Kogarah City Council has established two sister city relationships which are designed to encourage cultural, economic and educational interchange between communities. Kogarah's sister cities are regional New South Wales town Cowra Shire and Ma'anshan in the People's Republic of China. Kogarah has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shunde in the People's Republic of China.
These relationships also encourage friendship, cooperation and understanding to improve peaceful coexistence worldwide.
Cowra Shire is located in central New South Wales, 310 kilometres drive due west of Sydney. Cowra covers 2,800sq km and it is located between the council areas of Blayney, Cabonne, Forbes, Weddin, Young and Boorowa Shires. Cowra Shire includes a number of small villages such as Billimari, Darbys Falls, Gooloogong, Morongla, Noonbinna, Wattamondara, Woodstock and Wyangala. Cowra's landscape varies from river flats to slopes, rolling hills and some rugged wilderness areas.
Like Kogarah, Cowra is a multicultural melting pot, with at least 50 different cultures making up its community. Cowra hosts an Annual Festival of International Understanding which embraces and celebrates this diversity.
Some of the many attractions within Cowra Shire cover the arts, entertainment, cuisine, history and recreation. These include Australia's World Peace Bell, an Italian Friendship Monument, Cowra Prisoner of War Camp which is listed as one of the top heritage sites in NSW, Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries, a Japanese Garden and Wyangala Waters State Park.
Ma'anshan is located in the east of the Anhui Province in the People's Republic of China. It is an industrial city stretching across the Yangtze River, bordering Hefei to the west, Wuhu to the southwest, and Nanjing to the east.
The south bank of the Yangtze River from Ma'anshan upstream for 240km has long been a mining area. The main industry in Ma'anshan is the steel industry which employs much of the city's workforce.
The name 'Ma'anshan' means 'horse saddle mountain'. According to legend, the name came to be when the Western Chu hegemon Xiang Yu was fleeing from the Battle of Gaixia. Rather than be captured, the defeated general killed himself at the area now known as Ma'anshan after ensuring that his beloved horse would be ferried across the river to safety. Upon seeing his master die, the grief-stricken horse leapt into the river and drowned. As a tribute, the boatman buried the horse's saddle on a nearby hill, giving Ma'anshan its name.
Just west of Ma'anshan, there is a memorial to Li Bai, a famous Chinese poet. Li Bai is said to have drowned at Ma'anshan after attempting to embrace a reflection of the moon. There is a statue of Li Bai in the Kogarah Local Government Area which was a gift from the Ma'anshan Municipal Government (website is in Chinese). The statue is featured at Ma'anshan Friendship Park in South Hurstville. The park, which has a Chinese garden design, was opened by Kogarah City Council in September 2009 to mark the sister city relationship between Kogarah and Ma'anshan.
The Kogarah Town Square Library and Cultural Centre which was opened in 2005 has in its collection many books on Ma'anshan and China that have been donated by the Ma'anshan Government.
Today, Kogarah and Ma'anshan have forged a mutually beneficial working relationship which promotes the positive aspects of both communities and allows each city to learn from the other.
Kogarah and Shunde signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010. Shunde, covering an area of 806km2, is located at the core of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangzhou to the north, Zhongshan to the south, and is close to Hong Kong and Macao. Shunde has a population of 2.46 million and there are more than 500,000 people from Shunde currently living abroad.
Shunde governs ten administrative towns (sub-districts), including 200 administrative villages (residential communities). In 2011 the GDP of Shunde reached almost 227 billion Yuan, an increase of 12.4% from the previous year.
Shunde is home to manufacturers of household appliances, machinery equipment, electronic information, textile and garments, fine chemicals, packaging and printing, furniture, health and medicine and automobile components. Shunde is also actively cultivating new strategic industries with a focus on new electronic information, new energy, new material, environmentally-friendly equipment, biological medicine and materials networking.
Shunde is a city which boasts unique cultural customs. It is known as the home of Opera Arts, Chefs in China, Dragon Boats and the City of Cuisine. Qinghui Garden, Bijiang Gold-coated House and Xishan Temple in Shunde highlight the City's ancient Lingnan culture.
Shunde has a well established public infrastructure system that includes the fields of education, medical treatment, culture and sports, public transport, aged care and public housing. Shunde also has various entertainment and sports facilities that include the Art Performing Centre, New Library, museums and a free public sports park.
In recent years Shunde has established friendly relationships with international cities. These include San Francisco in the United States of America, Edmonton in Canada and Kogarah in NSW, Australia. Shunde has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with each of these cities.