July in Melbourne for departing JETs are an exciting time. Fresh out of the predeparture orientation info dump, they’ve been busy winding down their affairs in preparation for the start of their adventure in Japan. This year saw over 20 departees heading out to places like Kochi, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Miyagi and even Fukushima. There were several even posted to Tokyo (not the islands)!
JETAA committee members were kindly invited to Shimada Junji-san’s, the Consul-General, residence in Toorak to celebrate the departure of these newbies along with members of parliament and visitors from Japan and CLAIR. Along with his lovely wife Kaoru-san, we were delighted with demonstrations of Ikebana and Kyudo and then spoiled with a lovely spread of delicious Japanese food, drinks and most importantly, DAIFUKU for dessert. Unfortunately, we were all too busy eating and chatting that we all forgot to take photos! If you’re interested in seeing some photos, it’d be worth asking Junko – I’m sure she’d love to hear from ex-JETs.
The new JETs will leave Melbourne THIS SATURDAY 29th July and arrive in Tokyo early morning Sunday where they hopefully won’t get into any trouble during their free day. Everyone is super excited and just a bit nervous, but hopefully after speaking to the alumni and many others, they’ll have an exciting and fulfilling time in Japan for the next 1,2 or even 5 years.
While all that has been going on, the JETAA Committee has been busy organising our next event in August. We spent the afternoon under Trevor’s kotatsu, brought back from Japan, eating delicious Nabe and then mandarins.
We discussed many things including the Oceania conference we are hosting this year with all the other chapters in Australia, NZ and Singapore. This will be happening at the end of October and will hopefully see a bunch of returnees join us for a networking lunch.
Our next event in August has been decided – the ONSEN.
We’re once again taking a bunch of lucky JETAAs down to Mornington Peninsula on August 26th for a day of relaxation at the hot springs, and then a late lunch at a smokey BBQ hall. This year, we’ve decided to head to the newest addition to the peninsula, Alba Thermal Springs.
An experience like this would normally be over $150pp, but thanks to the support of CLAIR, we are able to offer our members an exclusive price of $50! Spaces are limited, so we’ve limited everyone to one ticket each. Keep an eye out in your emails for more information on what’s included and how to reserve your spot. If you’re not part of the JETAA Mailing list, shoot us a message in our Facebook group with your details and we’ll add you. In the meantime, set aside that date for some good times, and stay tuned!