- Created: Tuesday, 09 September 2008 16:15
The Toowoomba region has international sister city relationships with three cities; Takatsuki in Japan, Paju in South Korea and Whanganui in New Zealand (North Island). The purpose of these relationships is not only to enhance cultural exchange between the cities, but to also promote and foster strong business opportunities. As a result of these relationships, Toowoomba hosts several delegations throughout the year. By bringing school students, business people and international visitors to the city, our community is much richer for the experience.
Toowoomba's sister city symbol
The three symbolic elements on the Sister City symbol are indicative of Toowoomba’s three sister cities relationships:
- Cherry Blossom (Japan) - national floral emblem of Japan
- Silver Fern (New Zealand) - national floral emblem of New Zealand
- Hibiscus Syriacus (Rose of Sharon) (Korea) – national floral emblem of Korea
This touch of traditional calligraphy demonstrates the cultural backgrounds of our three sister cities and reflects the diversity of cultures in Australia. The basic circular shape of the symbol represents ‘union’ and ‘connection’ which is presented in a form of ink brush stroke. The colours of blue and red are derived from our Sister Cities’ national flags. The purple being from the colour family between blue and red, cultivates the feel of harmony.
A formal sister city agreement between Toowoomba and Takatsuki was officially established on November 13, 1991. The Declaration of Friendship agrees to deepen the relationship through mutually beneficial exchanges in the educational, cultural, sporting and commercial arenas.
Takatsuki is located approximately halfway between Osaka and Kyoto in the southern section of the Honshu Island of Japan. To the north of the city is the Hokusetsu Mountains and in the south is the breathtaking Yodo River. Takatsuki, with its rich history, has an abundance of cultural assets including relics of ancient times.
District Area: 105.31km²
Population: Approximately 355,000
Climate: Temperatures range from a minimum of 2°c to a maximum of 33°c. Annual Rainfall of 1320mm
Major industries: Environmental business, manufacture of pharmaceutical, chemical and foods
Major Festivals: Takatsuki Festival (summer), Danjiri Festival (autumn), Bonfire Festival (winter), The Dragon Festival (spring) and Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival (May)
Flower of Takatsuki: Unohana Deutzia - These gregarious flowers were found around the Tama River area in the town of Saime during the Heian period (800AD to 1200 AD). People came to "moon-watch" and see the Unohana flowers for inspiration to write poetry.
Whanganui, New Zealand
In 1981 the Toowoomba City Council and Whanganui City Council mutually agreed to establish a sister city relationship. With the opportunity to promote closer bonds and relations between the cities, the citizens pledged to engage in mutually beneficial exchanges of culture, industry and education.
Over the years many exchanges have occurred including visits for flower festivals, sporting exchanges, friendship visits and youth exchanges.
The city of Whanganui sits at the mouth of the Whanganui River on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, just a 2.5 hour drive from the nation's capital of Wellington. Whanganui's economy has developed around agriculture and diversified to include strong manufacturing, retail and professional services sectors. Whanganui is a popular tourist destination and is renowned for Maori culture and heritage and the natural beauty of the Whanganui National Park.
Area: District 2,373km², Urban area 3764ha.
Population: 42,700 (Estimated May 2016)
Climate: Temperature - High 17.8ºc, Low 10ºc, Avg 13.9ºc Annual Rainfall - 880mm
Major industries: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Retail and Professional Services. There is also major freezing works, Mars Petcare (pet food) Factory, dairy factory, forestry and Tasman Tanning Ltd.
Major festivals: NZ Master Games and Whanganui Festival of Glass, Open Artists Studios, and the Jazz Festival
To find out more information about what to see, do and where to stay in Whanganui, visit the website http://www.whanganuiNZ.com/ and information about the Whanganui District Council can be found on http://www.whanganui.govt.nz/.
Paju, South Korea
In October 2002, Toowoomba and Paju signed an Economic Sister City Agreement to promote international relations and enhance and develop economic cooperation between the two cities.
Each year Paju students visit to undertake an English language and culture program. Students are welcomed into the homes of local families, greatly improving their English through immersion and providing them with a real understanding of our culture. The family too, gains through developing greater cultural understanding and forming many long-term friendships.
Paju cultural performers have participated in the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and performed for hundreds of students across the region.
Paju is in the Gyeonggi Province in South Korea located just south of the demilitarised zone and an hour's drive north-west of the capital city, Seoul. It is a rapidly growing city and is referred to as a rising future city because of its large-scale development and vision to provide its citizens with state-of-the-art facilities.
Paju City provides an agricultural and transportation hub for the region. Mountains to the east and undulating slopes to the west provide a topographical foundation for excellent agricultural productivity. A convenient transport system has attracted many technologically advanced corporations, which are leading to new and progressive developments within the city.
Population: 440,000 (2016)
Climate: Temperature - High 30°c, low -8°c ; Annual Rainfall - 1,600mm
Major Industries: High-tech Manufacturing, Agriculture
Major Festival: Yulgok Cultural Festival, Gaeseong Ginseng Festival (October) Jangdan Soybean Festival (November)
Flower of Paju City: Cosmos - meaning growth, prosperity and symbolising innocence and pure love
Tree of Paju City: Gingko Tree - The gingko signifies everlasting prosperity. The tree, with its grand stature,has stunning red and yellow leaves and bear high quality timber and fruits
Bird of Paju City: Dove - Symbolising peace, doves have gentle temperaments and harmonise with the lifestyle of the city