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SISTER CITY
HISTORY
Leavenworth, USA
Nordlingen, Germany
Kunming, China
Leavenworth, Kansas USA - established May 1962
In the autumn of 1956, President Eisenhower, invited to the White House fifty
leaders in various fields of American life. He emphasised the need for a
programme to bring the peoples of the world closer together in the interest of
peace. He told them “There is no problem before the American people - indeed,
before the world - that so colours everything we do, so colours our thinking , our
actions, as does the problem of preserving the peace and providing for our own
security.”
The President called for a massive programme of communication between
Americans and the peoples of other lands, to establish two way relationships to
build better understanding.
Out of this White House Conference came the People to People Programme. It is
directed by 33 Committees, non-partisan and outside of government control. One
of these is the Civic Committee, with which the American Municipal Association
works closely to develop the Town Affiliation Programme.
The affiliation of Wagga Wagga with Leavenworth came about as far as Wagga
Wagga is concerned, purely by accident. In May 1961, Lt Col W H Wansley,
Commanding Officer of Kapooka Military Area (located in close proximity to the
City of Wagga Wagga) called upon the Mayor prior to relinquishing his command
on the eve of his departure from Australia en route to the United States of
America, to undergo a course of military training at Fort Leavenworth - the United
States Army Command and General Staff College. The Colonel consented to
take with him a letter of introduction and greetings from the Mayor of Wagga
Wagga to the Mayor of Leavenworth. On 19th May 1962, the Mayor of
Leavenworth, the Hon J F Mitchell, wrote acknowledging this letter of greeting,
and issued an invitation for the City of Wagga Wagga to join with the City of
Leavenworth as Sister Cities under the People to People Programme. The
invitation was wholeheartedly accepted by the Wagga Wagga City Council, and
an appeal was then addressed to many schools, clubs, sporting bodies and other
organisations to make endeavours to contact their own counterparts in
Leavenworth.
Council decided that the general administration of the Sister City affiliation
should be carried on and maintained in the name of the Council. It decided that,
in the event of interest waning in any way, or any special arrangements required
to be made, the Council would, when warranted, convene a conference of
interested organisations and citizens, or a public meeting for the purpose.
Great practical support to the affiliation came about in 1963 when the Community
Advancement Fund - a Committee of the Wagga Wagga and District Chamber of
Commerce - decided that the prize for the winner of the Miss Wagga Wagga
Quest would be a return air flight to Leavenworth. All arrangements for this were
made by the Chamber of Commerce, with minor assistance from the Rotary and
Quota Clubs, and the City Council co-operated by gaining the active support to
the visit of Miss Wagga Wagga from the Mayor and City Council of Leavenworth.
A very comprehensive itinerary embracing receptions, social engagements and
general hospitality was drawn up by the Mayor of Leavenworth and his
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Committee. This provided for Miss Wagga Wagga to be hosted at private homes
of prominent citizens.
In May 1963, Miss Jeanette McGarry, the winner of the Miss Wagga Wagga
1963 Quest, travelled by Qantas Airways to the USA. She spent a total of six
weeks in America, spending four weeks in Leavenworth and visiting San
Francisco, New York, Washington and Honolulu.
In September 1963, Miss Leavenworth 1963, Miss Vera Lee McGinnis, flew by
Qantas Airways to Australia. Similar arrangements were made in Wagga Wagga
for her reception, entertainment and attendance at social gatherings, etc. She
spent four weeks in Wagga Wagga, and in addition visited Sydney, Melbourne,
Canberra, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, as well as local district centres. Miss
Leavenworth’s whole visit was an outstanding success, and she was the
recipient of so many gifts from individual citizens, clubs, schools, etc that these
had to be forwarded in numerous cartons following her departure.
Alderman R L Brunskill and his wife visited Leavenworth in August 1964.
Numbers of individual citizens of Wagga Wagga and district have made calls at
Leavenworth while travelling in the United States. Without exception, they have
received ready hospitality at the hands of our Leavenworth friends.
Council has twice (as a result of the Sister City link) participated with hosting
visiting American students staying in Australia under the American Field
Scholarship Scheme, with the visitors all billeted in private homes.
During the Vietnam Campaign, on various occasions the Council assisted the
Australian-American Association by hosting a number of American Servicemen
in Wagga Wagga during their five day R and R leave. The home town of several
of these servicemen was Leavenworth.
Then, too, individual visitors from Leavenworth, whilst travelling in Australia, have
called to see their Sister City when it has been possible to arrange social
functions in their honour, meet people, and in some cases for the visitors to be
hosted in private homes.
