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8 April, 2021

Local students visit Sister Cities

THE Australia Japan Society of FNQ (AJSFNQ) held a special celebration on March 17 after postponing the event a full year due to COVID-19.

Nick von Dietze and Zachary Downey, who received scholarships to travel to Japan (back row, fourth and sixth from left) with ASJ members and sponsors

The society members sponsored two local students to travel to Japan from December 2019-2020 and were finally able to hold the long-postponed ‘welcome back’ ceremony.

Nick von Dietze from Saint Andrew’s Catholic College in Redlynch and Zachary Downey from Saint Augustine’s Catholic College in Cairns spoke about their immersive experience in Japan just before COVID-19 began.

They visited two of Cairns’ official ‘Sister Cities,’ Minami and Oyama.

The AJSFNQ was formed in 1980 by a group of local business owners to help Japanese tourists feel welcome in Cairns, and has sponsored exchange students every year for around 12 years except during the 2011 Japanese earthquake, and 2020-21 global pandemic.

It’s hoped the program will be able to resume for

Local volunteers Barry and Ella Struber also received certificates of appreciation at the event, for their many years of service to the AJSFNQ.

For more Information on the AJSFNQ or the Student Scholarship Program, please contact Makoto by email at:

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