Past Councils & Achievements

This page is a summary of AJET’s history and achievements, presented in reverse chronology starting with the most recent National Council. To jump straight to a particular year, use the following links.

Also, please check out our Volunteers Page!

2020-2021 (Chair: Ms Anna Ayvazyan)
Council Members and Achievements

2018-2020 (Chair: Ms Rachel Boellstorff)
Council Members

2017-2018 (Chair: Mr CJ Fischer)
Council Members and Achievements

2014-2015 (Chair: [Ms Sandy Cheng] Ms Xan Wetherall)
Council Members and Achievements

2013-2014 (Chair: Ms Kay Makishi)
[National Council Members]

  • Launched a series of 4 YouTube videos to provide more information to JET participants about some of the work that National AJET does.
  • Developed and distributed pre-departure information about AJET via embassies worldwide for the first time.
  • Established the Race to the Top Volunteer Tracker to determine the return-on-investment that the JET Programme is generating to the Japanese community: over 800 hours of community service and 2 million yen in charity money in the first year.
  • Initiated a program of Professional Development Conference Calls to connect current JET participants with JET Programme alumni and other professionals in various fields.
  • Established a database of skilled volunteers to assist the council with various projects.
  • Created two new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) – VegJET and Family JET – and maintained 4 other SIGs.
  • Initiated two giveaways which gave JET participants a chance to win education-related resources.
  • Established a new AJET yurukyara (character) to be used in branding and communications.
  • Continued efforts to connect with JET participants and disseminate useful information, including daily posts on Twitter (followers up by 16%), regular website updates, monthly distribution of eConnect News to over 7400 people, with 7% increase in regular readership, increased membership of Facebook Block group pages, and more ‘likes’ of the National AJET Facebook page (up 19%).
  • Introduced a new online format for Connect magazine, using ISSUU, helping to increase total annual views by 198% for the year.
  • Investigated previous revenue and expenditures of AJET in detail and consulted with Japanese financial experts to understand AJET’s financial obligations and move towards greater financial transparency.
  • Commenced an overhaul project for the AJET website, with build phase currently in progress.
  • Developed new process to keep AJET events calendar up to date and populated with a large number of events.
  • Raised awareness of AJET and its activities amongst the CIR community by posting regularly on the CIR homepage.
  • Lifted survey response rates to 25% of the current JET population – the highest ever in the history of AJET and around 150% higher than the previous year.
  • Developed an AJET report style guide to produce consistent, high-quality reports that were presented to the ministries and CLAIR and were quoted in the Japanese media.
  • Increased personal and professional development opportunities for JET participants, including chances to present professional conferences, join business networking events and to receive discounts on educational materials or seminars.
  • Maintained a successful working relationship with JALT, including arranging the first-ever independent joint event with AJET and JALT to educate ALTs about team-teaching.

2012-2013 (Chair: Mr Mark Noizumi)
[National Council Members]

  • More activity and participants at AJET Information Fairs at CLAIR’s JET Conferences
  • A revised advertising prospectus which will foster more relationships with organisations which are useful to JET participants
  • Greater awareness of AJET activities among current JET participants
  • An efficient translation and interpreting process for better support of non-English speakers
  • An established prefectural liaison system
  • Over 2,100 members in the AJET Block Facebook groups and over 6,400 JET participant and JET alumni subscribers to the eConnect mailing list
  • Over 1,500 downloads of the October, November, and February issues of AJET Connect Magazine
  • A well-developed system for maintaining the AJET Events Calendar
  • Three new Special Interest Groups and four maintained Special Interest Groups
  • A National JET Volunteer Week event with English language resources for JET participants who wish to volunteer within their local communities
  • Effective individually-tailored support through the Peer Support Group hotline
  • An updated collection of useful educational resources
  • Extended CIR outreach efforts

2011-2012 (Chair: Mr Matthew Cook)
[National Council Members]

