Wollongong has two Sister City relationships and one Friendship City:
Wollongong’s Sister City relationships have provided a number of successful economic, social and cultural benefits for the Wollongong community.
The world wide Sister City movement began shortly after World War II, when national Sister Cities were independently initiated on many different continents. All had the same goal - to help develop enduring networks of communication between cities of the world, to cut across boundaries and reduce the likelihood of polarisation and conflict among nations.
In November 1987, Kawasaki and Wollongong agreed to form a Sister City relationship based on a written Sister City Agreement. This agreement was formally signed in 1988 and re-signed in 1993, 1998 and 2008 to ensure a continued international bond of friendship. Since its inception, the Sister City relationship has been extremely successful, with both parties ensuring its success through their active involvement. A variety of exchanges have been encouraged, including citizen, sports and cultural exchanges, as well as educational exchanges involving the formation of Sister School and University Agreements.
The agreement reached with Kawasaki Sister City includes:
- promotion of exchange programs including citizen and youth exchanges
- environmental information
- school activities
- promotion of regional economic cooperation.
A Sister City agreement was entered into in 1981 between Ohrid and Wollongong with a formal Sister City agreement signed in 1999.
Benefits and opportunities from this relationship:
- Terracotta Icons of Vinica exhibition at the Wollongong City Gallery
- provision of surplus Wollongong City library books for Ohrid
Longyan, China (Friendship City)
A Friendship City relationship was formed with Longyan, China in 2000, through an interim agreement and was cemented in December 2001 with the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement ensures promotion and cooperation between the two cities to facilitate student exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including industry, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, trade, science & technology, culture, education, environment protection and health.
Activities between the two cities include:
- training opportunities for Longyan engineers
- exhibition by a prominent Longyan artist at the Wollongong City Gallery, along with workshops for local artists
- establishment of a high school exchange program, with Longyan and Wollongong high schools
- China delegation visit, including representatives from Longyan, regarding economic development initiatives in Wollongong
- invitation to the University of Wollongong for graduates to visit Longyan to teach English
- attendance at the first Fujian International Friendship Cities Conference held in Fuzhou in October 2004
- presentation to City of Wollongong of a traditional Chinese kite for use during Viva La Gong Festival 2008