Meira is a MEXT scholar alumni, recently graduating with a Masters of Arts in International Relations from Waseda University. She advocates for empowering and fostering Asia-engaged young Australians, particularly through opportunities for overseas education, work experience and language learning. Her master's thesis examines the experiences of New Colombo Plan Scholarship alumni to explore ways that Indo-Pacific student mobility programs can be optimised for past, present and future participants. Meira also holds a Bachelor of Laws and International Studies from the University of New South Wales.
Meira is enthusiastic about Japan-Australia collaborations in robot and AI innovation, as well as clean energy projects. This interest grew from her diverse work and leadership experiences across Asia, including an internship at a Singaporean legal tech company, and participation in the Harvard Project for Asian International Relations in Hong Kong. Meira is also actively involved in youth mentorship initiatives that support students to develop practical life skills and personal agency. She has fond memories volunteering at the Educating Girls of Rural China MyLead Program and helping facilitate ISA Empowerment Programs in Japanese high schools.
Hossein Dashti is the Designated Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering at Nagoya University in Japan. He has both academic and industrial experience with a focus on the energy sector. His experience includes research at both Curtin University and the University of Queensland in Australia, lecturing at Azad University in Iran, and industrial experience as a process engineer for OSD Pty Ltd and Worley in Australia.
Dr. Dashti is interested in finding solutions to address the major challenges of global warming in a way that facilitates commercial outcomes. Through Nagoya University, he is currently focused on working with the Japanese industry to devise new carbon capture strategies, which improve the efficiency and scalability of decarbonization and facilitate efforts to produce clean energy.
He was awarded the Associate Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) in 2021, the Seal of Excellence for the project proposal submitted to Horizon 2020 (European Union’s research and innovation funding program) in 2021, and TMS LMD/EPD Energy Best Paper Award in the Mineral, Metals & Material Society (TMS) conference in San Antonio, USA, in 2019. He has published the results of his research in peer-reviewed journals, books, and conferences.
I am an officer (1st Lieutenant) of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and I am on secondment to the National Defense Academy’s graduate school of security studies to study strategic science. My main research field is the history of American foreign policy and strategy, but I also do research on science and technology policy. My recent research publication is about science and technology governance (戦略研究The Journal of Security Study, No.29, Japan, 2021.). Prior to the current role, I was a rifle platoon leader in an infantry regiment. Then, my main job was to plan and conduct various training exercises. (※In the activities of AJYD, I present my opinions as an individual, not as a representative of the organization to which I belong.)
Joe is a Global Communications Specialist at Panasonic Corporation. Based in Tokyo, he leads global communications projects with colleagues from over 10 countries with the purpose of enhancing the company's brand image globally. In July 2021, he was selected as one of the company's inaugural Panasonic Young Leaders.
Prior to working for Panasonic, Joe studied a Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting and Translation at Western Sydney University where at the age of 22 he became a NAATI certified professional interpreter/translator.
Between 2014 and 2017, Joe worked for Peace Boat, a Japan-based international NGO in which he visited and worked in over 60 countries, interpreting for atomic-bomb survivors as part of Hibakusha Project and subject matter experts across the globe.
Iori is a bilingual and bicultural International Education Specialist, currently working as the Study Australia Partnership Manager within the International Education Centre of Excellence at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) based in the Sydney office.
In 2014, Iori started her Trade and Investment career in Tokyo with the Trade and Investment Queensland Japan office, assisting many high-profile Queensland companies export into Japan. In 2016, Iori was nominated by the Queensland Government to become the pioneer Japan representative for the Queensland Department of Education International (DEi), where she was responsible for managing all Japan-related projects including the launch of the State’s first ever “Global STEM” educational study tour, as well as managing various Education Trade Missions including the 2018 Japan Trade Mission for the Honourable Grace Grace MP. During the secondment, Iori was the recipient of the “Connecting Globally Award”, where her overall individual excellence in global engagement was recognised by the department. Iori was also the recipient of the “TIQ Standout Award” in 2020, for recognition of her innovation in international education during COVID-19 for the conceptualisation and leadership of the award-winning “Queensland Hour” initiative. Iori returned to Australia in 2021, taking on her most recent role leading the new national educational partnership initiative, promoting Australia as a destination of choice for international education.
