Sister Cities

The Sister City movement is a worldwide organisation which aims to promote friendship, understanding, goodwill and respect through a variety of people-to-people exchange programs. Bundaberg has two (2) sister cities: Nanning and Settsu


Nanning is located in Southern China, about an hour by air, west of Hong Kong. It is the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and is known as the "Green City" because of its many parks and trees. Situated on the Yong River, it experiences a subtropical climate with plentiful rainfall and sunshine. Its average annual temperature is 21.8oC.

For further information about Nanning, visit the official website of the Nanning Municipal Government


Settsu forms part of the extensive prefecture of Osaka, Japan's second biggest city. Formerly a rural city, it has developed into a residential and industrial city with a population of 94,000. The city resembles an "L" shape, stretching some six (6) kilometres west to east and five (5) kilometres north to south. The topography is generally flat, with the Yodo River flowing through the southern part of the city. Settsu enjoys a mild climate throughout its four (4) seasons. For more information about Settsu, visit the Settsu City website

The Agreements

The Agreements with Nanning and Settsu emphasizes the principles of friendship, mutual understanding, goodwill, peace and prosperity and set the direction for exchange programs in the following areas:

  • Civic organisations
  • Professional and youth groups
  • Educational exchanges including "sister school"
  • Communication
  • Cultural exchanges
  • The exchange of city records and exhibitions
  • Sporting exchanges
  • Industrial and commercial exchanges and
  • Exchanges in technology. 

The Nanning Agreement

Council minutes of 22 August 1996, indicate the Mayor of Nanning, Mr Song Fumin, invited the Mayor of Bundaberg to visit his city and this took place in April 1997. The delegation that visited Nanning was led by then Mayor, Cr Nita Cunningham and included business representatives and the press (Mr Noel Baldwin, Mr Terry Piggott, Mr Bevan McGarvie and Mr Ned Makim). The Mayor was authorised by Council to negotiate a Sister City relationship between Bundaberg and Nanning. Mr Piggott had made prior visits to China to study the lychee industry and to bring back specific cultivars for the Bundaberg Area. He initiated and strongly promoted the setting up of a sister city relationship. 

In December 1997, Ms Gao Fang Fang, then Director of the Foreign Affairs Officer of Nanning Municipality, led a small delegation to Bundaberg and continued talks on the formation of a Sister City relationship with members of the April delegation.

In March 1998, Mr Lin Guoquiang was appointed Mayor of Nanning. Enthusiastic about establishing a Sister City relationship, he led a delegation of 10 members to Bundaberg. On May 12 1998, the Sister City Agreement was formalised in the Bundaberg City Council Chambers and signed by then Mayor of Bundaberg, Cr Nita Cunningham and the Mayor of Nanning, Mr Lin Guoquiang. 

View the Agreement: English Version / Chinese Version

The Settsu Agreement

On May 3 1998, a delegation of 34 residents of Settsu, led by the Mayor Mr Kaoru Morikawa, arrived in Bundaberg. The two (2) day visit came about through the good offices of Angela Rehbein (now Kitano) a former resident of Bundaberg, who was teaching English conversation at Councillor Kasuhisa Abe's tutoring school in Settsu. Through him, she met the Mayor, Mr Morikawa, who asked if Bundaberg has a Sister City in Japan. The Mayor of Bundaberg was contacted and discussions regarding a Sister City relationship were held with Councillors. The Director played an important role in promoting the relationship and in setting up the necessary framework in Settsu. The formal agreement between Bundaberg and Settsu was signed later that year on 9 November 1998 in Settsu. 

View the Agreement: English Version / Japanese Version

Friendly Cooperation City - Qinzhou (China) 

Qinzhou is a coastal city located in South Guangzi, standing at the top of Biebu Gulf.  it is the centre of the city cluster of Nanning, Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang, with Nanning City 110 kms to its' north, Beihai City 98 kms to the East and Fangchenggang City 76kms to the West.

Enjoying these advantages, Qinzhou has become the transportation hub of Guangxi Beibu Gulf economic zone, the forefront city of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, as well as the most convenient sea gateway for Southwest China.

Qinzhou Free Trade Port is a category 1 port with 55 productive berths and the channel caters for ships up to 100,000 DWT, making the port capable of handling cargoes up to 53.46 million tonnes.  Cons

truction goes well for 15 berths of 70,000 DWT to 300,000 DWT and the ship channel of 300,000 DWT heading towards Qinzhou Port.  Total handling capacity of the port is estimated to reach 120 million DWT by the end of the 12th five year plan (2011-2015).

The Qinzhou Agreement  

In February 2014, Cr Mal Forman, Mayor of Bundaberg Regional Council, led a trade delegation to Qinzhou.  During the visit, Cr Forman held a talk with the Mayor of Qinzhou, Mr Li Xinyuan to discuss potential trade opportunities between the two cities. 

The two Mayors also discussed the possibility of establishing a Friendly Cooperation City Relationship between Bundaberg and Qinzhou.

Prior to Cr Forman's visit a number of Councillors including Cr Batt, Cr Sommerfeld and Cr Forgan also visited Qinzhou in June 2012.  The former Mayor of Qinzhou, Ms Xiao Yingzi hosted three Councillors at a formal meeting. 

Built upon a strong foundation of friendly government to government exhange activities and discussions, the two Cities formally agreed to establish a Friendly Cooperation City Relationship.  In it's Ordinary Meeting on 22 July 2014, Bundaberg Regional Council voted unanimously in favour of signing the Agreement with Qinzhou.

