Lakewood is Sutherland Shire's American sister city. It is part of Denver Colorado, USA, and at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
In July each year, high school-aged students from Sutherland Shire travel to Lakewood for a six-month visit. Students from Lakewood then travel to Australia in January for a six-month stay here.
Become an Exchange Student
The student exchange program is managed by the Sutherland Shire - Lakewood Sister City Committee. For more information and to find out about upcoming Information Nights for next year's program contact the committee.
Sutherland Shire - Lakewood Sister City Committee
Mail: PO Box 552, Sutherland NSW 1499
History of the Sister City Relationship
In 1975, council was contacted by the Lakewood City Chamber of Commerce and by August 1976, a link was established and both individual and group visits began shortly after. From these grew the student exchange program, which today sees up to six Lakewood and six Shire students home-hosted and attending schools for six months in each other's country.
In 1978, Lakewood named a reserve Sutherland Shire Park and the road alongside as Sutherland Shire Boulevarde. In 1983, Sutherland Shire Council opened Lakewood City Reserve, Bonnet Bay.
Gifts have been exchanged and are held in trust by each council. Sutherland Shire has received an American bald eagle portrayed in stained glass; a replica of a sculpture called Rattlesnake; and a painting named Sister Cities.
Lakewood has received a crystal plate commemorating Australia's 1988 bicentenary and a sculpture of a wombat on a mallee tree root. Lakewood donated A$1,432 for the Shire bushfire brigades after seeing film of the January 1994 bushfires in NSW on television.
In 2003 the Sutherland Shire - Lakewood student exchange program celebrated its 25th anniversary, and in 2008 the 30th anniversary with a reunion dinner, attended by past and present exchange students and their families.
The first group of students went to Lakewood in 1979 and since then almost 300 Sutherland Shire students have been selected for participation in the exchange program.