Iori holds a Bachelor of Business (International Business) from the University of the Sunshine Coast, where she was the recipient of the highest honour available to a graduating student – the Chancellor’s Medal – in recognition of her academic achievement and significant impact to the community. She was also recently nominated for the 2021 USC Outstanding Alumni Award.
Caitlin is passionate about harnessing the brightest ideas to create a more sustainable and equitable future. She is currently an Analyst at the ASX where she works at the nexus of national security, blockchain technology and financial markets.
Caitlin began her career in public policy, supporting governments and NGOs around the world. She was a foreign policy adviser at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, before becoming a researcher at the Lowy Institute. At PM&C, she had policy responsibility for Australia's bilateral relationship with Japan at the leader level. Her areas of expertise include Australian Foreign Policy and Indo Pacific strategy.
Prior to her work in government, Caitlin was Australia’s inaugural New Colombo Plan Fellow to the Maldives, where she worked at the United Nations Development Program. She previously spent time in rural India establishing a social enterprise, consulted for an Aboriginal Corporation in Kakadu National Park and worked for the U.S. State Department.
Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Government and International Relations - Hons) from the University of Sydney and has undertaken research at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh and Maldives National University.
Elise Giles leads the Advocacy portfolio at Asialink Business, the National Centre for building Asia capability. Elise plays a key role in driving public conversation and debate on Asia capabilities through a range of advocacy activities across the country. This includes the curation of high-profile forums and events that showcase prominent Australian and Asian leaders, including on Australia-Japan relations. Previously, Elise worked and studied across Asia, and as such has built a wealth of experience engaging with government, private and community sector. Over this time, Elise's keen interest in Japan has grown through her engagement via people-to-people links, and to supporting Australian businesses in building their capability to engage with Japan. She has also worked within economic and social policy portfolios in the Queensland State Government for five years. Elise currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Australia-Vietnam Leadership Dialogue, an parallel organisation that drives collaboration between Australian and Vietnamese leaders.
Joined Daiwa Securities Group, one of Japanese largest investment banking groups in 2007, starting from Private Equity Asia Pacific Division for 3 years (deal sourcing, DD, investment, monitoring, value-add, and fund monitoring). Moved to Investment Banking Division as a coverage banker of general industry group sector (natural resources, energy, auto, machinery, shipbuilder) for 4 years (M&A, ECM, DCM, and IR). Got MBA, concentrating on impact investment and social impact in the US as a corporate sponsored full time MBA student, and joined exchange programs in Shanghai, China and Milan, Italy during the MBA program. Came back to Japan in 2016, and was appointed as an executive assistant to our group CEO. Supported decision makings, internal communications, clients networking globally, new SDGs initiatives. Came in Australia last November and became CEO of Australian branch of Daiwa Securities Group this April. Managing a variety of investment banking business including Equity Sales, Debt Capital Markets, Principal Investments, M&A, as well as new initiatives in relation to renewable energy, agriculture, and startups in Australia.
