The City of Cockburn will approach the Shire of Carnarvon in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region, and the Japanese City of Hiroshima with a view to establishing friendship and sister city agreements.
With agricultural and fishing pursuits in common, Cockburn will approach the Shire of Carnarvon to gauge interest in entering into a friendship arrangement.
The North-West shire was chosen due to the potential for mutual benefits for both areas, but Cockburn will also maintain contact with the Shire of Pingelly in the southern Wheatbelt, by continuing to offer mentoring assistance on an ad hoc basis, when requested.
If the City receives a favourable response from Hiroshima in Japan’s southwest, a recommendation will be presented to Cockburn Council to consider formalising a Sister City arrangement.
The City’s Sister Cities Reference Group favoured Hiroshima over the inland Japanese city of Konosu due to Cockburn’s long-established ties with Hiroshima.
This year, Cockburn held its 36th annual Hiroshima Day tree planting ceremony with local schools in the name of peace.
The annual tradition began following a Cockburn council decision on 1 July 1986 when the idea was proposed by the late Don Miguel OAM - Freeman of the City and former Cockburn Mayor – and former Cockburn councillor and Deputy Mayor Nola Waters, who attended the 2021 tree planting at Bishop Park.
School children have planted hundreds of trees at numerous local parks over the years, beginning with the planting of Japanese cherry blossoms near Peace Park on Friendship Way at the junction of Adela Place and Spearwood Avenue.
The annual event is always attended by the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth. Both cities also support strong marine-related industries.
Cockburn already has Sister City Relationships with the Croatian city of Split, Yueyang in China and Mobile in the USA.
Mayor Logan Howlett said each relationship celebrated historical links and promoted cross-cultural understanding.
“We are committed to establishing and maintaining effective relationships with international cities, WA local government cities and shires, and Australian national government cities and shires,” Mayor Howlett said.
A tribute to the City of Cockburn's Sister City relationship with the Croatian city of Split appears as a wall sculpture on Spearwood Avenue, also known as Friendship Way. Dobro Dosli means Welcome in Croatian.