Sutherland Shire currently has two formal sister city relationships:
Information on council's sister city relationship with Chuo City in Tokyo, Japan
Information on council's sister city relationship with Lakewood City, Colorado, USA
Sutherland Shire has student exchange opportunities with two sister cities. Host families for 2015 are currently sought for Lakewood, Colorado, USA.
There are two informal relationships: Sutherland Shire in Scotland, UK; and Bangor in Wales, UK.
For general information about council's sister city relationships, phone (02) 9710 0513 during business hours. For information about a particular committee, student exchange program etc. contact the individual committee's representative using the links to each page above.
Establishing sister cities
Council has formed its sister city relationships with a great deal of care over many years. A sister city agreement would not be entered into unless strong community support exists, so those community members can maintain the committees.
The committees are autonomous from council in their management, but receive some funding each year.
They are also given general assistance through council's Communications Unit. An association representative has, since 1991, been invited to attend the annual Sister Cities Australia Conference.
The sister city committees are community-based committees, and organise the student exchange programs. If you are interested in being involved with one of the committees or if a young member of your family would like to participate in the student exchange programs please contact the committee representative for either the Lakewood or Chuo committee.
What are sister cities?
The purpose of the worldwide Sister Cities Program is to increase international understanding and foster world peace, by furthering international communication and exchange at the person-to-person level through city-to-city affiliations. The concept of sister cities became widely accepted after World War II.
Because sister cities began at a national level in many different countries at the same time, the way their programs work is different. In Europe, they are very popular and there are thousands of sister city links. The USA and Australia use the term sister city but a much older term used in the UK and in Europe is 'twinning'.
Sister Cities Australia Inc.
Around 200 local government areas in Australia have at least one sister city relationship, and many have several. The Sister Cities Australia (SCA) began in 1979 as an association of local government areas to encourage, coordinate and support groups in developing relationships according to local needs.
SCA holds a convention each year in a different SCA member's area, produces newsletters and hosts a National Awards Program. These awards highlight achievements of sister city projects such as youth programs, sport, community involvement and new affiliations.
SCA is the source of information on Australian sister city relationships and provides a kit that sets out how to establish and maintain a sister city relationship.
SCA recognises any formalised link, whether named sister, twin or friendship.