Goulburn is a city with many siblings.
It is part of a big family and has sister-city relationships all over the world.
Some of these relationships are going strong, while others might need some more 'tender loving care'.
Just what the city wants out of these relationships was a hot topic at the recent Goulburn Mulwaree Council meeting. Talks centred around formulating a Draft Sister City and Friendship Region Relationship Policy.
Historically, Goulburn has had Sister City relationships with El Cajon in the USA, Jiangdu in China, Shibetsu in Japan and Waggin in WA.
Of these, the relationship with Shibetsu is the strongest, with many student cultural exchanges and civic visits occurring. There has also been minor economic activity including wine and meat.
Shibetsu City delegates are visiting Goulburn again this November to celebrate 20 years of the signing of the Sister City arrangement. During that visit, the Mayor of Shibetsu will dedicate a rock and tree to mark the commencement of development of the Japanese garden in Victoria Park.
Goulburn has also established Friendship Region Relationships with Quelicai in Timor Leste, Kisoro in Uganda, Lang Son City in Vietnam and Nalaikh in Mongolia.
The relationship with Quelicai is with the Timor Leste Ambassador to Australia Abel Guterres.
He has visited Goulburn a few times and his contact point is Darryl and Maggie and Patterson, who undertake community and social assistance to Timor Leste.
Mayor Bob Kirk and many in Goulburn have been involved in obtaining hospital and medical furniture and equipment from Sydney and transporting it to Timor Leste in a shipping container.
Mrs Patterson said a film fundraiser was held at the Lilac City Cinema in May that helped raise the $7000 needed to ship the equipment.
She said if Goulburn had not gone ahead with the Friendship City agreement then none of this would have happened.
"We are looking to get a DFAT grant to create a friendship hub in Quelicai to grow the relationship and continue that cultural exchange and become closer friends with our nearest neighbour," she said.
"Friendship City agreements are about cultural exchange raising awareness. Timor has played a key role in WWII with protecting Australian soldiers and this history needs to be shared. The agreement allows us an opportunity to give back to them," Mrs Patterson said.
Goulburn has also established ties with Geluwe in Belgium through historical connections between the two cities associated with William Thomas Leggett.
Leggett is believed to be the first Australian killed in action in the defence of this village during WWI. There is a street named after him in that village as well as a monument, that is replicated at Goulburn's Rocky Hill memorial.
Goulburn also has a cultural connection with Goleniow in Poland, through networking between the Lieder Theatre and Teatre Brama. Members of Teatre Brama performed here last year at the Periphery Theatre Festival.
The councillors resolved that Mayor Bob Kirk write to the Mayor of El Cajon in the USA and Jiangdu in China and seek their views on continuing a sister city relationship with Goulburn Mulwaree and "if so how would those city's consider the relationship to be developed."
Secondly, that he writes to the Mayor of Geluwe, Belgium to see if they would consider a Sister City relationship with Goulburn Mulwaree.
Thirdly, he writes to the Mayor of Goleniow, Poland asking them if they would consider forming a Friendship City relationship with Goulburn Mulwaree.
The draft policy is on public exhibition for 28 days.
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