The Sister City movement is a worldwide organisation which aims to promote friendship, understanding, goodwill and respect through a variety of people-to-people exchange programs. Bundaberg has two sister cities: Nanning and Settsu.
Nanning is located in Southern China, about an hour by air, west of Hong Kong. It is the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and is known as the "Green City" because of its many parks and trees. Situated on the Yong River, it experiences a subtropical climate with plentiful rainfall and sunshine. Its average annual temperature is 21.8oC.
For further information about Nanning, visit the official website of the Nanning Municipal Government.
Settsu forms part of the extensive prefecture of Osaka, Japan's second biggest city. Formerly a rural city, it has developed into a residential and industrial city with a population of 94,000. The city resembles an "L" shape, stretching some six (6) kilometres west to east and five (5) kilometres north to south. The topography is generally flat, with the Yodo River flowing through the southern part of the city. Settsu enjoys a mild climate throughout its four (4) seasons. For more information about Settsu, visit the Settsu City website.
The Agreements with Nanning and Settsu emphasizes the principles of friendship, mutual understanding, goodwill, peace and prosperity and set the direction for exchange programs in the following areas:
All visits to and from the Sister Cities are self-funded - no subsidy is provided by Council.
The Chinese New Year celebration has become one of the most significant cultural events on the Bundaberg annual event calendar. This wonderful carnival has been warmly welcomed by the Bundaberg general community over the past several years.
Since its inauguration in 2008, the event has been strongly supported by both Bundaberg Regional Council and Nanning Municipal People’s Government. Each year, professional singers, dancers and acrobats from Bundaberg’s Sister City Nanning perform at the celebration. Their superb acting of Chinese traditional opera, beautiful dances, and magnificent acrobatics with elegant costumes has been the main attraction of this annual event.
The 2015 Bundaberg Chinese New Year Celebration was held on Sunday, 22 February, 2015.
In June 2014, Guangxi University (GXU), the largest comprehensive university in Guangxi Province, hosted an Education Delegation led by Professor Andrew Bridges, Associate Vice Chancellor (Wide Bay and Burnett) of CQUniversity. Situated in the heart of Nanning City, GXU is one of the most prestigious universities in China with a total student population over 80,000. The two universities signed an Academic Co-operation Agreement as a result.
In February 2015, 25 students and their teachers from GXU spent a three week study period in Bundaberg, staying at Bargara. This joint BRC/CQUniversity initiative was a resounding success and demonstrates the tangible benefits of the long-standing sister city friendship. While this group visited primarily to study culture and English, it is anticipated that many exchange groups will follow and contribute directly to the growth of our local economy in a number of areas such as accommodation, retail and tourism.
Other success stories include Bundaberg State High School having two sister High Schools in Nanning and Bundaberg Christian College having formed a relationship with students at the Nanning Tiantao Primary School.
TAFE Queensland East Coast has also established a Sister College relationship with Nanning Vocational and Technical College in 2011. The leaders from both institutions have conducted several reciprocal visits to discuss cooperative vocational education and training programs.
Agriculture and Trade
With a similar climate to Bundaberg, Nanning is also rich in agriculture and is one of the largest sugar cane growing areas in China.
In February 2014, A Bundaberg trade delegation led by the Mayor, Cr Mal Forman, visited Nanning. The mission included a number of representatives from local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism industries.
A locally (Coles Engineering) designed and manufactured sugar cane tipper secured a large order from Zhanjian Hanlinyuan Agriculture Science and Technology. The tippers are successfully exported to Nanning and Guangxi and well received by the cane growers.
The Sister City relationship with Nanning also helped Bundaberg Ginger Beer to make a debut in the Chinese market. In April 2014, Nanning based businessman Mr Mo Jianpei purchased one container load (1500 carton boxes) of Bundaberg Ginger Beer product from Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. The company’s famous brewed product arrived at the Qinzhou Free Trade Port two months later and was welcomed by Chinese consumers in Nanning and Guangxi.
Aviation and Pilot Training
The Bundaberg aviation industry and pilot training programs are also making an impact on trade links between the two cities.
A Bundaberg aviation delegation organised by the Council visited Nanning in June 2014. The group consisted of representatives from Council, CQUniversity and Jet Aircraft Operations (JAO). The purpose of the visit was to investigate potential partnership opportunities with Guangxi University and Nanning Industry Investment Corporation to jointly develop the Nanning General Aviation industry.
A four-way MOU between the four organisations was signed in September 2014 during the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning. As an outcome of this MOU, from 2015 Bundaberg will host a number of pilot training groups from Nanning. The Bundaberg airport precinct will be used as the training facility for delivering general aviation pilot license course.
With a close proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and its world famous Mon Repos Turtle Discover Centre, Bundaberg has a competitive advantage to attract more Chinese tourists to the region.
Council has been closely working with Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism in promoting local tourism products to the Nanning and wider Chinese markets. The China Ready Program jointly developed by Council and BNBT gives local tourism operators an opportunity to gain necessary Chinese cultural and linguistic understanding and skills, so that they will be ready to host a large number of Chinese tourists in the years ahead.
Local tourism operators and accommodation providers such as Kelly’s Beach Resort, Kacy’s Beach Motel, Mon Repos and Lady Musgrave Island Cruise will be expected to host high school and university students, business people and government officials from Nanning from 2015.
Australian Sister Cities Association
Click here to view the schedule of visits, exchange programs and special events on the Bundaberg Regional Council website.
To explore International Education opportunities (some of which have evolved from our Sister City relationships) on the Invest Bundaberg website, click here.
For more information about Sister Cities, or how to be involved, contact the Secretary of the Sister Cities Advisory Committee, Kim Ovens on 1300 883 699.