The ties that bind
Sydney has 6 sister cities around the world that share significant historical, cultural, social or geographic similarities with Sydney. The City's guidelines for sister city relationships outline the program's main objectives, which are to:
- extend the hand of friendship overseas on a person-to-person basis
- perpetuate an understanding between people and cultures
- bring together similar interest groups in each city
- provide a forum for the exchange of sister city experiences
- extend the level of contacts through all sectors of the community
- develop economic, trade, cultural, educational and other beneficial exchanges.
San Francisco, US
The long link between Sydney and San Francisco was formally recognised in 1968 to strengthen civic, cultural, business, trade, tourism and sporting ties between the 2 ports on opposite sides of the Pacific. In 1977, cooperation between gay activists in both cities started the first Sydney Gay Mardi Gras the following year.
Sydney and Nagoya signed a sister city relationship in 1980. The cities have since seconded staff trainees and supported reciprocal visits by school rugby union teams, bands and dance ensembles. The City also supports the student exchange agreement between educational authorities and is involved in the sister zoo relationship between Taronga Zoo and Nagoya Higashiyama Zoo.
Wellington, New Zealand
Since signing a sister city agreement in 1983, Sydney and the capital city of New Zealand have focused the relationship on trade and business matters.
In 1787, Arthur Phillip led what was to become known as the First Fleet from Portsmouth's harbour. The following year the boats entered Port Jackson and the European settlement of Sydney began. In 1984, to commemorate this link, Sydney and Portsmouth signed a sister city agreement to develop and perpetuate economic, trading, cultural, educational and sporting links.
The Sydney-Guangzhou sister city relationship, one of the City's most important and enduring partnerships, was founded on 12 May 1986. To celebrate and further develop the partnership's 30th anniversary in 2016, the City held a program of events in Guangzhou from Monday 30 May to Thursday 2 June 2016.
In 1993, Sydney signed its most recent sister city agreement, with the Tuscan city of Florence.
The City of Sydney has friendship city relationships with 5 cities around the world – involvement is not as high as a sister city relationship. The first friendship city agreement was signed with Paris in 1998, followed by Athens and Berlin in 2000. Dublin became a friendship city 2 years later. The City and Wuhan, China signed a friendship city agreement in 2015.
Protocol Project Coordinator
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Last updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2016