Takashi Hara is a Japanese-born filmmaker, actor, teacher currently based in Sydney. He is one of the creative producers at Phoenix Eye Pty Ltd, a film & art production company for representing culturally diverse people. Takashi is also a founder of Acting For Mindfulness (AFM). AFM is a pathway for individuals and groups to access creative acting practices and performance. He has produced Cancer Institute NSW commissioned award-winning web series Breathless (2019), short film projects such as My Mother The Action Star (2020), Operation Kung Flu (2021) and Obsidian (2021). Currently incompletion of action feature film Echo 8 (2021). Takashi's 5 years of training at Himawari Theatre Institute in Tokyo has led him to work in theatre such as Nissei Theatre, New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT) in Japan. Currently, He is commissioned by the National Theatre of Parramatta (NTOP) to deliver the creative development project "HARU & Haru" and PYT Fairfield's "Action Star". In recognition of his work, Takashi was awarded a grant from Theatre Network Australia (TNA). As a workshop facilitator, Takashi has worked for clients such as NSW Health Refugee, Fairfield City Council and The Parks Community Network. Weekly, Takashi hosts a segment on SBS Japanese radio. Takashi holds a Bachelor of Agriculture (Agrobiological Resources) degree from Meijo University.
International development practitioner and social entrepreneur with 3 years of experience of working in international development in French-speaking Africa. I am currently working at the Embassy of Japan in Guinea in the field of bilateral and multi-lateral development cooperation. At the same time, I am preparing for my social start-up called Manasa Mora, a laundromat for empowering women and improving public sanitation in Madagascar and Guinea. The idea of Manasa Mora came from my first-hand experience living in Madagascar and volunteering with Japan International Cooperation Agency for two years.
I have lived in five different countries across four continents and am fluent in Japanese, English, French, and Malagasy. Australia was the first country where I lived abroad long-term, and it is where I did an exchange programme for one year at the Australian National University. Recently completed MA Globalisation, Business and Development at the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex, UK.
Yukino (Yuki) is an Australian qualified lawyer working as an Associate in Japan's leading international law firm, Nishimura and Asahi. Yuki started her career in Nishimura and Asahi's cross-border corporate team in 2019, after graduating from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Asia and the Pacific Studies and a Juris Doctor degree. Born in Japan and raised in Australia, she identifies as being both 100% Japanese and 100% Australian.
During her studies at university, she competed in the intercollegiate negotiation competition held in Tokyo, and brought home the first prize as team leader of Team Australia. Competing against various universities in a cross-border negotiation and arbitration competition has triggered Yuki's ambition to become a cross-border corporate lawyer in Japan. Yuki's interest lies in facilitating communication, collaboration and synergy between people and companies with different social and cultural backgrounds, and currently works on various international transactions including those between Japan and Australia.
Yuki has also contributed to a number of Japanese research initiatives on the Australian legal system, as a research assistant of ANJeL (the Australian Network of Japanese Law) . She misses camping around the Snowy River, but is currently enjoying making homemade miso and plum wine.
Kaori Kato obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Honours) in 2009 and her master’s degree in Visual Art in 2010 from the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) at the University of Melbourne. Kato returned to Japan, Hokkaido in 2013, and has since had her work displayed at a number of local and international shows, including in Australia.
Kato was invited to participate in the visual arts program of the EU-Japan Fest, and held a number of workshops and lectures during the Paper Object Festival held in Riga, Latvia as part of the program created to celebrate the 2014 European Capital of Culture (ECoC). Her work was featured as part of the Vancouver fashion week SS 2019 collection, and Western Canada Fashion Week SS2020 collection, showcasing 23 different wearable paper sculptures between the two events. In 2022, her work 'Bilateral Relations' was the majour winner of the Paper on skin international art competition held in Devonport.
In addition to being an artist, Kato works for the Tokachi International Association in Obihiro City, where she is involved in the management of development education projects and public relations work commissioned by Japan International Cooperation agency (JICA). She also organises and manages visits to local schools with JICA trainees from developing countries, to engage in cultural exchange with the students.
Marie is a medical doctor practising in Tokyo with a keen interest in refugee and migrant mental health. After acquiring her medical degree from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, she undertook her internship at The University of Tokyo Hospital, engaging in extensive training in psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine.
During her studies, she spent five months at the Australian National University, where she became aware of the global misallocation of healthcare resources and the contributing cultural, economic and social factors. Since then, she has continued to address the disparities between populations of different socio-economic statuses through her participation in international summits and symposia. Notably, she served as the Head Japanese delegate at the G20 Youth Summit in 2018, bringing the voices of younger generations directly to the leaders of G20 countries.
