Media Release

16 March 2009

The 2009 Australia-Japan Talkback Classroom Forum

The Australia Japan Foundation (AJF) and Australian Education International (AEI) are pleased to announce the 2009 Australia-Japan Talkback Classroom Forum will be held at the National Press Club of Australia on 16 March 2009.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Stephen Smith MP,and the Japanese Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Taka-aki Kojima, will be interviewed by a panel of four students selected from schools in Tokyo, Canberra and Melbourne. 

The theme of the discussions is ‘Images of Australia in Japan and Japan in Australia’ covering a range of issues relevant to the contemporary bilateral relationship.  The forum will include a special Q&A session exclusively for students in the audience and online. 

The forum will be broadcast on the Australian Public Affairs Channel (A-PAC) and can be seen on Channel 607 on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.  The program will also be streamed live on the Internet on the A-PAC website at www.a-pac.tv/

Talkback Classroom provides a forum for senior secondary school students to investigate issues of international significance and record interviews for broadcast with national and international decision makers.  The student panel completes a comprehensive program of online study and reciprocal visits.  Their interviews and reflections are also captured in a series of mini-documentary style film clips to complement their daily diary entries in a project blog.  Further information about the 2009 Australia-Japan Talkback Classroom is available online at www.talkbackclassroom.com.au

The AJF, established by the Australian Government in 1976, seeks to strengthen the Australia-Japan relationship by supporting projects that enhance community, professional and institutional links between the two countries.  Further details about the AJF’s activities is available on its website www.ajf.australia.or.jp

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261 1555 - Mr Stephen Cutting, Talkback Classroom Producer, on Mob: 0408 559211 or Email: erproductions@bigpond.com.