Inagawa, Ballarat’s sister city

August 1, 2019

Some of our Girl Guides from Ballarat have spent a night acknowledging their sisterhood with Japanese Girl Scouts.

GirlGuidesBallarat Sebastopol InagawaAugust 1 is the 31st anniversary of the signing of the official Sister City agreement between Ballarat and Inagawa in 1988. This was instigated by Mayor Neil Steinman and is one of the longest standing sister-city agreements since the program was established.  The purpose of the agreement was to facilitate educational and cultural exchanges, and to investigate commercial opportunities.

The link was originally established based on geological similarities :

  • rich gold mining deposits found in Ballarat
  • silver ore deposits located in Inagawa

Many groups of city officials, school students, teachers, Girl Guides and community groups have visited each other’s cities over these years. A delegation of girls and Leaders from ‘Troop 17 of Hyogo Council’ visit Ballarat every 5 years. The Japanese Guides, like Australian Guides, are all members of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). We are fortunate to have hosted our Guiding friends in our city, in our homes, and in our Guide Units for the last 15 years.  We have organised many activities to teach the Inagawa guests about Guiding in Australia and to show them the highlights of Ballarat.

Tonight, our Guides enjoyed activities including:

  • decorating peg dolls in kimonos
  • playing Japanese games left as gifts from the most recent visit in 2017
  • making origami kimonos
  • comparing the Japanese Promise and Law to the Australian versions
  • learning to sing taps in Japanese (videoed and shared with our Japanese friends)
  • a word-find of Japanese items

Four of our current Guides were host families to the Japanese Guides who visited in 2017, and one Leader hosted in 2012.



Details of visits by the Girl Scouts of Japan Troop 17 of Hyogo:

Japanese Pines

Japanese Pine 2014Three trees were planted at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens in 2004 to commemorate the visit of a delegation from Inagawa with a plaque that reads:

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

These three Japanese pines commemorate the visit of the delegation from Inagawa-cho, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, Ballarat`s sister city since 1988.
October 27 2004

Image References: Monument Australia

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