Our International Friendship CitiesPosted Thursday 25 June 2015
Mosman Council has two active international Friendship City relationships: with Mudanjiang in Northern China and with Otsu in central Japan close to Kyoto.
A major feature of our Mudanjiang relationship has been our 12 year program of support for girls in the local schools. With funds generated from the community, Rotary and Council staff, we have provided books and computer equipment to schools and monetary stipends to girl students. The Friendship Tree sculptures in Mosman (overlooking Allan Border Oval) and in Mudanjiang (at the Normal University) symbolise the relationship.
Our Friendship relationship with Otsu, starting in 2010, has seen regular exchanges of visits and some significant cultural exchanges both personal and in art works.
Last month I led council/community delegations to both cities. As is our practice, all Councillors and community members of the delegation paid their own travel, accommodation and incidental expenses.
In both cities we were met with the highest levels of civility, hospitality and warmth. The cities clearly value the relationship and the Mayors spoke strongly in favour of personal, educational and cultural exchanges.
Since Mosman is the only Friendship City that these cities have in Australia, both related to us not just as Mosman but as representatives of the much wider community in Australia.
In the next few months we in Council will be discussing how and to what extent we can promote activities with our Friendship Cities. However, Council can and should activate these relationships only with community support, which I hope exists for these relationships.