The official signing ceremony was held in Nanning during 2014 China-ASEAN Expo on September 16.  Cr Forman and Mayor Li signed the Agreement on behalf of their respective Governments.  Cr Bush and Mr Peter Byrne, CEO of Bundaberg Regional Council also attended the ceremony. 

This Friendly City Relationship with Qinzhou will benefit Bundaberg's key industries such as food processing, agribusiness and manufacturing in exporting their products into the Chinese market. 

Visits, Exchange Programs and Special Events

All visits to and from the Sister Cities are self-funded - no subsidy is provided by Council. 


Our Sister City relationship has had significant impact on international education exchanges between Bundaberg and Nanning.

Bundaberg State High School has two sister schools in Nanning, namely the Nanning No. 8 High School and the Nanning No. 4 Vocational High School. BSHS is hoping to host study tour students from both sister schools in the near future.

The Grade 3 & 4 Students from Bundaberg Christian College have formed a pen pal relationship with their counterparts at the Nanning Tiantao Primary School. The eight to ten year olds from both schools have been communicating regularly by exchanging letters and pictures of each other’s region and culture.

TAFE Queensland East Coast (formerly Wide Bay TAFE) established a Sister College relationship with Nanning Vocational and Technical College in 2011. The leaders from both institutions have conducted several reciprocal visits to discuss cooperative vocational education and training programs.

In June 2014, Guangxi University (GXU), the largest comprehensive university in Guangxi Province, hosted an Education Delegation led by Professor Andrew Bridges, Associate Vice Chancellor (Wide Bay and Burnett) of CQUniversity. Situated in the heart of Nanning City, GXU is one of the most prestigious universities in China with a total student population over 80,000.

The two universities signed an Academic Co-operation Agreement which will see a number of English study tour groups from GXU to CQU Bundaberg in 2015 and beyond. 25 students and teachers of each group will be based at the Bundaberg campus for three weeks. The exchange will contribute to the growth of local economy in a number of areas such as accommodation, retail, agriculture and tourism.

Agriculture and Trade

With a similar climate to Bundaberg, Nanning is also rich in agriculture and is one of the largest sugar cane growing areas in China.

In February 2014, A Bundaberg trade delegation led by the Mayor, Cr Mal Forman, visited Nanning. The mission included a number of representatives from local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism industries.

A locally (Coles Engineering) designed and manufactured sugar cane tipper secured a large order from Zhanjian Hanlinyuan Agriculture Science and Technology. The tippers are successfully exported to Nanning and Guangxi and well received by the cane growers.

The Sister City relationship with Nanning also helped Bundaberg Ginger Beer to make a debut in the Chinese market. In April 2014, Nanning based businessman Mr Mo Jianpei purchased one container load (1500 carton boxes) of Bundaberg Ginger Beer product from Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. The company’s famous brewed product arrived at the Qinzhou Free Trade Port two months later and was welcomed by Chinese consumers in Nanning and Guangxi. 

Aviation and Pilot Training

The Bundaberg aviation industry and pilot training programs are also making an impact on trade links between the two cities.

A Bundaberg aviation delegation organised by the Council visited Nanning in June 2014. The group consisted of representatives from Council, CQUniversity and Jet Aircraft Operations (JAO). The purpose of the visit was to investigate potential partnership opportunities with Guangxi University and Nanning Industry Investment Corporation to jointly develop the Nanning General Aviation industry.

A four-way MOU between the four organisations was signed in September 2014 during the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning.   As an outcome of this MOU, from 2015 Bundaberg will host a number of pilot training groups from Nanning. The Bundaberg airport precinct will be used as the training facility for delivering general aviation pilot license course.


With a close proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and its world famous Mon Repos Turtle Discover Centre, Bundaberg has a competitive advantage to attract more Chinese tourists to the region.

Council has been closely working with Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism in promoting local tourism products to the Nanning and wider Chinese markets. The China Ready Program jointly developed by Council and BNBT gives local tourism operators an opportunity to gain necessary Chinese cultural and linguistic understanding and skills, so that they will be ready to host a large number of Chinese tourists in the years ahead.

Local tourism operators and accommodation providers such as Kelly’s Beach Resort, Kacy’s Beach Motel, Mon Repos and Lady Musgrave Island Cruise will be expected to host high school and university students, business people and government officials from Nanning from 2015.

View the schedule of Visits, Exchange Programs and Special Events»

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year Celebration has become one of the most significant cultural events on the Bundaberg Annual Event Calender. This wonderful carnival has been warmly welcomed by the Bundaberg general community over the years.

Since its inauguration in 2008, the event has been strongly supported by both Bundaberg Regional Council and Nanning Municipal People’s Government. Each year, professional singers, dancers and acrobats from Bundaberg’s Sister City Nanning perform at the celebration. Their superb acting of Chinese traditional opera, beautiful dances, and magnificent acrobatics with elegant costumes has been the main attraction of this annual event. 

The 2016 Bundaberg Chinese New Year Celebrations will be held in the Bundaberg CBD on Saturday 13 February 2016 between 3pm and 9pm. 

Sister City Links

Australian Sister Cities Association

For more information about Sister Cities, or how to be involved, contact the Secretary of the Sister Cities Working Group, Kim Ovens on 1300 883 699.

Further Information

More information including Education, Agriculture and Trade, Aviation and Pilot Training as well as Tourism can be found on the Business Bundaberg website.

Terms of Reference

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