I welcome the appointment of the Hon Mr Richard Court AC, Mr Peter Cleary, Dr Bronwyn Evans, Ms Debra Hazleton and Professor Veronica Taylor to the Board of the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF).

Japan is our most important strategic and economic partner in Asia. The AJF brings together eminent Australians with public and private sector expertise to advise the Government on how to strengthen our cooperation with Japan. This is critical to advancing Australia’s interests in a stable and prosperous region.

Mr Court is a former Premier of Western Australia, who has worked tirelessly to advance Australia’s relationship with Japan. His exceptional contribution was recognised by the Japanese Government in 2008 when it awarded Mr Court the Gold and Silver Star within the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun.

Mr Cleary will bring long and valuable business expertise to the board. He is currently Vice President of Santos and an Executive Committee member of the Australia-Japan Business Cooperation Committee. 

Ms Hazleton is a Japan specialist and is the first foreign General Manager of a corporate division of Mizuho Financial Group, the second-largest bank in Japan. 

Dr Evans, who is the CEO of Standards Australia, will enhance the board’s expertise in science diplomacy and will help build links with Japan in technology and innovation.

Professor Taylor, also a Japan specialist brings to this role extensive academic experience in the region, and is well placed to drive the board’s ambitious education agenda. She is the Dean of Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific. Professor Taylor has also served as the Director of the Japan Institute at the ANU and Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo.

I look forward to working with the new AJF Board, which also includes the Chair, Mr Murray McLean AO, Dr Chiaki Ajioka and Mr Doug Hall AM.

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