Besides her practice, Marie advocates mental wellness in the non-Japanese population by giving talks on dealing with mental issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is to further advance her career in Australia, with the passion of bridging Australia and Japan in the field of mental health.
Outside of work, she enjoys the beach, working out and getting together with friends.
Dr Nikolay Murashkin is a scholar of Japanese foreign policy and international relations in Asia Pacific. His research interests include Japan’s development cooperation and economic statecraft, the politics of connectivity infrastructure and finance in the Indo-Pacific and Eurasia, and international politics in Northeast Asia. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge with a dissertation focusing on contemporary Japanese foreign policy in Central Asia and its involvement in various New Silk Road projects. He has conducted research as a Japan Foundation Fellow at Waseda University, Tokyo. Prior to academia, Nikolay completed a Master’s degree at Sciences Po Paris, subsequently working as an analyst in a London-based bank. Nikolay's most recent work is his monograph "Japan and the New Silk Road", published in 2020. It focuses on Japan's policies in Central Asia and covers various aspects of diplomacy, development and connectivity projects. Nikolay has also published book chapters and articles in a number of peer-reviewed journals, such as Australian Journal of International Affairs and others. He was the winner of the 1st prize of the Japan Foundation and the Association of Japanologists in his native Russia for the best academic paper on Japanese politics by a junior scholar in 2013.
Sara-Jane completed a Bachelor of Languages and International Business from the University of New England in 2016. She lived and worked in Japan as a Coordinator of International Relations on the JET Programme. Returning to Australia in 2018, Sara-Jane remained determined to building a career with Japan continuing her Japanese studies in Translation and Interpretation at University of Queensland. In 2019, Sara-Jane participated in the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event (Equestrian) and was later formally invited to participate at the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games as an Overall Technical Official Coordinator (Equestrian) and as a National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Assistant with Paralympics Australia. Sara-Jane currently works a support worker assisting deaf people in Australia reach their goals. She also coordinates a weekly Japanese Sign Language study group over zoom which has people participating from Australia, Japan, Singapore and the Unites States.
Sara-Jane is interested in strengthening relationships with the communities which represent people with disabilities and furthering cultural understanding of the indigenous Ainu peoples of Japan, and the survival of their culture and Ainu language.
Naoya is Japanese born but grew up in Australia since the age of 2. He has completed a Masters of Engineering (Biomedical), Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Languages (Japanese) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Naoya moved back to Japan at the start of 2020 as the pandemic was hitting to pursue a career in life sciences and healthcare in Tokyo, Japan.
Naoya is currently involved in the development and manufacturing of therapeutics and vaccines in Japan. He is passionate about promoting and improving accessible healthcare not only in Japan but globally. Naoya hopes to have a future voice that resonates in developing better future health policies and a sustainable healthcare system.
Naoya looks forward to sharing his own experiences, meeting new faces and learning about the key challenges, policies and vital industries that are critical in fostering the Australia–Japan partnership.
As State Secretary of the Modern Language Teachers Association in Queensland, and a Japanese Teacher, I have ultimate responsibility for leading Australia's largest state (QLD) in terms of the number of Japanese language teachers, as well as other languages, and specifically want to deepen my understanding about the key opportunities and threats in the Australia-Japan relationship, key economic, cultural, policy and national security macrotrends, and some of the current issues facing the relationship in order to better respond & create new opportunities for Japanese language education and cultural understanding in Australia, and the Pacific. With a degree in Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism, and a Masters of International Relations, I am intrigued by Australian, Japanese, US relations in an Unstable Indo-Pacific Region, War & National Security Strategy, and the affects of COVID-19 International Border Closures, and emerging Nazi Socialist movements on the national psyche with respect to international engagement and collaboration.