On various occasions since the first Miss Wagga Wagga visited Leavenworth,
the Chamber of Commerce has arranged for successive Miss Wagga’s to
journey to Leavenworth and spend some time there as the prize for this most
successful and highly competitive quest.
The Australian Army sends an Officer (of the rank of Major or above) each year
to attend a course of Military Training at Fort Leavenworth (the USA Army
Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth). Army Officers attend
these year long courses from most of the Nations of the Western World. The
Australian Government maintains a residence in the City of Leavenworth for
occupation by the Australian Officer during his stay, and this home is popularly
known locally in Leavenworth as “Australia House”.
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It is interesting to note that early in their career, both General Douglas MacArthur
and President Dwight D Eisenhower passed through Fort Leavenworth when
their respective rank was that of Major.
The Australian Army lends its practical support to the affiliation and it is now
accepted annual practice for an Australian Army Officer, before departing to
undergo a course of military training at Fort Leavenworth, to first call at Wagga
Wagga to interview the Mayor and learn of the City at first hand. Without
exception, these Australian Army Officers have come to know the Mayor of
Leavenworth and prominent citizens in the Sister City after their arrival.
Streets have been named in both cities in honour of the other Sister City. Wagga
Wagga and Leavenworth have much in common, they:
 Are inland independent centres of comparable population;
 Are situated on important rivers (the Murrumbidgee and Missouri
respectively)
 Are located in or near the wheat producing and grazing areas;
 Have large important military establishments close at hand.
Mayor of Leavenworth, Mr Ray H Miller and his wife; former Mayor, Jack Mitchell
and his wife; and the City Clerk, Mrs Marguerite Strange and her eight year old
son Mike visited Wagga Wagga to represent their city on the occasion of the
Centenary of Local Government held in March 1970. The delegation was greeted
on arrival by the Member for Wagga Wagga and Minister for Mines, Mr W C Fife;
Ald R J Harris and Mrs Harris, City Aldermen, Town Clerk Mr Bill Ellis and the St
Andrew’s Heather Pipe Band. A Civic Reception was held for the delegation on
13 March 1970.
Town Clerk, W R Ellis visited Leavenworth in April 1972 and again in 1977 and
stayed two weeks each visit.
A branch of the Australian-American Association was established in Wagga
Wagga in 1974, and this Committee has been a very active one in it’s efforts to
promote the sister city ideals, by meetings, social gatherings and fund-raising
activities. This local Committee, with encouragement from the AustralianAmerican Association in Sydney, decided to organise local celebrations in 1976,
in honour of the 200th Anniversary of the Declaration of the American
Independence - when the local Committee’s hopes for an interchange of citizens
between the two Cities were realised.
In April 1976, a Civic Reception was held for visitors from Leavenworth who
travelled to Wagga Wagga to take part of the local celebrations for the American
Bi-Centennial celebrations in. The visitors included The Hon. John Denny, Mayor
of Leavenworth and Mrs Denny; Mrs Rosemary Miller, former Mayoress of
Leavenworth; Mrs Lucile Atchinson, former Mayoress of Leavenworth; Mrs Judy
Jahn; Mrs Lillian Hyde; Mr and Mrs Bob Hyde.
Leavenworth’s City Clerk, Mrs Marguerite Strange and the wife of former Mayor,
Mrs Rosemary Miller visited Wagga Wagga in June 1984 to attend the Civic
Reception held for retiring Town Clerk, Mr Ellis.
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A six member delegation from Leavenworth visited Wagga Wagga in February
and March 1988 to join in on the Gumi Week festivities including a street parade.
In 1992 a delegation from Leavenworth visited Wagga Wagga to celebrate the
30th anniversary of the relationship.
The Mayor of Wagga Wagga, Cr Pat Brassil and his wife visited Leavenworth in
June 1995. Cr & Mrs Brassil toured St Mary’s College and visited Fort
Leavenworth. The Mayor of Leavenworth gave Cr & Mrs Brassil a Civic
Reception. Cr Brassil was the first Mayor of Wagga to visit Leavenworth.
Alderman Joseph Mason Cox and his wife visited Leavenworth in July 1998. He
was well received and brought back well wishes from the Mayor and officials of
Leavenworth.
The Mayor of Leavenworth led a small delegation to Wagga Wagga in 1999 to
attend the opening of the new Civic Centre. The Leavenworth room at the Bob
Osborne Training Centre was officially opened during their visit.
