Renowned Japanese scholar awarded highest academic honour

La Trobe Professor Kaori Okano has been elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of the Humanities for her contributions to the field.

La Trobe University Professor of Japanese and Asian Studies, Kaori Okano, has been awarded the highest honour within the humanities, elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Election to the Australian Academy of Humanities recognises achievement in and contribution to the humanities in Australia.

The Australian Academy is one of Australia’s five Learned Academies – independent organisations established to encourage excellence in their respective fields.

Professor Okano is an esteemed academic in La Trobe's School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

She is an internationally recognised scholar of diversity and social justice in education in Japan, with a particular interest in multiculturalism, social inequality, and women’s life course.

Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Professor Nick Bisley said Professor Okano’s election as a Fellow was a well-deserved acknowledgment.

"Professor Okano is an internationally recognised authority on the Japanese education system and a valued member of the Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe," he said.

"I would like to congratulate Kaori on this honour, one of many milestones in what has been a decorated academic career to date."

Professor Okano’s work aims to advance understanding of how schooling simultaneously reproduces and ameliorates social inequality. Her publications include studies on poverty, zainichi Korean and migrant children, indigenous Ainu, compulsory school lunch, and eurocentrism in Japanese Studies. Her current project is a longitudinal ethnography of women’s life courses and well-being (1989-present).