Who We Are

Auckland JETAA is made up of past and current participants of the JET programme.

Following is a list of the executive committee members for 2016. Officers are elected usually for a 2 year period at the annual AGM held each year in February.

President – Amelia Sirimanne
Vice President – Jenni Pulman
Secretary – Katie Malone
Returnees Officer – Jo Rogers
Treasurer – Justin Jones
Webmaster – Simon Page
Education Officer/Newsletter Editor – Natalie Ford
Video Competition Officer – Caroline Watson
Friends of the Committee – Loma Rodan, Jo McCarthy, Shelley Butt, Sonja Gallagher, Raewyn MacGregor, Krystal Lynes


“Hello, my name is Amelia, President of JETAA Auckland. I am very excited to see what I can contribute to the Alumni Association in this role, over the next couple of years. I was an ALT in Kitakyshu City, Fukuoka Prefecture from 2005-2007. This was an awesome, once of a lifetime experience for me and coming back in the middle of a recession was difficult to say the least. However I survived and now work in the Community Law Centre out West in a job that most often doesn’t feel like work.

I love dancing salsa and rueda, eating Japanese food and long walks on the beach. I also love the very social nature of the Alumni Association and encourage you to join, I can guarantee you’ll make some good friends.”


“Hello! I’m Katie and I am the Secretary for Auckland JETAA. I was an ALT in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture from 2010 – 2012. I rotated through 8 different schools (elementary and junior high), and became adept at most variations of oni-gokko. My favourite Japanese food is ichigo-daifuku, and I shudder at the thought of eating goya. I
really like yukata (so much easier to wear than kimono!), and will usually wear one with my favourite accessories to our bōnenkai each year. After returning from Japan, I went back to the insurance company I had been working with previously, and currently work in underwriting and sales for business insurance.”


“I was on JET from 2005 to 2008 in Fukuoka. A municipal JET, I taught at about 8 Shōgakkō and 3 main Junior High Schools. I also visited
kindergartens in the summer and taught an Adults’ Eikaiwa. This helped prepare me for my voyage on Peace Boat, where I volunteered as an English Teacher, and in return had an amazing experience living on board a mini floating Japan as we travelled to 20-ish countries around the world. I came back to New Zealand and taught Japanese and Maths at High School for a few years before the travel bug hit again and then a career change. Outside of Japan-related things, I also love to be outdoors and active. Currently I am Vice President of Auckland JETAA and look forward to sharing memories together and creating new ones.”


“Hi, I’m Natalie. I was an ALT in the city of Takasaki in Gunma prefecture – a place (slightly) famous for Daruma dolls and little else. My time on JET lasted from 2003 to 2006, and I returned to Japan for another year on a working holiday shortly after, finally coming back home in 2008.

My experience as a cog in Japan’s education machine sparked an interest that led to an Honours dissertation, and now I am in the role of Education Officer at JETAA, as well as Newspaper Editor.”


“I am currently JETAA’s most recently returned member, having been an ALT from 2012 to 2014. My husband and I were super lucky to be placed
in the big smoke of Osaka, where I taught in Izumi City and he spent his days working on drift cars. We loved to travel as much as we could and made it to 23 of Japan’s 47 prefectures; next time I’m there I plan to see the other 24. Now that I’m back in NZ, I have resumed my other life working as a hospital pharmacist, while I save up for more adventures planned in the future.”


“I’m Shelley, friend of JETAA Auckland. I was on JET from 2004-2006 in Misono Village, Mie Prefecture – a bike ride away from the famous Ise shrine. I loved the rent-a-car/BYO karaoke place near my apaato, the local river we used to swim in and the kyuuko ride up to Osaka on occasion ;) The students were pretty cool too~ Back here I’m a sole trader sports and deep tissue massage therapist – I got into it after being in Japan and being surrounded by people making use of the local shiatsu guru. Being on JET helped with the self directed nature of my job!!

We are always looking for new events to host, people to join the committee and excuses for getting together and reminiscing and ‘natsukashii~!ing’. We look forward to catching up with you and hearing about your experiences!”


“Hi, my name is Raewyn, friend of the committee and JETAA country rep for New Zealand. I spent two amazing years in the beautiful Takaoka City in Toyama prefecture from 2008-2010. Currently, I am working as a full-time public servant in Wellington to pay the bills. I am an extremely busy person as a result but always there to have a drink and/or break my nose running into walls at LaserForce, yes that did happen, in undergrad.”


“Hi my name is Justin. I am the treasurer of JETAA Auckland. I work for a prominent brewer in Auckland as an accountant. I am interested in drinking Beer, Fishing and other manly pursuits. I am involved with JETAA because believe it or not I quite like you people.”


“Hi! I’m Jo, friend of the committee and I spent my JET years (2006-2009) in rural Shimane. When not making my way between eleven elementary schools and two junior high schools I was usually at taiko practise, tumbling down the slopes with my snowboard, or off checking out a new destination outside my ken.

Since being back in NZ I’ve done a Graduate Diploma in translation studies, and worked for a Japanese trading company for two years. A new chapter is about to begin, I just don’t know what yet!


“After graduating from The University of Auckland with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science, Simon embarked on the JET program, spending 2 memorable years as an ALT from 2003 to 2004 at a senior high school in Hyogo prefecture. He is the web guy for Auckland JETAA and Managing Director of Biopure Health Ltd in his spare time.”


“Hi, I’m Krystal, a friend of the JETAA committee. I majored in International Business and Japanese at Massey University, then was lucky enough to spend two years working as a CIR in the beautiful Sendai, City of Trees. It sounds cliche but the best part of my JET experience was all of the incredible people I met along the way. That and kaiten sushi (!!). These days I work for a well known fashion company as their e-marketing specialist, but I like to stay involved with the committee and maintain my connection with Japan and JET. Looking forward to meeting you all and hearing about your Japan adventures!”