On alternate years the reigning Miss Wagga Wagga and Community Princess
are hosted in Leavenworth as part of their prize.
The whole affiliation has been a most interesting exchange between the two
communities. Though separated by vast distance, the people of both cities have
been drawn closer one to the other. This interchange of ideas on a people to
people basis must surely be a real method of promoting international
understanding and goodwill.
Leavenworth has a population of over 72,000.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Nordlingen, Bavaria Germany - established December 1967
Following the establishment of a Sister City affiliation with Leavenworth, the
Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce decided that the prize for the winner of
the Miss Wagga Wagga crown should be a visit to Leavenworth. The success
which attended the Quest as a result of the overseas trip and the hospitality and
kindness received by her in Leavenworth, prompted the Chamber of Commerce
to each year make the prize an overseas trip. Subsequently Miss Wagga Wagga
visited Great Britain, Japan, France and then Germany was suggested.
By the good grace of the German Consul in Sydney (who was approached by
the then Local State Member) the City of Nordlingen was suggested as the City
which Miss Wagga Wagga for the particular year might visit. In 1967, the
Oberburgermeister (Dr Hermann Kessler) afforded his personal assistance and
hosted Miss Wagga Wagga in his own home. She was given a wonderful
reception in the ancient wall city and returned with a pressing invitation for the
two cities of Wagga Wagga and Nordlingen to join as sister cities.
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Subsequently, suggestions for the joining together of the two cities was
suggested and ultimately the German Consul recommended such action to this
Council and so the official resolutions were exchanged between the two local
government Councils and the sister city link was officially established.
Nordlingen is one of the classic medieval cities of Germany with a history dating
back more than 1,000 years.
The first visitor from Nordlingen was “Miss Nordlingen” - Miss Hannelore Sauer who spent several weeks in Wagga Wagga at the time of the Wagga Wagga
Centenary of Local Government in 1970.
Other dignitaries to visit Wagga Wagga have included the Oberburgermeister, Mr
Paul Kling and Mrs Kling, the former Oberburgermeister, Dr Hermann Kessler
and Mrs Kessler, and the former Burgermeister, Mr Oskar Schneider and Mrs
Schneider.
In April 1981 and April 1988, the City was privileged to receive visits by the
renowned St George choir from Nordlingen. Concerts were staged in Wagga
Wagga Civic Theatre.
In September 1990, the Mayor, Alderman Pat Brassil, and the Town Clerk, Mr
Brian Andrews and Mrs Andrews, visited Nordlingen for the Stadtmauerfest,
along with Miss Wagga Wagga 1990, Miss Stephanie Blackett and Community
Princess, Tanya Kelly. Also visiting Nordlingen at that time were 80 students and
parents from the Kooringal High School Band.
In 1992 a delegation led by the Oberburgermeister visited Wagga Wagga to
celebrate the 25th anniversary of the relationship. Eighty members of the
Knabenkapelle Boys Band made up the delegation.
In 1999 the Oberburgermeister led a delegation to attend the opening of the new
Civic Centre. The Nordlingen room at the Bob Osborne Training Centre was
officially opened during their visit.
On alternate years the reigning Miss Wagga Wagga and Community Princess
are hosted in Nordlingen as part of their prize.
Mr Paul Kling, Lord Mayor of Nordlingen, invited the Mayor, Cr Pascoe, General
Manager, Phillip Perram and specifically Mrs Norma Gray to attend the
“Historisches Stadtmauerfest” (Historic City Wall Festival) in Nordlingen
Germany in September 2004. The delegation also included John Gray; Joy and
Cr Brian Andrews, Bev and Jeff Tye, Elisabeth and John Rorrison, Jill and
Robert Hartwig, Miss Wagga Alicia Richardson and Community Princess Melanie
Richards.
On March 31st 2013 the 89 visitors from Nordlingen arrived in Wagga Wagga for
the Knabenkapelle Choir tour. Over 5 days they visited many local attractions as
well as performing at the new Stone the Crows festival and a concert at the Civic
Theatre.
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In August 2013 a delegation including the Mayor Rod Kendall and the General
Manager Phil Pinyon travelled to Nordlingen for the Historisches Stadtmauerfest”
Nordlingen Drive has been named in honour of our Sister City.
Nordlingen has a population over 30,000
Kunming, Yunnan Province China - established 1988
Kunming in known as the city of eternal spring due to its mild temperatures and
is a popular holiday destination for Chinese. It is known for its Lakes and the
“Stone” Forest. It’s population is about five million residents.
