Nördlingen, Bavaria, Germany
A Sister City Affiliation was established in 1967 with this German City, whose history dates back for more than a thousand years and which for 750 years has been a free town. Resolutions were duly passed and exchanged by the respective Councils. As in the case of Leavenworth, visits between the two cities have been made on an official basis as well as by private citizens.
Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
The Sister City relationship with the City of Kunming in Yunnan Province, China, was established in 1988, and visits on an official basis and by private citizens have already been exchanged.
Kunming has hosted several exchange events and festivals drawing on her Sister City relationship with Wagga Wagga.
The International Horticultural Expo was held in Kunming, China concluding a six month show on 30 October 1999. The City of Wagga Wagga exhibited at the Expo due to its special Sister City relationship with Kunming.
Fifty-one countries and international organisations held National Days, with Wagga Wagga holding its day on June 8 1999. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor attended. Two million plants (2,551 varieties), were used throughout the Expo gardens and displays, of which 112 were rare or endangered species.
During the Expo over 1000 art troupes from China and other countries provided stage and street performances. More than 60 international conferences and academic sessions were held.
From January 1 to August 31 1999 Yunnan Province, China received 26.75 million domestic tourists and 0.677 million overseas tourists, an increase of 37.2% and 52.1% respectively over the corresponding period from 1998.
Due to the success of the Expo the Chinese Government has decided to extend the Expo for a further six months. All indoor and outdoor exhibits will be kept intact with the Chinese Government meeting all costs.
Wagga Wagga's participation in this expo has been very successful, with correspondence having been received from a number of Australians attending this Expo. One recent item of correspondence addressed to the people of Wagga Wagga was sent from a group of 26 Australians who attended. This says, in part:
What a pity the Australian Government did not think this a worthy investment, and we do thank you for your involvement, and assure you that many, many peoples from all around the world visited your exhibit. China is very advanced horticulturally, but Australia does have a lot to offer. Your exhibit stood out in excellence very well compared to most other countries such as France, Canada, USA, etc., in fact we were most impressed with your effort.
Mr Kevin Wales, (then) Mayor; Mr Luke Grealy, Manager Tourism Services; Mr Michael Maher, Chairman Tourism Wagga Wagga; and Mr Peter O'Dea, Chairman Sister City Occupational Training Program attended the opening of the International Tourism Festival Kunming in April 2000.
They also visited the Kunming Horticulture Exposition Garden, the Stone Forest, Kunming Traffic Monitoring Center and Green Lake Park. The group met with the Kunming Public Security Bureau and the Tourism Bureau and Kunming Dianchi Tourism and Resort Zone.
A total of 15 delegates representing 10 companies took part in a Trade Delegation that visited Wagga Wagga's Sister City of Kunming in early June 1999. They took part in a Trade Expo in Kunming from June 6 to 14 and each local delegate was matched to equivalent businesses in Kunming to maximise the opportunity for import/export arrangements.
Participants in the trade mission included:
- Nick Ligakis, Co-Director Wagga Mitre 10 hardware store
- Gordon and Lana Tse, Restauranteurs
- Stan & Elvie McPherson, retired farmers who represented Australia's Wool Industry
- Bob Moon & Geoff Rapley, Horticulture producers
- Bruce Hutcheon & Darryl Breust, Coolamon Steelworks
- Geoff Black & Hannay Ho, Cootamundra Oil Seeds
- Ah-Lek Lam, Tumut Lime and Marble
- Andrew McKillop who represented Riverina Citrus Marketing Board and Celair/Malmet Products;
- Jack Moore, cattle & sheep producers
- Alan Grundy, Wilson Pacific.
The group was joined by the (then) Mayor Cr John Harding, Deputy Mayor Cr Dennis Blackett and (then) General Manager Mr Brian Andrews while in Kunming to inspect the International Horticultural Exposition. The Trade Expo was opened on 6 June, the Horticultural Expo celebrated Wagga Wagga Day on 8th June.
"The long standing relationship between Wagga Wagga and Kunming has been taking a much stronger shape with the development of business links over the last year or two," Cr Harding said.
"I believe the contracts signed last October during a Chinese visit to Wagga Wagga will be now supplemented by new business opportunities flowing from this visit" he said.
"I am hopeful that Wagga Wagga can benefit from the huge market in southern China and that trade exchanges of this kind will become a regular feature of the Sister city relationship".
Leavenworth, Kansas, USA
People to People Programme for the Promotion of International Friendship for Peace
The affiliation of Wagga Wagga with Leavenworth, Kansas, USA, as Sister Cities, was established in 1962.
A Conference was held at the white house, Washington, D.C., in 1956 when President Eisenhower emphasised the need for a programme to bring the people of the world closer together in the interests of peace.
From this conference came the People to People Programme and the Sister City Affiliation movement. Visitations of official representatives have been exchanged between the two cities and inter-city visits by private citizens are becoming increasingly popular.