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Student Mobility Roundtable

ASAA 2018

Asia-informed Student Mobility in the Indo-Pacific Era: Case Studies from Japan

At the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) 2018 conference, The Japan Foundation, Sydney presents a cross-sector workshop on experiences, learnings and visions for student mobility in our region.

Supported by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Edith Cowan University and PwC Australia.


Since the New Colombo Plan was piloted in 2014, the Australian government, universities and industry alike have been working to increase student mobility between Australia and its neighbours in Asia and the broader the Indo-Pacific region. What possibilities and challenges exist for partnerships between Australian universities and our neighbouring nations?

Japan is one of the most popular destinations for New Colombo Plan scholars. Drawing on case studies from the Japan-Australia relationship, the session will focus on challenges, successes, learnings and future possibilities for student mobility initiatives.

This a forum for public, private and tertiary stakeholders—including exchange alumni—to share practical knowledge earned through direct experience with student mobility. The discussion will aim to produce generalisable recommendations of relevance to the broader Asian Studies community, with the goal of enriching exchange between Australia and other nations in the region.

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Community & Engagement, University of Western Australia; President, ASAA; Member, New Colombo Plan Advisory Board

Professor Kent Anderson is a comparative lawyer specialising in Asia. He is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community & Engagement) at The University of Western Australia, where he is responsible for the university’s external relations including international engagement. He has an eclectic background, having completed tertiary studies in Japan, US and the UK in Law, Politics, Economics and Asian Studies. Prior to UWA, Kent was Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at The University of Adelaide, and a Law and Asian Studies professor at ANU. Before academia, Kent was a marketing manager for a US airline based in Alaska and a commercial lawyer based in Hawai‘i.

Assistant Director, Partnerships and Private Sector Relations, Scholarships and Alumni Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Brian Borgonha is Assistant Director of Partnerships and Private Sector Relations for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan. His previous roles in DFAT include First Secretary, Education & Leadership at the Australian Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua and New Guinea and Assistant Director, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean Branch. Brian has also worked in Washington DC, with the Australian Department of Defence, Air Attaché’s Office where he was a Senior Administration Officer. Prior to joining DFAT, Brian has worked with the Department of Immigration and has also worked in the private and NGO sectors on major projects in the Caribbean, India, China and the USA. Brian holds a Masters in International Relations from the Australian National University. His interests include developing cross-sector collaboration by bringing together individuals and organisations from academia, government and the private sector to jointly support education and achieve shared goals.

Dean, International Relations, Edith Cowan University

Helen Vella Bonavita joined Edith Cowan University in 2010 in the Faculty of Education and Arts. While in that role, she began work with Tokyo City University to develop a large-scale, semester-long study abroad program which was specific to Tokyo City University’s academic requirements. The project has so far seen over 500 students from Japan undertake a semester’s study in Perth. Helen is currently Dean of International Relations at Edith Cowan University. She has a PhD from the University of Western Australia and has held fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Australian Academy of Humanities, the University of Wales and the Centre for the History of Emotions at the University of Western Australia. Her current interests include strategic partnership development and management, internationalisation and innovations in student mobility.

Senior Lecturer, Japanese Studies/International Studies; Convenor of Japanese Studies, Monash University

Dr Jeremy Breaden is a Senior Lecturer Japanese Studies at Monash University, where he is Convenor of the Japanese Studies program. In this and his former capacity as Japanese Exchange Coordinator for the university, Jeremy has ground-level experience in managing student mobility between Japan and Australia. Jeremy’s research interests  include internationalisation and organisational change in Japan, higher education policy and administration, and translation and interpreting. His most recent publication is Articulating Asia in Japanese Higher Education: Policy, Partnership and Mobility (Routledge, 2018), which explores student mobility between Japan and other parts of Asia.

New Colombo Plan Japan Exchange alumnus, 2014-2016; New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador, Western Sydney University

Patrick is the inaugural New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador for Western Sydney University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Applied Finance). Over the course of his 23-month exchange program, he studied economics subjects at Meiji University and interned for Mitsui & Co, National Australia Bank and the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo. Upon returning to Australia, Patrick commenced work as a consultant at Deloitte and continues to explore ways in which graduates can contribute to the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship.

Japan Practice Leader, Asia Practice Division, PwC Australia

Jason Hayes is the leader of PwC’s Asia Pacific Japan Practice. Jason is supported by a team of 30 Japanese professionals situated across Australia covering the firm’s Deals, Assurance, Taxation and Consulting service offerings. Jason is a Financial Assurance Partner and has more than 25 years of international experience providing assurance and advisory services to companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, particularly Entertainment & Media, Technology and Retail and Consumer. Jason spent 8 years on assignment with PwC in Japan and he is an active member of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee.

School and Graduate School of Law and Politics, Kwansei Gakuin University; Chief Academic Director and Chair, Canada-Japan Joint Academic Committee; Senior Advisor, Australian Centre for Asian Business, University of South Australia; Visiting Scholar, Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University

Professor Takamichi (Tam) Mito specialises in Comparative International Political Economy, Foreign Policy and Interdisciplinary Global Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan. His international portfolio includes academic and/or senior management roles at Cambridge University, Harvard University, SOAS (London), Waseda University (Japan), Monash University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His extensive leadership experience in student mobility includes founding and directing an exchange initiative between Japan and three Canadian universities, funded by the Japanese government; establishing the Asian Business Leaders exchange program between Waseda University, Fudan University (China) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and founding and directing the Japan Association of International Student Education. Professor Mito has collaborated with global experts on many joint studies of international education, including a recent project on the study abroad experience and learning outcomes of exchange students.

New Colombo Plan Japan Exchange alumna, 2017

Stephanie Newman is a fifth-year student at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) studying social sciences and International Studies. She first visited Japan on a Ministry of Foreign Affairs program in 2014, then returned in 2017 for a year of study at Senshu University and Yamaguchi University. In early 2018 she interned in the Public Diplomacy section at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo. She has participated in multiple study and exchange programs throughout her time at university, including to Thailand and Italy, and speaks both Japanese and Italian. In addition to extensive and varied personal experience with international exchange, she has also had professional experience in the area as a marketing assistant for student mobility programs within UTS.


To access the report and audio from this event, go to


July 2, 2018 (Monday)
1:00pm – 4:00pm


RSVPs are now closed for this event.


Seminar Room 1160 (Level 1)
Abercrombie Business School
Cnr. Codrington and Abercrombie Sts
The University of Sydney
Darlington 2006


This event is part of the ASAA 2018 Conference. To register for the conference, please see the ASAA 2018 website.


(02) 8239 0055

Main image: Eva Darron via Unsplash

Presented by

With the support of

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Edith Cowan University (ECU)
PwC Australia

In cooperation with

Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA)

Featured: Japanese Studies

Peer-reviewed Journal: New Voices in Japanese Studies

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