Mayor, Alderman M H Gissing supplied a letter of greetings to the Mayor of
Kunming for Mr Harold Fraser who led a party of horticulturists in February 1984.
Mr Fraser, who is a member of the International Camellia Society, wrote to
Council suggesting that Wagga Wagga should establish a link with China.
At the Council meeting held on 25 November 1985 it was resolved that enquiries
be made through the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
A public meeting was held on 11 June 1986 which was attended by 15 people.
Most of the people had visited China. A five person Committee was formed to
have initial discussions with Council.
At the Council meeting held 23 June 1986 it was resolved that the Mayor and the
Town Clerk be authorised to commence action to establish a Sister City
Relationship with Kunming City. The Mayor then wrote to the Mayor of Kunming
requested that they consider a Sister City relationship. The Mayor of Kunming
responded by inviting the Mayor of Wagga Wagga to visit Kunming.
On 27 August 1987 the Inaugural Ceremony and laying of Foundation Stone for
Chinese Pavilion in the Botanic Gardens. Invitations were issued to the Chinese
Ambassador, Bank of China, China National Tourist Authority, and
representatives from Kunming.
A delegation from Wagga Wagga consisting of Alderman Peter Dale, Town Clerk
Mr Brian Andrews and Mrs Andrews, Mr & Mrs Harold Fraser visit Kunming 27 to
29 February 1988.
On 23 June 1988 four craftsmen from Kunming arrived to begin work on the
Chinese temple and archway.
Mr Wang Rencai, Acting Mayor of Kunming, led a five member delegation visit
arriving on 15 August 1988 for the official opening of the Camellia Garden and
signing of the Sister City Agreement.
The signing of the Sister City Agreement and official opening of the Camellia
Garden took place on 20 August 1988. His Excellency Air Marshal Sir James
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Rowland, AC, KBE DFC, AFC, Governor of New South Wales, and His
Excellency Mr Zhang Zai, Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China.
A photographic collection and artefacts from Kunming were displayed in the Art
Gallery in February 1989.
Wagga Wagga’s gift to Kunming was a children’s playground and an Australian
native garden. Council staff Kerry Geale, Graeme Wenzke and Barry Lucas
travelled to Kunming to construct the playground and garden in April 1989. The
Mayor, Alderman R Harris, Deputy Mayor, Alderman Peter Dale and wife
Barbara, Town Clerk Mr Brian Andrews and wife Joy also visited Kunming in
1989.
From February 8 – 26 in 1989 and exhibition was held at the Gallery called
Customs & Traditions: Yunnan Minority Nationalities
In February 1992 HR Marketing, Adelaide brought an 11 person delegation of
Provincial and Government Officials and technical persons from the Bureau of
Animal Husbandry in Kunming to Wagga Wagga.
The 3rd China Art Festival was held in Kunming in February 1992. The Mayor,
Alderman Pat Brassil and his wife Anne, Alderman Joe Mason-Cox and wife
Anne and Alderman Kay Hull and husband Graeme attended.
A five person delegation from Kunming visited Wagga Wagga to celebrate the
30th anniversary of Leavenworth and the 25 th anniversary of Nordlingen
relationships in April 1992.
In October 1992 a thirty member Kunming delegation from commerce, trade and
agricultural departments visited Wagga Wagga.
The first China Kunming Fair was held in August 1993. A Wagga Wagga
delegation led by Alderman Peter Dale included Michael Chan and Mrs Amy
Chan-Leung and Gordon Tse visited the Kunming Fair.
The President of Yunnan Provincial Association of Enterprises with Foreign
Investment and six other delegates visited Wagga Wagga in December 1994.
In August 1995 the China Kunming Export Commodities Fair - no delegation
from Council was able to attend. However, the invitation was passed to the
Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An eight member
delegation attended - Daryl Maguire, President of Chamber, Mr Brian Favero,
Noel and Jenny Bottrell, Peter and John Wood, Bob Tuck and John de la Torre.
Mr Hu Ping Shu, President of Kunming Chamber of Commerce and Mr Yang visit
Wagga Wagga in April 1996 following an invitation from Daryl Maguire, President
of Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce.
In May 1996 the ten member Kunming Gardens delegation visited Wagga
Wagga.
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A five member Kunming Municipal Goodwill delegation led by Mr Yang
Jianquiang, Secretary of Kunming Municipal Committee of Communist Party of
China visited in October 1996.
August 1997 saw an eight member Kunming Journalistic delegation visit Wagga
and in November 1997 a Goodwill delegation also visited.