  • Consolidated AJET’s services and and public communications into a consistent brand identity.
  • Launched a new visual marketing strategy complete with logo, icons, and uniform templates across AJET homepage and social media
  • Began a consistent and optimized use of Twitter to interact with JETs and the world at large
  • Began monthly distribution of “Connect Magazine” (The year saw 8 digital editions and 2 print editions)
  • Developed and released the AJET app, “iConnect“, for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android devices
  • Re-designed and recategorized webpage to be more user friendly
  • Created a new logo and visual image for AJET Peer Support Group
  • Re-named ‘AJET Press’ to ‘AJET Voice,’ an online news site for JETs to host local news stories and press releases
  • Ceased distribution of eBulletin publication to the AJET list-serve
  • Developed monthly “e:Connect” list-serve mailing designed to direct viewers to the magazine and website
  • Established social media policies that direct all public content back to one central website
  • Signed up over 90% of JETs at the 2011 Tokyo Orientation for the eConnect mailing
  • Secured sponsorship from Skype for 3 minute calls at Tokyo Orientation
  • Created Facebook group pages for all AJET Blocks and increased AJET social media activity
  • Achieved full translation of static AJET website pages using a team of translators listed here, coordinated by a Translation and Interpretation Director
  • Created and implemented a brand new corporate sponsorship programme – ‘AJET Affiliates Programme
  • Created the 2011 AJET Corporate Prospectus to complement the AJET Affiliates Programme
  • Launched Education and Professional Development services including:
    • A partnership with International TEFL TESOL Training to give all current and incoming JETs discounted TEFL Courses, as well as periodic full TEFL course scholarships
    • A partnership with Temple University Japan to become “Friends of TUJ”, giving all former, current, and future JETs a 10% discount on all Continuing Education courses
    • An expanded relationship with JALT to bring JALT presenters to JET conferences
    • An online Education and Professional Development database with peer-reviewed and -submitted information on Japanese study, teaching methodology and resources, lesson plans, clip art, ESL training courses, graduate courses, teaching organizations and publications, and professional development resources
  • Provided AJET financial assistance to JETs affected by natural disasters
  • Began publishing opinion exchange meeting discussion summaries alongside each report
  • Began preserving internal transcripts of Opinion Exchange Meeting Discussions
  • Created a repository of Clip Art for ALTs to use in the classroom
  • Restructured council work duties to include the addition of 4 appointed council members
    • Head of Visual Media
    • Online Publications Editor
    • Website Coordinator
    • Translation and Interpretation Coordinator
  • Restructured the Special Interest Group Forums
  • Centralized website information, activity reports, and contact information for all AJET blocks across the country
  • Encouraged MEXT to add a link to the AJET website’s education and professional development sections to their own website
  • Established AJET Presence at numerous JET related events, including new JET Symposium, JET Alumni Association International’s International conference, Minister of Foreign Affair’s events in Tokyo

2010-2011 (Chair: Ms Caroline Ideus)
[National Council Members]

  • Created a new Special Interest Group (SIG) Forum and added  several new SIG groups, including Stonewall, Muslims in Japan and the Writer’s SIG.
  • Launched Life After JET, a monthly interview with former-JETs.
  • Collected JET-reviews of TEFL/TESOL courses and other information to help JETs further a career in education.
  • Moved Tatami Timeshare to
  • Organized March, 11 2001 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami relief projects, including:
    • AJET Relief Fund – a fund to support affected JETs
    • AJET Cares – matching JETs to send care packages to affected JETs
    • “Man Up” – fundraising campaign
    • AJET Volunteer – collected and disseminated information about donating supplies and volunteering, sponsored by and/or promoted by JETs.
    • Connected a variety of companies and NPOs with other volunteer groups so that they could maximize their impact in Tohoku.
  • Published the second edition of Planet Eigo.
  • Created a new look for the monthly e-Bulletin.- Launched the National AJET twitter account
  • The “JET Orientations” report presented at the December Opinion Exchange meeting influenced CLAIR and the ministries to redevelop and restructure pre-departure, Tokyo, and prefecture orientations’ workshop content.
  • Presented the “JET Orientations” report at the December Opinion Exchange meetings, which influenced CLAIR and the ministries to redevelop and restructure pre-departure, Tokyo, and prefecture orientations’ workshop content. (Read the report)
  • Presented the “Teaching Credentials in the JET Programme,” report at the January 2010 Opinion Exchange meeting which resulted in CLAIR implementing a grant system for JETs seeking TEFL certification. (Read the report)

2009-2010 (Chair: Ms Jennifer Park)
[National Council Members]

  • Created the new AJET website and AJET Press
  • Initiated the second edition of Planet Eigo
  • Presented at the Nakasendo Conference
  • Joined the JALT Domestic Affairs Committee
  • Distributed 30,000 OUP Graded Readers all over Japan, courtesy of Oxford University Press.
  • Made Tatami Timeshare free of cost.

2008-2009 (Chair: Ms Sarah Lineker)
[National Council Members]

  • Launched JET Effect and the new AJET logo
  • Presented at the JALT Conference
  • Presented at the Nakasendo Conference
  • Reorganized the training system for the Peer Support Group (PSG)

2007-2008 (Chair: Mr Michael Shu)
[National Council Members]

  • Introduced new JETAA Workshops at Tokyo Orientation (Professional Speakers for Career Development related workshops)
  • Introduced the new National AJET Logo
  • Reinstated the Public Relations Liaison position
  • Created JET Effect

2006-2007 (Chair: Ms Rosalyn Adams)
[National Council Members]

  • Instigated Free Skype Calls for AJET members at Tokyo Orientation
  • Created Prefectural Advisor Liaison
  • Planet Eigo Textbook creation
  • 12th Teaching Awards
  • 2nd Internationalization Awards
  • Discover Japan Project Updated to a Wiki
  • Online Tatami Timeshare
  • JALT Workshops at Tokyo Orientation (Professional Speakers for teaching related workshops)
  • Increased usage of Peer Support Group. 142% increase in monthly talk time.

