24 February 2020
The Sister Cities and Friendly Relationships Program received a boost last Wednesday night with Gunnedah Shire Councillors offering their official endorsement.
Councillors allocated a budget of $20,000 for the 2019/20 financial year, to be indexed annually in the future. Local organisations can access these funds to support new initiatives that develop relationships with Gunnedah’s sister cities.
Gunnedah Shire currently has sister city partnerships with Lane Cove and Northern Beaches in Sydney and an international agreement with the Yinzhou District of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey said “It’s an exciting opportunity for local schools, volunteering cultural groups and businesses, and I’m sure that Gunnedah will embrace this chance to strengthen our community and celebrate cultural diversity within the shire.”
Clr Owen Hasler also commented on the benefits of the project to the community, “As our Shire continues to grow and employers struggle to fill vacancies we are seeing population growth from new residents from other nations. This new program aims to bring together interest groups in each city, facilitating an understanding between people and cultures and forging mutual opportunities for cross-cultural growth”.
Grants are awarded for amounts up to $5,000, with additional funding available for organisations that make a 25% or greater co-contribution.
Councillors have also approved an expansion of the Program’s Working Group membership to enhance community representation and consultation throughout the grant process. The working group brings together local schools, volunteer and cultural groups, businesses and other interested parties to maximise the benefits from existing agreements with an eye to building new community alliances.
The expanded working group will comprise of 3 Councillors, up to 4 representatives from all schools in the Gunnedah Shire, a representative of Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce, a representative from an interested Volunteer Group and a general representative from the community. Expressions of interest for the working group can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for grants will be called for twice a year. The inaugural round is now open and will close Monday 16th March 2020. Applicants must complete an application form, which are available below:
Photo caption: Clr Pam Palmer, Mayor of Lane Cove Council and Clr Rob Hooke, Deputy Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council at a Lane Cove Fundraiser.
Media Contact: Eliza Gallen 6740 2100.