On August 19 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced this year's awardees of the Foreign Minister's Commendation. The commendation is awarded to individuals and groups who have made outstanding achievements in the international field, and acknowledges their contributions to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Australia and Japan.
This year three NSW individuals who received awards would be very familiar to our teachers:
Chef Hideo Dekura who has been a pioneer of Japanese cuisine in Australia, and of course has presented at our NSW Japanese teachers' conference,
Cathy Jonak from The Japan Foundation, Sydney, whom many teachers know through her work in professional development supporting teachers in Australian schools, and
Sally Shimada for my work in promoting Japanese language education and friendship between Australia and Japan.
I am very grateful to the Consul-General for recommending me for this award, and very honoured to receive it.