt a few new Japanese words along the way.

After getting the blood pumping, Michael Maher – Chief Executive Officer of Aged Care Development Network, was invited to the stage to give a more career orientated talk about learning Japanese. Michael spoke passionately about his many years travelling and working around Asia as a cultural ambassador, and how in the process he has found a second home in Japan. Michael posed questions that provoked thought about the future and how we could best take advantage of the situation. The answer? Become Asia Centric and learn Japanese! Michael emphasized the need to start setting clear goals for the future and take full advantage of the opportunities Asia has to offer.

The final speaker before the break was JLTAV’s very own Bonnie Yue, who gave insight into the workings of the VCAA and how Japanese can greatly benefit a student’s VCE experience and ATAR score, dispelling common myths and misconceptions about how marking and scaling occurs.

During the break students had the opportunity to have their names written in Hiragana by the talented calligrapher, Miho Araki of Ebisu Design. The line for Miho snaked right around the venue and students were able to take a home a small memento of the day.

The second half of the day opened with a quirky yet intriguing Awaodori dance by Melbo Ren. Students learnt about the history of the ‘Fool’s dance’ and were encouraged to learn the unique dance and join Melbo Ren on stage, which got everyone in the audience laughing and dancing along, with no doubt in mind as to why it is called the ‘Fool’s dance’!

Next up was Sala Okabe, an award-winning Kimono stylist, who gave a detailed presentation about the Kimono, and how to neatly and correctly put on a Kimono which the students found was quite the process! With a few lucky students as her models, Sala did a step by step demonstration on Kimono wearing, from putting the arms through the sleeves all the way to tying the daunting obi.

The final speaker for the day was Jason Jones, lecturer at Monash University, who gave perspective of the transition from high school to university when it comes to Japanese studies. The audience had a good laugh seeing Jason in his younger days in university and working in Japan, but also learnt about the various opportunities to live, study, and work in Japan that are provided at a university level such as the JET Programme and the MEXT Scholarship. Jason stressed that with a perseverance (and a bit of hard work), there are many opportunities to take advantage of if you yourself are willing to take the leap.

The response from students and teachers on the day was overwhelming, and we thank all that attended. We are very grateful to our MC for the day and all presenters who donated their valuable time, and to Vanessa Shen, along with volunteers from the JLTAV, for organizing an exciting and insightful day.
By Robbie Muljana