Sister City relationships explored in new book International Connections

Latrobe City Council welcomed the book release of International Connections at the official launch held at Council Headquarters on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

International Connections was written by Andrew Wrathall and explores the history of Council’s sister city relationships with Takasago in Japan and Taizhou in China.

The book celebrates the 20-year anniversary of the sister city agreements. The stories presented in the book provide an insight into the many ways that Council’s sister cities have brought people from different cultures together and benefited from the experience.

Council’s sister city relationships have helped provide education and training programs, teacher and student exchanges, trade arrangements and business projects.

International Connections goes into detail about the sister cities, including a history of the municipality and the historical background leading up to the sister city agreements. The book also provides insight into some of the programs developed over two decades after the agreements were formed and how each city has worked together to cultivate beneficial relationships.

Mayor of Latrobe City Council, Councillor Darren Howe, said the sister city partnerships provide many great opportunities for the Latrobe City community.

“Council is excited to have commissioned International Connections and we are grateful to community members who have taken time to be interviewed by the author,” said the Mayor.

“I had the pleasure of visiting Takasago in Japan five years ago and enjoyed the cultural learnings. Takasago is also a major industrial area in the region including paper, steel, machinery, ceramics, chemicals and power generation.

“Meeting with representatives also provided greater understandings of benefits to local communities, in relation to how commercial projects are embedded into everyday life.”

Author of International Connections, Andrew Wrathall, said he enjoyed writing the book and telling a history that isn’t recorded anywhere else.

“For this book, I interviewed over 30 people. In my opinion, I didn’t write this book, the people I interviewed wrote the book. This is your book and your story,” said Mr Wrathall.

“Some history was unknown by anyone else. I found that there was a sister city between the City of Moe and Brookfield in Chicago, which is famous for its zoo.”

International Connections is available by request to Council.

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