Today I announce the appointment of Mr Mark Connors and Mr Chris Saines to the Board of the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF).  The new members will join existing board members, Mr Peter Cleary, Dr Bronwyn Evans, Ms Debra Hazelton, Professor Veronica Taylor and Mr Murray McLean AO whose appointment as the AJF Chair has been extended for a further three years. 

Mr Connors is the Queensland State Manager for FIIG Securities.  He is a former Wallabies international rugby union player and currently serves as a non-executive director on the Queensland Rugby Union Board.

Mr Saines is the Director of the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, which hosts a flagship exhibition series, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Mr Saines has a keen interest in promoting Australian excellence and talent in the arts.

Japan is Australia’s closest strategic partner in Asia. With two-way trade worth around $70 billion in 2015, Japan is our second largest trading partner. It is also the second largest source of foreign direct investment into Australia.

The Australia-Japan Foundation brings together eminent Australians who provide a range of expertise and input to the Australian Government on further strengthening our cooperation with Japan. This is critical to advancing Australia’s interests in this stable and prosperous region.

I thank outgoing board members, the Hon Richard Court AC, now Australian Ambassador to Japan, and Associate Professor Doug Hall AM for their commitment and dedication during their time on the AJF board.

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