Since 1988, Gosford City has enjoyed sister city relationships with Edogawa, Japan and Nitra, Slovakia.
Sister city relationships increase the knowledge and appreciation of foreign cultures to members of the community and encourage the exchange of cultural and sporting information between people and nations.
Nitra is situated 80 kilometres from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and has a population of approximately 86,000 people. It is well known for its tourism attractions including Nitra Castle, unique flora and fauna, and many vineyards.
Nitra is a historic city which dates back to the 10th century - in 1930, Nitra celebrated their 900th year of incorporation. Nitra was chosen as Gosford's sister city in an attempt to break down the barriers of fear and ignorance between the east and west, and also for its similarities with Gosford. The sister city committee first visited Nitra in 1987 - since then, a number of educational exchanges with students have taken place.
Gosford has hosted two official delegations from Nitra. In 2008, they visited Gosford to participate in the Australian Sister Cities Conference, held at Ettalong Beach. In 2012 a delegation from Gosford visited Nitra to reaffirm the relationship.
The Nitra delegation’s visit in 2013 was to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of the relationship. It provided an opportunity to celebrate this milestone for both cities, and commemorate with activities such as a tree planting and a celebratory luncheon. It also encouraged discussions on building on the relationship between the two cities and plans for the future.
The Gosford Sister City Association has a strong relationship with Nitra in home stay exchanges. Members enjoy the opportunity to host and be hosted, building experiences, cultural awareness and creating new friendships.
Edogawa City is located in the eastern part of Tokyo Metropolis, bordered with the Chiba Prefecture along the Edogawa River and with Tokyo Bay to the South. It has an area of 49 square kilometres and a population of just over 650,000. Edogawa City has approximately 25,000 businesses operating in the city and seven rivers flow through the city limits.
The Gosford-Edogawa Commemorative Garden in Webb Street, East Gosford, is a gift to the City of Gosford from the people of Edogawa. The garden was officially opened in 1994. The garden is open seven days a week from 9.30 am - 4.30 pm and entry is free.
In April 2005, Gosford City Council hosted its first major delegation of Councillors from Edogawa, hosting nine members of the Edogawa City Assembly and one senior staff member.
A successful element of the Sister City relationship is the Edogawa Youth Wing program. This group exchanges students between the two cities and has been active for a number of years. The visit offers an opportunity for many local students and their families to enjoy the sister city experience. The objective for students is to learn about the different cultures, build on their language skills and make new friends. Most recently, Narara Valley High School have hosted the Youth Wing students and their leaders.
In recognition of the successful, community oriented relationship between Gosford and Edogawa, the Australian Sister Cities Association presented the Award for Overall Program to Gosford-Edogawa at their national conference in 2005.
Gosford Council works closely with the Gosford Sister City Association, Society of Asian Pacific (SOAP) Gosford Branch and Edogawa City to ensure our sister city relationship remains strong and prosperous. All parties are actively involved in the relationship and are committed to strengthening the bonds of friendship between our two cities.
Twenty fifth anniversary visit
In 2013, Gosford City celebrated the 25 year anniversary of both Sister City agreements. Gosford invited a delegation from both Edogawa and Nitra to celebrate this important milestone, which was commemorated with activities such as a tree planting and a celebratory luncheon. You can see more of the visit in the below video.