South Island, Oct 17-18 2015
South Island (Christchurch) hosted the 2015 JETAA Oceania Conference, with the theme of staying connected and how to reach out to potential, current and past JET participants. In addition to the delegates from the JETAA chapters and CLAIR, a special representative from CLAIR Tokyo was also in attendance, Mr Masahiro Fukugawa, to observe on activities in Oceania.
Some issues and topics discussed:
- How we can renew and strengthen partnerships;
- How to reinvigorate and refresh connections;
- Sustaining volunteers and avoiding fatigue by having different people do different events so they don’t get tired;
- Increase our presence across the board;
- How we can get out there: active participation, offering a point of difference, rotation of members to events, and keeping in touch with other groups;
- Establishing partnerships: yearly events – speech contest, with consul general, sponsor networking (Kinokuniya, Japan Airlines);
- Establishing and maintaining contact with local consulates, sister city groups, major organisations such as Japan Foundation, university groups and departments;
- Capturing contacts of new participants and maintaining contact through newsletter mailouts;
- How to increase participation from non-JET alumni – ie general public;
- Be more relevant to returning JETs by providing networking and career opportunities, and using contacts such as Japanese Chamber of Commerce groups for this;
- Keeping up to date with new online tools that can help make our tasks easier, like social media for keeping in contact and self-promotion.
When it comes down to it, effort and work will always have to be put in – attending networking events and be proactive in maintaining relationships with existing contacts. This will always be a work in progress.
The keynote speaker was Jeanine Begg whose CV includes GM Communications and Antartica NZ, and was on the Youth Advisory Council of the Japan New Zealand Business Council. Her tips:
- Get youth involved as they’ll be the decision makers in 5 years;
- Use your skills and passion to influence any job you are doing;
- Be ambitious: you can have it all, but it will take time
- Be yourself and be adaptable
- Be involved with sister city associations and Asia-NZ groups, which have similar goals and share passion as JETAA
In the Country Representative presentations, knowledge sharing and preservation, as well as successor handover was highlighted as being important. Discussion was had of the activities of the wider JETAA global community that may be relevant to chapters in Oceania for their own projects, such as Satogaeri, AJET – delegates are encourage to continue and increase their interaction and communication with each other.