Ipswich welcomes guests from sister city Nerima

27 July 2023

Ipswich City Council has officially welcomed guests representing local government and education from its Japanese sister city, Nerima.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan greeted the Mayor of Nerima City, Akio Maekawa, and Deputy Mayor, Yasuko Morita, as part of the Nerima Mayoral Delegation and the 2023 Nerima Board of Education Study Tour that arrived in Ipswich earlier this week.

“This is the first time the Nerima Board of Education Study Tour has been able to return to Ipswich over the past few years since the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Harding said.

“The last visit took place in July 2019, marking the 26th Nerima Board of Education Study Tour visit and coinciding with the 25-year anniversary of the sister city relationship between our two great cities.

“Next year will see Ipswich and Nerima celebrate 30 years of the sister city relationship.

“The sister city agreement was signed on 15 October in 1994 and we look forward to celebrating the major milestone when the Nerima Board of Education Study Tour visit Ipswich again next year.

“It is with immense pride and joy that we celebrate the unique opportunities, strong friendship, and shared interests of Ipswich and Nerima that has been fostered over the years.

“Nerima is Ipswich’s longest and most active sister city relationship. The agreement has facilitated education, business, sporting and cultural exchanges.

“For many of us here in Ipswich, we continually remember and acknowledge the significance of our relationship with the Nerima Gardens in our historic Queens Park. The gardens celebrate everything that makes our relationship special and help to share cultural knowledge for the benefit of all.

“Our ties with Nerima have transcended geographical boundaries, fostering a deep sense of friendship and understanding between our cultures.

“Nerima City has always been very supportive of Ipswich from participating in the local Ipswich Festival parades to supporting our city through difficult times such as the 2011 floods.

“Nerima City places a high value on the relationship and follows events here in Ipswich closely and for that the people of Ipswich are always thankful of those ties and look forward to continuing for many decades to come.”

Mayor Harding said the Nerima Study Tour teachers and students are being hosted by local schools, including Ipswich State High School, Bremer State High School, Redbank Plains State High School, Woodcrest State College and Bundamba State Secondary College.

“Many families from these schools accommodating the teachers and students via the homestay program allows our Nerima guests to become more familiar with the English language and our way of life both at home and in the classroom,” Mayor Harding said.

“We hope that many of the Nerima students return to Ipswich in the future and study at our universities or simply come back on a holiday.

“I also hope that our Ipswich students and families have the opportunity to visit Nerima and further experience their culture as the Nerima students have experienced ours.

“I’d like to thank the Nerima Board of Education Study Tour and Education Queensland International for hosting a farewell function at Ipswich State High School.”