Home' InDaily : July 29th 2010 Contents Vol21No6July2010|7
Flinders has set up a new
network for its Japanese
graduates, who now number
more than 150.
The Flinders Japan Alumni Network was
launched by Australia's Ambassador to
Japan, Mr Murray McLean, at the
Australian Embassy on July 13.
Connecting with Japan with alumni network
New European links on the cards
A recent trip to Europe by Ms Diané
Ranck included visits to institutions in
Germany and the UK and meetings
with Flinders alumni, with a spot of
prizegiving on the side.
Ms Ranck, the Director of the Marketing
and Communications Office at Flinders,
presented a Distinguished Alumni
Award to Professor Yaping Shao, who is
based at the University of Cologne.
Professor Shao, an internationally
prominent meteorologist and
It is the fourth international network of
Flinders alumni to be established; there
are existing networks in Malaysia,
Singapore and Hong Kong.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber
and Alumni Association President Mr
Stephen Hains attended the launch, along
with a large number of alumni that
included Flinders' first five alumni from
Japan: Dr Yoshimi Shimoyama, Dr
Mamoru Mohri, Professor Kohei Uosaki, Dr
Akimi Fujimoto and Miss Yuko Nakamura.
While the majority of the alumni reside
in the Tokyo-Osaka area, others live
across regional Japan.
Professor Barber said the strong turn-out
at the launch demonstrated an enduring
sense of enthusiasm and affection for
Flinders, and he urged the alumni to
maintain contact with each other and
with the University.
"As graduates of Flinders, you constitute
an important part of the University's
public face and reputation," Professor
"We want you to take an active interest
in developments at Flinders, and the
establishment of this Network is aimed
at increasing your ability to be involved.
"You are a living example of the benefits
of international education, and Flinders
wants to share in the benefits of your
knowledge and experience."
Elections of the Network's inaugural
office-holders were held at the launch:
Professor Uosaki, principal investigator at
the International Centre for Materials
Nanoarchitectonics of the National
Institute for Materials Science (NIMS),
was elected President and Miss
geophysicist nicknamed 'The King of
Dust', graduated with a PhD in Earth
Sciences from Flinders in 1991.
Ms Ranck also met senior administrators
of Cologne University to canvass the
possibilities of research and exchange
links, before travelling to the UK.
In Britain Ms Ranck met individual
Flinders alumni, including Monash
Scholarship holder Amy McLennan, who
is at Oxford University undertaking a PhD
on the underlying causes of obesity.
Enjoying the launch in Tokyo
Flinders first Japanese graduates (from left):
Yoshimi Shimoyama, Mamoru Mohri, Kohei
Uosaki, Akimi Fujimoto, Yuko Nakamura
Nakamura was elected Secretary.
Dr Mohri, Japan's first astronaut and
former head of the national space
program, was elected Honorary Patron.
Dr Mohri reminisced about his time at
Flinders, and said that although he had
initially suffered feelings of homesickness
in Australia, Flinders staff and students
had offered him marvellous support both
academically and socially. He said that
Flinders gave him the academic
grounding -- he holds a PhD in physics --
that formed the basis of his subsequent
Planning for the Network began in 2008,
and included visits to Adelaide by
Professor Uosaki and Miss Nakamura.
Much of the organisation for the launch
was undertaken by Ms Tomoko Ichikawa,
Business Development Manager at
Austrade in Tokyo, who spent 12 months
at Flinders on an exchange in 1999.
Charles Gent, Geoff Sauer
Photos: Kerry Raftis -- Keyshots
As well as meeting with officials from
Oxford, University College London and the
Menzies Centre to discuss potential links
and collaborative activities, Ms Ranck
hosted a round-table meeting with UK
alumni with South Australian Deputy
Agent-General Mr Matt Johnson to explore
ways of increasing the engagement of
Flinders alumni living in Britain.
"Members of the round-table decided
that we should conduct an expert panel
symposium combining Flinders academics
and alumni in 2011," Ms Ranck said.
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