Otway Ranges Environment Network



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OREN asks University students to boycott Mitsui Education Foundation(MEF)

Background Mitsui Education Foundation

Mitsui set up the Mitsui Education Foundation (MEF) to:

1. Demonstrate Mitsui as being a responsible corporate citizen in Australia.

2. Build stronger ties and promote mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia.

Every year Mitsui sponsors eight university students from across Australia to go on a 3 week trip to Japan.

So is it Mitsui's understanding that to be a good corporate citizen and friend to Australia, it is as simple as paying for eight Australian university students to spend 3 weeks in Japan on a sight seeing tour? That is a cheap exercise when you consider all Mitsui business interests are in Australia.

Although it appears that eight university students get a free trip, the reality is the students are being used as a part of a Mitsui public relations campaign to sell the idea that Mitsui is a good corporate citizen in Australia. (Also see MEF page on Mitsui web site)

However development of friendship and understanding between Japan and Australia is a two way street and at the moment Mitsui is sets very bad example persisting with the company's desire to continue to profit from the destruction of Otway Native forests.

University Students now aware!

In July 2004, an OREN spokesperson attended the Students for Sustainability (SOS) conference at La Trobe University, Bundoora and held a forum about the need for university students to boycott the Mitsui Education Foundation (MEF) Scholarship for the sake of Otway native forests. See SOS webpage confrence program

OREN challenged the use of Australian university students to promote Mitsui as a good corporate citizen in Australia. OREN discussed the fact that the Kleenex campaign was successful due to the involvement of university students. OREN asked for student understanding and help once again.

The talk was extremely well received by about 300 students from all over Australia.

For the 2004 MEF scholarship, one students from each of the Universities listed below will be selected;

NSW University of Sydney, Macquarie University.
VIC University of Melbourne, RMIT.
WA Curtin University.
QLD University of Queensland.
SA Flinders University.
TAS University of Tasmania.

Stay tuned for further updates on the OREN MEF campaign




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