Old Boy Ryoichi Arakawa is First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Australia, responsible for multinational trade agreements, bilateral trade agreement and international developments.

He updates Meliora on life since school:

In 1996, I was 14 when I left BGS for Japan, not knowing that it would take me more than 20 years to return. In 2019, I was seconded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to the Embassy of Japan in Canberra, as an economic diplomat.

The beautiful gardens of Japanese Embassy in Canberra. The Japanese Embassy in Canberra

It is an honor to be able to serve and connect the two countries I love and, with diplomatic relations being ever close and interdependent, I feel very welcomed and secured in all aspects of the activities here at the Embassy.

My visit to Melbourne in 2020 could not had been completed without a visit to BGS. As I stepped in, it was an instant trip back to my young days at school.

BGS was the place that made the fundamentals of my approach to the world: being passionate, open and inclusive to all the people that make up life.

Japan being a homogeneous country, having diverse experience as a young boy had much a greater impact and this fundamental mindset helped me get though building relations and teams around the world as a trading house businessperson and now back to Australia as a public servant.

I know many old boys who have gone back to Japan also leverage the experience of diversity and are in the front lines of international relations and businesses. Not to mention that I also learned to be disciplined and confident through joining the football team.

Ryoichi Arakawa with Maggie’s youngest son Andy Lynch (OB 2007). BGS Archives

I never got to the A team but remember being very proud to be presented a medal after an undefeated season in 1995 at the newly founded Rosstrevor Hall.

Gratitude goes to all my teachers and classmates for giving me a sense of belonging and special thanks goes to Maggie Lynch. They have looked after my family and many other international students and families throughout the years.

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