Five Aboriginal cultural performers will appear at a series of events in Toowoomba’s Sister City, Takatsuki, Japan during a five-day cultural exchange. During the visit, Winangali Infusion will share their ancient culture through stories and dance at official functions and interactive workshops at local schools.
While farewelling the performers Acting Mayor Cr Carol Taylor said this is the first cultural exchange since the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Sister City agreement in 2011.
“The group will be performing to over 1500 students and their parents during their visit, as well as a public performance at a major local festival, Cr Taylor said.
“The Winangali Infusion tour brings together two unique cultures and allows the sharing of stories, dance, commonalities and understanding between Aboriginal and Japanese people.
“The visit will enhance the understanding of our Aboriginal culture, whilst building friendship and respect between the communities of Takatsuki and Toowoomba Region.
“The community of Takatsuki has been so generous in sharing their love of Taiko Drumming with the Toowoomba Region; this tour is an opportunity for our Sister City to gain a greater understanding of our own Aboriginal culture.
“I am pleased we are able to reciprocate Takatsuki’s generosity through the inclusion of the Winangali Infusion members in our delegation, Cr Taylor said.
“While working with Japanese students in Toowoomba, members of Winangali Infusion have found ways to overcome language barriers through the dance and music. The group will use this experience to communicate with their audiences in Takatsuki, Cr Taylor said.
“Winangali Infusion’s fantastic reputation for the cultural work they do in the community led to both USQ Global Learning Programme and Cobb & Co Museum recommending the group participate in the exchange.
“These cultural exchanges help to enhance mutual understanding, friendship and respect with our Sister City Takatsuki.
“We are grateful for the support provided by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in assisting to fund this important project.
“Our Sister City relationship with Takatsuki celebrates 27 years during this trip and we have been so fortunate to have had the Takatsuki Daiko Group visit this year to share their love of Taiko with our community.
“The tour will conclude with a concert where Winangali Infusion will join with Takatsuki Daiko Drummers for a cross-cultural performance displaying the coming together of two cultures, cities and countries.”
A Toowoomba Region delegation led by Mayor Paul Antonio will join Winangali Infusion in Takatsuki, Japan. The visit coincides with celebrations of Takatsuki’s 75th year as a municipality.
More information about international sister city relationships can be found at www.tr.qld.gov.au/about-council/sister-cities/about-sister-cities.