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Australia Japan Society FNQ Scholarship 2020-21 Cancellation

Iit is with regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2020-2021 Cairns Sister City Student Scholarship Program.

The AJS FNQ takes its members, supporters and friends health and wellbeing extremely seriously, therefore with this in mind and the current COVID-19, world troubling situation.

The program and activities for 2020 have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

With reference to committee meetings, we are hoping to set up teleconference facilities to continue the great work of the volunteers and the committee members will be advised of any action here separately.

2020-04-21T04:50:42+10:00April 21st, 2020|

11th March 2013

11th March 2013  was a special day for the Australia Japan Society FNQ, when at the Cairns Regional Council on Spence Street, three AJS FNQ Presidents met for at friendly moment.

Two valuable past presidents, Capt. Terry Russell, and Peter Cominos talked with the current President, Jeff Haynes, following an interesting and professional presentation by two Cairns students who recently returned from a Cairns Sister City / AJS FNQ Scholarship in Japan.

The two High School students Michael Dillon and Ekaterina “Katya” Shabaldina were able to share their ‘life changing’ experiences to 40-50 people including Cairns Mayor Bob Manning and Councillor Greg Fennell with two 15-20 minute student presentations, which were also an insight to the two special Cairns / Japanese Sister Cities of Oyama City and Minami Town.

The AJS FNQ annual High School student scholarship is managed by Makoto Kamatani Haynes and in 2013, the seventh years, student applications open late April and close July.

2019-11-30T04:51:31+10:00November 30th, 2019|

Community Groups working together…

Once again two Cairns Not-For-Profit volunteers work together. “Smile with Kids” and the Australia Japan Society FNQ (Cairns) were working together for Japan.

Both groups combined at the recent Japan Foundation “Free” Japanese Film Festival. Held earlier in November at Smithfield, Events Cinemas, which has been the location for the Festival for 2018 & 2019.

The 2020 Festival location has not yet been determined. This popular annual event is advertised mainly through word-of-mouth and Facebook. The AJS President would like to acknowledge all the valuable volunteers and support for the 2019 event.

At the event, there was an occasion for the AJS FNQ (Cairns) to make a small donation to the sister Japanese NFP Community group, SWK and seen below is the Vice President of AJS (Mr. Barry Struber) presenting a Cheque to Maki Mcarthy of SWM to support their great valuable work with the children of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami children from the torn town of Fukushima, Japan.

The AJS and SMK hope to work together more in the future to raise valuable funds and for more information, please contact Maki at https://www.facebook.com/smilewithkids/ or Jeff / Barry at https://www.facebook.com/AJSFNQ/

2019-11-27T06:35:30+10:00November 27th, 2019|

Vale – Peter Cominos OAM

Cairns / Inaugural President – Peter Cominos

It is with deep sorrow ,that as the current President of the Society, I would  express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of PETER COMINOS / OAM / Cairns Business Icon / Pharmacist / AJS Life Member, who recently passed away. (12.11.1928 – 15.11.2019)

Peter passed away recently in Brisbane with his family and friends and was a great man. Peter was also the inaugural President of the Cairns AJS back in November 1981. Peter’s local Cairns past involvement, participation, friendship and a valued membership of AJS will not be forgotten.

Peter was honoured with Life Membership of the Society in 1989 and we will always be grateful for his contribution and generosity to the Cairns Community and in assisting to create and develop the current 38-year Cairns based NFP and Volunteer organisation, the Australia Japan Society.

Rest in Peace our dear departed friend and our thoughts and love go out to your wife Cecelia and your special family. RIP.

Jeff Haynes – AJS FNQ President | 0417 756 849

2019-11-24T15:13:44+10:00November 24th, 2019|

Cairns and Japanese Sister City – 50th Anniversary Celebration

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary milestone, the Mayor of Minami Town (formerly Hiwasa) and a delegation visited Cairns and took part in the Cairns Festival, held from 23rd August-1st Sept 2019.

The Mayor brought with him approx. 30 delegates from the Community and Minami Region including a group of traditional puppeteers who will offered a free traditional “Joururi Puppet” performance and experience, to the Cairns community on Sunday 25th August on the Cairns Esplanade with three afternoon puppet performances.

Also, as part of the events and celebrations for 50 years of friendship with Cairns, to further commemorate this special occasion, the Minami Town Tourist Association decided to welcome a Cairns citizen as a new member of “Minami Kame Family”. A character costume was created from a design inspired by the uniform colors of the Australia National Soccer and other sporting team.

The Minami Town Tourism Association invited the Town public to join into a contest for a costume design that would be suitable for a ‘Cairns’ turtle family member, with Ms. Kyoko Taniguchi, design being selected in Green and Yellow, a pendant and a belt buckle in the shape of Australia so that the location of Cairns City Queensland can shine and be identified.

