Issue 2, Autumn 2006 [ PDF 442 KB] - ACT Government

Issue 2, Autumn 2006 [ PDF 442 KB] - ACT Government

Canberra - Nara



Nara’s Tezukayama and Canberra’s St Monica’s become Sister Schools

To mark the 2006 Year of Exchange, 22 students from Tezukayama primary school visited

Canberra. In March this year the group was hosted by St Monica’s Primary School. Committee

member Mike Hodgkin, and his wife Anne Hodgkin, who is the Japanese teacher at St

Monica’s, have been in touch with Tezukayama for many years. The signing of a Sister School

agreement between the two schools was

one of the highlights of the visit which also

included a warm reception from Chief

Minister Jon Stanhope and the planting of a

tree at Nara Grove.

President’s note

Acknowledgement of John Agnew OAM

Together Department of Education and

Training Chief Executive Michele Bruniges,

and Tezukayama Primary School Principal

Shunichi Hori, plant a eucalypt at Nara Grove

to celebrate the signing of a Sister School

agreement between St Monica’s Primary

School and Nara’s Tezukayama Primary School

in March 2006.

The following ACT Government schools have established Sister School relationships with

schools in Nara:

• Gordon Primary - Tokiwa Kindergarten

• Ainslie Primary - Tsubai Primary

• Telopea Park - Heijo Higashi High

• Calwell High - Heijo/Nishi

• Campbell Primary - Tomio Minami Primary

• Campbell High - Chouku High

• Forrest Primary - Meiiji Primary

• Kambah High - Takamodo High

• Farrer Primary - Seibi Primary

• Stromlo High - Ichijo Junior High

The Canberra-Nara Sister

City Committee was formed

to continue the process

of facilitating contact and

friendship in all areas,

suggesting and initiating

new projects and advising

the ACT Government on

ways to effectively support

contacts between the two


The Canberra community

can play a part through

the ‘Friends of Nara’, open

to every person interested

in promoting international

friendship through the

Canberra-Nara Sister City


John died on Wednesday 29 March 2006, after an

energetic and spirited battle with cancer. The funeral

took place on Saturday 1 April 2006 at the Mitchell

Crematorium. John’s wife Naida Blackley, formerly the

music teacher at Stromlo High and has replaced John as the

Acting Principal of the ACT Government’s Instrumental Music


On behalf of the Sister City Committee, I extend my deepest

sympathy to Naida, Elizabeth, Brendon and David.

Terry Newman

John Agnew OAM

Canberra Nara Sister Cities

GPO Box 158

Canberra ACT 2601


Tel: 61 2 6207 5378

Fax: 61 2 6205 1573


Canberra - Nara Shimbun

News from Nara

Year of Exchange Officer, Rani Austin and Canberra Museum and Gallery

Curator Emma Epstein travelled to Nara 21 - 28 May in preparation for 2006

Year of Exchange events. The ACT Government will exhibit a selection of its

world-class Studio One print collection at the Nara City Museum of Art 6 - 17

September 2006. This exhibition will also showcase Canberra and the Sister

City relationship with Nara.

Visits to three Nara schools further consolidated educational ties with Nara

and helped to progress plans for the visit of 42 students from Nara University

High School for the Canberra Nara Candle Festival in October. Students will

be hosted by Dickson College, Copland College, Lake Ginninderra College,

Campell High School and Kaleen High School.

Gifts were exchanged and certificates of appreciation were presented to those

who contributed to the 2005 Candle Festival. Rani and Emma met briefly with

Mayor Fujiwara, representatives of the Nara Japan-Australia Society and Kyotobased

Canberra artist Jorg Schmeisser.

Photo courtesy of Eventpix

Canberra Nara Candle Festival

On Saturday 21 October thousands

of candles will be lit as part of a

celebration of Japanese and Australian

culture. An annual event held at

sunset in Canberra Nara Park (Lennox

Gardens), the Candle Festival also

offers an entertaining program of

cultural activities, demonstrations and


If you are keen to be involved in the Festival as a

volunteer, concession holder or participant, please visit

What’s on

ANU Kabuki 2006

Street Theatre, Australia National University,


27, 28 July. Bookings: 6247 1223.