Kunming City Construction and Environment Protecting Investigation delegation
visited in May 1998. The seven member delegation was headed by Mr Feng
Zhicheng.
In June 1998 a Kunming City Tourism delegation led by Mr Ding Shaoxiang, Vice
President of Kunming Friendship Association for Foreign Friends and five others
visited Wagga. Also in June 1998 a Real Estate Bureau delegation led by Mr Du
Lingan, Director of Real Estate Bureau visited Wagga.
A Kunming Trade Fair was held at the Golden Seasons Restaurant in August
1998. A Kunming Trade delegation led by Vice Mayor Mr Xu Zhixin and 12
others visited. The delegation visit was organised by Daryl Maguire, President of
Wagga Chamber of Commerce. Also celebrated was the 10th anniversary of the
Sister City relationship. Wagga’s gift to Kunming was a set of sketches of the
courthouse, historic Council Chambers, National Bank and old Post Office.
A Yunnan Goodwill delegation also visited Wagga in August 1998. Mr San Gan,
Vice President of Yunnan Provincial People’s Association led the six member
delegation. This visit was organised by the Australian China Friendship Society.
Council staff Kerry Geale and Scott Saddler travelled to Kunming in October
1998 to hold discussions and inspect the Exposition site.
In February 1999, a delegation led by Mr He Xingzhou, President of Kunming
Municipal People’s Congress including 6 other delegates visited for the official
opening of the Wagga Wagga Civic Centre. The dedication of the Kunming
Training room at the Bob Osborne Skills Centre occurred on 12 February 1999.
An International Horticultural Exposition was held in Kunming in 1999 for six
months. Wagga Wagga has a site at the expo - it consists of a cottage, hills
hoist, windmill, children’s playground and an Australian garden. The expo site
covers a huge area and some 51 countries are represented. The site is open to
the public and has become quite a tourist destination. The Exposition was
financed by Wagga Wagga City Council on a limited budget. Both the
Commonwealth and State Governments were approached to contribute but
declined.
From 6 to 14 June 1999, 15 delegates representing 10 companies from the
Wagga Wagga district travelled to Kunming for the Kunming Trade Fair. The
delegates were matched to equivalent businesses in Kunming to maximise the
opportunity for import/export arrangements. Mayor, Cr John Harding and Mrs
Harding, Deputy Mayor, Cr Dennis Blackett, and General Manager Mr Brian
Andrews and Mrs Andrews attended the National Day for Wagga Wagga on 8
June 1999.
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From May 2 to June 3, 1990: An exhibition of contemporary paintings by wo
Kunming artists was held in the Wagga Art Gallery
In April 2000 an International Tourism Festival was held in Kunming. A Wagga
Wagga delegation consisting of Mayor, Cr Kevin Wales and Mrs Wales, Luke
Grealy and wife Moyra Shields, Mr M Maher, Chairman of Tourism Wagga
Wagga, Mr P O’Dea, Chairman Sister City Occupational Training Program
attended the festival.
A six member Goodwill delegation from Kunming visited Wagga Wagga in
August 2000. Also in August 2000 an 11 member Yunnan University delegation
led by Yu Jianzhong, visited Wagga Wagga. Mr Jianzhong is the Principal of the
secondary school attached to the Yunnan University. A Memorandum of
Understanding was signed between Yunnan University Secondary School and
Riverina Institute of TAFE. A proposal to explore establishment of contract
between the secondary school attached to Yunnan University in China and
Wagga Wagga Christian College was signed by Yu Jianzhong and Mr Hugh
MacCallum.
In November 2000 a 19 member Kunming Education delegation visited Wagga
Wagga. A 10 member Kunming Public Security Bureau delegation visited the
following month.
Council resolved in March 2001 to host two official delegations of a maximum of
eight people each year. Council would be happy to assist any delegation who
wished to visit Wagga, however this would be done on a cost recovery basis.
Twenty nine students and nine teachers from Yunnan University visited Wagga
in August 2001.
In October 2001 a 10 member Kunming Community Public Health delegation
visited Wagga.
1st December 2001 saw the opening of an “Aussie Café” in Kunming. The
business has been started by Wagga Wagga restaurant owner, Mr Gordon Tse.
The Mayor, Cr Kevin Wales and Cr Peter Dale travelled to Kunming for the
opening which was also attended by the Mayor of Kunming.
