The Bundaberg Region has been honoured with the prestigious Sister Cities Australia award for best overall program.
Presented in Perth on Thursday night, the Bundaberg Region also won the accolade for best trade and tourism project.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was a “fantastic achievement” for a regional community to be recognised ahead of capital cities and larger centres.
“These awards have put Bundaberg on the national stage for having the best sister city relationship in Australia,” he said.
“The judges recognised the excellence of our program, especially the economic and cultural benefits it delivers.”
Bundaberg last year celebrated the 20th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Nanning in China.
A delegation travelled to Bundaberg from Nanning in May 2018. They attended an official opening of the refurbished Nanning Gardens and toured local businesses and schools.
In September, Mayor Dempsey led a group of business and community representatives to Nanning where Bundaberg Region produce was displayed in the HangYang Shopping Centre.
The businesses involved were Macadamias Australia, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Bundaberg Rum, Bargara Brewery, AvoFresh and Whole+Some (AustChilli Group), Gin Gin & Dry and Bundaberg Sugar.
Bargara Brewing Company managing director Jack Millbank applauded Council for cultivating the sister city relationship.
“This delegation achieves a broad base to fully showcase everything the region has to offer,” he said.
“A combined group has a louder voice to take our products to world markets.”
Bundaberg State High School string ensemble visited Nanning in 2018 and performed at the official opening of the 20th anniversary celebration and various other events.
Due to the success of this visit, an invitation was extended for a Bundaberg Region schools string ensemble to visit Nanning each year and perform at the International Folk Song Festival, held with the China ASEAN Expo.
Twelve Bundaberg Region students and two teachers are currently in China.
Council’s Sister Cities committee chairman Ross Sommerfeld said the sister cities award was a great honour for the Bundaberg Region.
“Our sister city relationship with Nanning has forged strong cultural and economic links which continue to grow,” he said.
“I’d like to thank Councillors, staff, local businesses, schools and community groups for working together to achieve this success.”