Tsugaru: Soul and Beat of Japan

Llewelyn Hall, Australia National University,


20 August.

Bookings: Canberra Ticketing 6275 2700

Canberra Nara Sister City Committee

President Terry Newman

Editor Rani Austin

Deadline next issue: 15 August 2006

Year of Exchange Events

A group of lively street performers with stunning acrobatic and musical skills

delighted lunch time crowds in Garema Place on 25 May. These performers are

keeping alive the dynamic Japanese folklife tradition of ‘Chindon Ya’.

At Craft ACT (25 May – 2 July) the stunning exhibition Traditions & Departures

highlighted Japanese influences in Australian craft and design.

On 15 June, Prime Minister John

Howard joined the Ambassador

of Japan to launch a touring

exhibition at the High Court of

Australia. Partners in a New

Vision: Australia and Japan Across

Time is a photographic exhibition

that tells the story of Australian

- Japanese relations from the early

nineteenth century until today.

Canberra audiences were

Princess of the Moon

enthralled by a stunning night

of opera on16 June at Llewellyn

Hall. The Tokyo Opera Production’s ‘Princess of the Moon’, brought together

internationally acclaimed maestros with the crème of Canberra’s musical talent.

Composed and directed by Japan’s critically acclaimed conductor, Hideaki Hirai,

the contemporary opera was inspired by a classic Japanese folktale.

An enchanting musical performance by acclaimed composer Youmi Kimura on

4 July at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre brought warmth to a cold

Canberra evening. The acclaimed singer and lyre performer became famous

in 2001 with her song ‘Always With Me’, the closing theme to the Academy

Award winning animation film Spirited Away.


Canberra - Nara Shimbun

Making connections

Canberra Bonsai Society (CBS)

has recently established direct

contact with the Nara Branch of

the Nippon Bonsai Association.

His April trip to Nara gave John

Lamb the opportunity to meet with

Nara Branch members in Yamato

Koriyama. John presented a letter

of introduction and a folder of

information about the activities of

the CBS to Mr Tsukamoto. Check

out the CBS website for more


John Lamb, Canberra Bonsai Society

Among Mr Tsukamoto’s Bonsai was

this 300 year old Japanese yew tree

(Taxaceae) seen here from the rear.

Photo courtesy of Eventpix

Our Cities Celebrations

Sentosai – the Moving of the Capital

– is one of Nara’s many annual

festivals. The event marks the

establishment of Nara as Japan’s first

permanent capital. In 2010 Nara

celebrates the 1300th anniversary of

this event! To mark this occasion, the

city of Nara is building a replica of

the first main palace on the original

Nara Palace site.

Canberra’s first centenary in 2013 will

also be an opportunity for the city to

celebrate its history and achievements.

To find out more about plans visit

Canberra Nara Sister Cities

GPO Box 158

Canberra ACT 2601


Tel: 61 2 6207 5378

Fax: 61 2 6205 1573

Teacher exchange

I have been fortunate to have nine months exchange teaching at Nara’s Ichijo

Senior High School. Ichijo has an exemplary English program with a strong

community atmosphere, which has been good to experience.

Beyond school, there was even more to delight in. Japanese history, culture

and society are fascinating, with myriad aspects to decipher, absorb and

understand. Not surprisingly, some are only dimly perceived at the end of nine

months! More please sir!

One aspect of Japan that I have really enjoyed is my abacus class. I have been

dedicated about my Soroban Club; which is perhaps how Japanese do things.

It has done wonders for my mental arithmetic and may help some of my Aussie

students in the future.

My hiking club was an excellent way to meet Japanese people and, as we

often went to an onsen and then out to dinner after each hike, a great way

to see a lot more of Japan besides the national parks. It was there, talking

to my Japanese friends, that I developed a real fascination with the Japanese


It has been a professionally and personally enlivening time. And most

importantly, the bonds of friendship have grown stronger in Nara, Canberra’s

sister city.

Steve Galliford

Exchange teacher at Ichijo High School

Left to Right: Nara Municipal Ichijo Senior

High School Principal Mr Sakai Shigeharu,

with Rani Austin, Steve Galliford, Emma

Epstein and Rie Kotani.


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