Student exchange program
Chuo, Tokyo has been the Sutherland Shire's Japanese sister city since July 1991. As part of this relationship, a fully escorted short-term cultural student exchange program with Chuo operates. The exchange program is run by an external committee with council support. This is is not a direct reciprocal exchange program.
The exchange program assists with transport, organised activities, and an invitation to a Mayoral Reception. You don't need Japanese language skills to apply.
Applications are assessed by the Exchange Program Committee.
Students visiting the Shire
24 Japanese junior high school students visit Sutherland Shire during Term 3 for 10 nights. These students visit to experience home-stay, school and life in Australia. Students are in home stay for 8 of the 10 nights.
Students visiting Japan
About 5-12 Shire students visit Chuo, Tokyo during the September/October school holidays for 16 - 18 days. Students are in home-stay for 8 nights. They attend school for 3 days, visit Tokyo Disneyland, volunteer in community projects, tour Tokyo, usually stay and experience life in a rural area, travel by Shinkansen to Kyoto and visit the historic site of Nara. The students also experience lessons in cultural activities such as Zen Buddhism, pottery, martial arts or taiko drumming.
Website: Sutherland Shire Japan Student Program
President: Gaye Tie
Phone: 0438 015 962
Coordinator: Ashlie O'Neill
Phone: 0421 446 090
Chuo City is one of 23 wards which make up Tokyo and is roughly at the centre. Chuo means 'central'.
One of the most generous and lasting gifts has been the Chuo City Garden at Sutherland which opened in 1993. Construction was paid for by the Chuo City Government.
Other gifts and donations from Chuo City have included:
- Nearly A$23,000 in the aftermath of the January 1994 was donated for Shire victims.
- 5 million yen in 1996 to celebrate the fifth anniversary between the 2 cities and again in 2001 to celebrate the 10th anniversary. The funds were put in trust and are used to help fund the student exchange program.
- For the 15th anniversary in 2006 Chuo had a unique piece of artwork made which is on display in the garden at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery.
Our gifts to Chuo City have included:
- Several several original artworks, a platypus sculpture, handmade glassware by a local artist and linocut prints depicting the local flora also by a local artist.
- To celebrate the 15th anniversary in 2006, council commenced a sponsorship of a koala at Taronga Zoo on behalf of Chuo City.
Enquiries can be directed to Communications and Engagement on or AdminPR@ssc.nsw.gov.au