The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA42 - 15 April 2005

2006 Australia-Japan Year Of Exchange – Executive Committee

I am pleased to announce the establishment of an Executive Committee to oversee Australia’s preparations for the 2006 Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.

The committee will be chaired by Dr Ashton Calvert AC, former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a former ambassador to Japan. 

Other members are: Mr Hugh Morgan AC, President, Australia-Japan Business Cooperation Committee; Mr Jerry Ellis, Chairman, Australia-Japan Foundation; Mr David Russell RFD QC, President, National Federation of Australia-Japan Societies; Mr Chris Renwick, retired former chief executive, Rio Tinto Iron Ore; Mr John Banner, President, North West Shelf Australia LNG; Mr Peter Shelley, Chairman, Tasmanian Quality Foods; Mr Sam Tolley, Chief Executive, Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation; and Ms Roslynne Bracher, Director, Paspaley Pearling Company. 

The Year of Exchange commemorates the 30th anniversary of the signing of the 1976 Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Australia and Japan, also known as the NARA Treaty (Nippon-Australia Relations Agreement).  The initiative was agreed by Prime Ministers Howard and Koizumi during Mr Howard’s visit to Tokyo in July 2003.

I greatly appreciate the willingness of members to serve on the committee for the duration of the preparatory year and lend their support to events throughout 2006.  Members have been drawn from a range of business backgrounds across the country and bring a wealth of experience in Australia-Japan relations.

Dr Calvert holds the unique distinction of having been involved in the original negotiations of the NARA Treaty as the then Ambassador’s special assistant to the treaty.

The role of the Executive Committee is to provide senior-level guidance and support to the year, and advise on possible sources of corporate sponsorship.  It is expected to meet for the first time in late May 2005.

Further information about the year can be obtained from the departmental website.

Media inquiries : Ministerial 02 6277 7500 , DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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