A delegation led by Mayor, Cr Kevin Wales travelled to Kunming in February
2002. Also included in delegation was Mrs Wales, General Manager Graeme
Faulkner and Mrs Faulkner; Manager of Engineering Assets, Colin Earnshaw
and Mrs Earnshaw; Supervisor of Sewer Operations, Len Kennedy and Mrs
Kennedy; Mayor’s Executive Assistant and Sister City Advisory Committee
Minute Clerk, Norma Gray.
In July 2002 a 13 member Yunnan Provincial Government Public Service
Delegation visited Wagga. This was arranged by the Australian Technical
Experts Network - University of Canberra.
The Yunnan University visited Wagga again in August 2002, this time with 55
students and 14 teachers. Also in August 2002, four Charles Sturt University staff
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travelled to Kunming - Professor T Heazlewood, Head of International School of
Business; Ass Prof E Oczkowski, Maria Farrell; and Deirdre Keogh.
Vice Mayor Mr He Youde led a 23 member delegation to Wagga Wagga in
September 2002. Mr He is in charge of agriculture in Kunming.
An 18 member Yunnan Educational delegation travelled to Wagga in December
2002.
From 23 August – 6 October 2002 Wagga Wagga Art Gallery hosted an
exhibition, called “Blossoms of Childhood”. It was a selection of children’s
paintings from Kunming. It was Curated by Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery
in association with the Kunming Cultural Bureau.
August 2003 saw the first ever visit by a Kunming Mayor with a nine person
delegation. The visit was to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sister City
relationship. The Kunming Grove was officially opened and various activities
were organised, including a Civic Reception. The Chinese Ambassador His
Excellency Mr Wu Tao and the Deputy Vice Consul, Mr Du Wei from the Chinese
Consulate in Sydney were also in attendance.
An agreement for Commitment in Principle was signed that will advance relations
between the parties with a view to establishing opportunities for trainees from
Kunming to further their study at one or more of the education institutions in
Wagga Wagga. The agreement was signed by Mayor of Kunming, Mayor of
Wagga Wagga, Director of TAFE, Acting Director NSW Agriculture and Director
International on behalf of CSU.
Mayor, Cr Wales presented the Mayor of Kunming with framed commemorative
artwork depicting features of Wagga Wagga. Another artwork was prepared for
Wagga Wagga depicting Kunming features.
In 2004 a delegation from Wagga travelled to Kunming for the opening of Wagga
Wagga Park in the Green Lake Precinct. The delegation consisted of Mayor, Cr
Kevin Wales; John Craig, Director of External Services; Luke Grealy, Tourism
Manager. From this visit a 3 week study tour in Wagga was arranged for
Agricultural Students from Yunnan University. John Wilkins from the Agricultural
Research Institute organised classes and field trips studying various aspects of
agricultural production.
A Media and Education delegation visited Wagga from 13 to 15 September
2005. The purpose of the visit was to further the development of the Sister City
relationship and explore the co-operative opportunities in the areas of news,
television and education. Mr Yang Yanziang who is the Executive President of
Kunming People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries headed the
eight member delegation.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Riverina Media Group and the
Vice Editor in Chief of the Kunming Daily. It was agreed that a delegation from
Kunming’s Daily paper and Riverina Media Group would travel to each other’s
company to exchange information, ideas and technology on an annual basis.
The first to visit will be the Riverina Media Group.
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In April and May of 2012 a cultural delegation travelled from Wagga Wagga to
Kunming. The delegation included Mayor Cr Kerry Pascoe, Director of
Community & Environmental Services Janice Summerhayes, Cultural Officer Vic
McEwan, representatives of Charles Sturt University and the local business
community, the current Miss Wagga Wagga and Community Princess and the
local Maliyaa indigenous dance group
The invitation from the Mayor of Kunming for participation in the 2012
International Cultural and Tourism Festival allowed for a sharing of cultures
between many nations. It provided the first opportunity for an Aboriginal Dance
Group to perform in Kunming at an international standard. Great interest and
embracement of the cultural experience that our performers provided was
received. The Festival was attended by up to 40,000 people over the period
experiencing the performances and there was extensive Chinese media
coverage of the performers whilst in Kunming.
As part of the visit, further meetings and discussions around education and
industry matters reinforced strong ties with Charles Sturt University and Yunnan
University as well as the opportunity to forge new relationships with other
Universities such as Kunming University and the Agriculture and Science based
Universities.
Subsequent to this visit, in May 2012 a Kunming artist Lei Yan visited Wagga
and created a colourful floating “pyramid” which was displayed on Wollundry
lagoon for two weeks.
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