The costume of a new Turtle family member for the Public Relations Character will be known as the “Kame Mate” Family (Turtle Family) of Minami Town Tourist Association in Tokushima Prefecture Japan. This was announced in the media at the Hiwasa Michi no Eki (Hiwasa Road Station) on the 17 July 2019.

There are currently 9 members of the Kame Family. The 10th new member is call “Kame Mate” and the person selected by the Minami Town Tourism Association was Jeff Haynes, Cairns Citizen, and President of Australia Japan Society Far North Queensland. The presentation of the costume to Jeff Haynes was on Friday 23rd August 2019 by Minami Town Mayor and Vice President of the Minami Town Tourism Association with the delegation and friends at a private dinner function.

“Kame (Turtle) Mate” means best friend in Australia and Jeff Haynes and his wife Makoto Kamatani Haynes from Cairns have visited and stayed in Minami Town on multiple occasions, therefore Jeff Haynes was an easy ‘Kame’ choice. Jeff will be expected to wear the new Kame-family costumes at various local events to promote the special 50 years friendship between Cairns and Minami Town Japan and the on-going promotion of the Cairns Japanese Sister City.

Jeff Haynes commented that the people of Minami Town have become special friends over the years, they are welcoming and hospitable, and it’s my privilege to be the International Cairns extended ‘Kame-Mate’ family.

2019-09-03T07:01:19+10:00September 3rd, 2019|

AJS FNQ Scholarship 2019-2020

2019-20 Student Scholarships for Japan’s Sister Cities to Cairns.
Congratulations to
Nicholas Wilhelm von Dietze from St Andrew’s Catholic College who goes to Oyama City in Tochigi Prefecture
Zachary Luke Downey from St Augustine’s College who goes to Minami Town Tokushima Prefecture

During the December School Holidays of 2019-2020, the Australia-Japan Society FNQ will again sponsor two students from a Cairns School, to live as Home-stay and study within a Japanese Junior High School for a 4 week period.

Year 9 / 10 / 11 students are encouraged to apply for the scholarship and be in Japan during December 2019 and January 2020.

The AJS with this Scholarship are building further stronger relationships with the Cairns Sister Cities in both Oyama City and Minami Town.


  • Applicants for this program must be current financial family members of the Australia-Japan Society FNQ. (membership form below)
  • School within the Cairns Region and attending to Year 9.10 or 11.
  • Applicants must have valid passport for travelling overseas.
  • The students must be studying Japanese language and have maintained sound grades in all general subjects for the last school term.
  • Applications OPEN on the 1st July 2019 and CLOSE 16th August 2019. AJS FNQ will not accept any applications which arrive after 16th August 2019 (Application: Typed or computer generated. If students fail to prepare the complete set of documents, the student will automatically be eliminated as a candidate.)
  • The First stage of selection from the applications will be announced Sunday 1st September 2019
  • Second stage of selection is personal interviews and will be conducted on a Sunday afternoon 8th September 2019. Students and parents must be available for this process as part of the application. Unfortunately, if a student cannot be available for this process, the student will automatically be eliminated as a candidate.
  • The two successful students will be announced mid September and should expect to visit either Oyama City or Minami Town, Japan later in December.

The AJS Scholarship Package would include: Value approx AUS $5,000

  • Return International flights to Japan, meals included
  • Arrival Meet & Greet at Japan Narita and Osaka Airports
  • Transport & guide from Japan Airports to / from final destinations
  • 1 hour AJS FNQ Trip Orientation in Cairns before departure
  • Orientation in Japan with council representatives after arrival to the destination
  • 1 or 2 night’s Hotel Accommodation before or after home stay arrangements.
  • Homestay Japan Accommodation for 4 to 5 weeks (Possible multiple families)
  • One-on-one support, assistance and guidance by Japanese Council Representatives / Student Counselor, Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Coordinator of International relations (CIR) and the Board of Education.
  • Official welcome and meeting with the Mayor of the Japanese Sister City at the Council offices.
  • Provisions of School lunch for education period of the program.
  • (Most years the Japanese schools have been able to loan a local school uniform)
  • Various unique Japanese cultural / sporting / music experiences as arranged by host families and the local Council and representatives.

Please note – As a family contribution and fee to this unique opportunity, the AJS FNQ will require a fee of $600.00 per successful student to be paid prior to 1st December.

Some items not included / Not limited to: Passport applications and associated costs, the student health, travel and medical insurances, student spending money, general winter clothing, and any personal items.

Students should complete the application form available for download below.

If you have problems getting the application form then please email scholarship@ajsfnq.com.au

Gold Scholarship Sponsors

Silver Scholarship Sponsors

2019-09-25T13:08:14+10:00July 2nd, 2019|
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