2005-2006 (Chair: Mr Froilan Vispo)
[National Council Members]

  • Launched new AJET website featuring bilingual interface and content
  • Published five editions of our national magazine “AJET Across Japan” (free for AJET members)
  • Published and distributed fully bilingual monthly E-Bulletins to AJET members
  • Established the AJET Internationalization Awards
  • Published “Foxy Phonics”
  • First-ever AJET Career and Education Fair at the 2006 Conference for Returning JETs
  • Designed new online membership database system
  • Launched bilingual online submission forms for AJET TAP, IAP and Haiku & Photo contests
  • Published Tatami Timeshare in a new, easy-to-read format with online version
  • Launched first-ever fully bilingual online surveys for JETs and their Japanese co-workers
  • Launched four new Special Interest Groups – Hispanic and Latino, Jewish, Pepy Ride and Socially Responsible Investing
  • AJET Games in Tottori, Hyogo, Kochi and Tokushima
  • Organized the AJET Desk, Secretariat and Info Fair at Tokyo Orientations A and B
  • Restructured AJET Info Fair at Tokyo Orientation
  • Published all-colour Tokyo Orientation Guide with fully bilingual content
  • Organized 30 AJET Workshop sessions on 13 topics at Tokyo Orientations
  • “JET and Beyond” book sold out
  • AJET representation at both Tokyo Orientation C and April Orientation
  • Organized JET Open Day at Tokyo National Museum with the English Speaking Union of Japan (ESUJ)
  • Initiated new partnership with Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT)
  • Published 12 reports (English and Japanese) for the AJET-CLAIR-MEXT Opinion Exchange Meetings and made available online

2004-2005 (Chair: Mr David Cowland-Cooper)

  • Published the 7th edition of Team Taught Pizza
  • Published national monthly E-Bulletins for AJET members
  • Initiated Discover Japan online
  • Published a bilingual AJET Marketing Prospectus.
  • Expanded AJET Games.
  • Organized JET Open Day at Tokyo National Museum with the English Speaking Union of Japan (ESUJ)
  • Published the AAJ Guidebook for the Recontracting Conferences
  • Offered 19 workshops at both Tokyo Orientations
  • Published 12 AJET-CLAIR-MEXT reports

2003-2004 (Chair: Ms Amanda Cornaglia)

  • Complete re-design and restructuring of the AJET website
  • Produced the first AJET Pre-Departure Welcome Pack.
  • Significantly strengthened the AJET-CLAIR working relationship.
  • Established AJET Games.
  • Established the AJET International Exchange Program.
  • Initiated the AJET Across Japan-Tatami Timeshare package deal, quadrupling the AAJ subscription rate.
  • Tatami Timeshare published in a handy A5 color format.
  • AJET Across Japan upgraded to color cover.
  • Produced the first full-color AJET Pocket Guide for JET conferences.
  • Significant improvements made to Guidebook content and layout.
  • Held the first AJET Haiku, Cartoon and Photo Contests.
  • Offered 18 successful AJET workshops during both Tokyo Orientations.
  • All Tokyo Orientation handouts made available online.
  • Created an online FAQ list.
  • Significantly increased funding for Peer Support Group.
  • Largest ever number of nominations received for National Team Teaching Awards (70).
  • All reports to CLAIR and the ministries made available online.
  • Extensive revision of the AJET Operational Procedures Handbook.
  • Created individual Officer and Liaison position Handbooks.
  • Published a bilingual AJET Marketing Prospectus.
  • Created separate CIR and SEA Representative positions.
  • First Contracting Organisation Evaluation conducted with 321 responses.
  • Translated the CLAIR Contracting Organisation Manual into English.
  • Set up JETs of African Descent, Cantonese Speakers, Manga & Anime, Anthropology, JLPT Study Group, and Role-Players SIGs.

2002-2003 (Chair: Mr Anthony Hall)

2001-2002 (Chair: Ms Angie Brockel)

Implemented free National Membership fee. Changed national AJET web site location to Met with and created communication link with National Teacher’s Workers Union. Instituted online elections. Created National AJET General member’s list serve to keep all members better informed of AJET activities. Updated AJET Constitution and presented it to AGM for approval.

2000-2001 (Chair: Ms Sarah Nock)

AAJ Online was created to keep members informed and reduce costs for members who did not want the paper version. Created the JET Mentor Network web site (a networking resource for past and current JETs). AJET Representatives list-serve. NC Members participate in JET Alumni Assoc Annual meeting. Prefectural membership is made optional. Motion to eliminate membership fees in 2001-2 year is approved. Created a professional web site for National AJET.

1999-2000 (Chairs: Mr Jeff Pennington, Ms Jamie Martin)

AJET’s web-site address changed to The Destinations Homepage, a resource for non-renewing JETs, replaced the proposed Destinations Fair. AJET Publications JET and Beyond 2000 and Team Taught Pizza 5th ed. were published. AJET Teaching Awards honor 30 winners from across Japan and is featured in the CLAIR newsletter. Gender and Culture Issues AJET Workshop are conducted at Tokyo Orientations. The Spanish Speakers’ NG is established. The final AJET Day at Kobe Conference is held. Y600,000 of AJET Emergency Funds were donated to Japan Emergency Relief Operations. The CIR/SEA established as an elected position.

1998-1999 (Chair: Mr Tim Conton)

Successfully lobbied for consent permitting the sales of AJET publications at CLAIR-sponsored conferences. AJET Across Japan published monthly. Expanded Group Associate Member Programme to 39 members. Created an Education Liaison to handle the AJET Teaching Awards. Published Taking Nihonjin to Gaikokuland. Created the National CIR Representative position.

1997-1998 (Chair: Mr Neal Moses)

The Outdoor SIG was created, a referendum to restructure the NC was held, the AJET Fall Packet was mailed out to all AJET members, the AJET Teaching Awards were expanded to include all areas of Japan, and the 3rd Edition of the AJET Team Taught Pizza went to print.

1996-1997 (Chair: Mr Dan Lintz)

The Korean Nationality Group was established. AJET Constitution translated into Japanese, AJET’s first fully bi-lingual publication (The JET Environmental Action Guide) is produced, and Guidebooks are produced for Kobe Renewers’ Conference and Tokyo Orientation for the first time. A full-color AJET information brochure is produced. The Group Associate Membership Programme established to build better relations between AJET and the business community (24 members). The AJET Career Fair in Tokyo is held in June (1997). AJET Across Japan produces a bi-lingual edition. AJET World Wide Web Page created. Language Education SIG, SCUBA SIG, and Eco SIG established. AJET Job Fair for non-renewing JET’s interested in pursuing a job in Japan or with a Japanese company is held. AJET Constitution underwent major revisions.

1995-1996 (Chair : Mr Francis Fernandes)

The AJET Charity show at the 1995 Renewers Conference raised over half a million yen. Subscriptions to SIGs, Nationality groups and AJET books made optional. AJET Annual General Meeting for members revived. AJET across Japan newsletter replaced AJET magazine. History of AJET compiled and printed. Representation of JETs’ work through AJET made more effective through bilingual printed information and meetings in Japanese with official JET sponsors. Financial Procedures Handbook written.

1994-1995 (Chair: Ms Tonia Ing)

Team Taught Pizza book started, Stonewall and JET Jewish Network set up. The Kobe Great Hanshin Earthquake Relief fund raised over one million yen. Parliamentary Procedure introduced at National Council meetings.

1993-1994 (Chair: Mr Bill Egbert)

Business SIG and the AJET Scholarship fund were set up, Non-Renewers handbook underwent a major change, and the AJET Operational Procedures Handbook was written.

1992-1993 (Chair: Mr Paul Irons)

AJET Constitution revised, Spectrum support network for JETs of colour set up.

1991-1992 (Chair: Mr John Elsner)

AJET’s Japanese name changed from “The Foreign Youths Club” to “The JET Programme Participants Organisation”, Computer Support SIG set up.

1990-1991 (Chair: Ms Van Le)

Married JETs Support SIG set up, and AJET Prefectural chapters given greater administrative autonomy.

1989-1990 (Chair: Ms Amy Wilson)

AJET conducted workshops at the Tokyo Orientation. Tatami Timeshare travel network set up. The AJET Lookbook and the Alumni Association were officially adopted by the JET Programme.

1988-1989 (Chair: Mr Robert Juppe)

First issue of AJET magazine printed. The AJET block and nationality representatives system, the Alumni Association, Women’s Group, and Minority Support Group were set up. AJET began to work closely with Monbusho and CLAIR to give input for the Mid Year Block Conferences (MYBCs) and Orientations. The AJET Kyoto Spring Conference was officially adopted as the JET Programme Renewers’ Conference and AJET planned and conducted the workshops (AJET Day started).

1987-1988 (Co-Chairs: Mr Charles Browne, Ms Lucy Van de Brul)

The AJET Prefectural and National Officers system is set up; regional newsletters, the AJET Lookbook (telephone and address directory of JETs), the AJET Non-Renewers’ book (forerunner of today’s JET and Beyond book) and the Medical Directory were produced. The first AJET Kyoto Spring Conference for all renewing JET participants was held. International Society, Christian Support Group, and Peer Support Group were set up.