1998 Citizen's Delegaton to Nara

On the invitation of former Mayor of Nara, Mr Yasunori Ohkawa, then Chief Minister Ms Kate Carnell MLA led a cultural delegation to Nara in honour of the fifth anniversary of the sister city relationship and the centennial anniversary year of Nara's municipality.

From 21 - 27 October 1998, the 250-strong delegation of Canberra citizens participated in a range of civic functions, cultural and sporting events and sightseeing. The delegation included performers, artists, sporting groups and private citizens.

Then Mayor of Nara, Mr Yasunori Ohkawa hosted an elaborate welcome event comprising a civic reception and dinner function. Entertainment included the Torres Strait Island Dance Company, and Irish folk singer Cassidy Buxton accompanied by guitarist Peter Richens.

A visual art exhibition by Canberra artists was held in the Nara Life Long Learning Centre, making it the inaugural exhibition in the newly-constructed Centre. The Chief Minister presented Mayor Ohkawa and the citizens of Nara with the official gift from Canberra City, a collection of 21 photogrphs of Canberra by local artists.

One of the highlights of the visit was Nara's ‘Friendship Markets’. The event, 'Canberra Day in Nara', was attended by over 8000 who enjoyed Australian entertainment including dance, comedy, pantomime and music. Various stalls and displays promoted Canberra products and the region. Canberra visual artists also showcased their art work at the event.

A friendly soccer match between the Junior Belwest ACT select and Nara select teams resulted in a win to Nara. The ACT team were billeted and hosted by the Nara Junior Soccer Association.

The delegates attended an official anniversary dinner on their last night in Nara. Speeches by the Mayor of Nara and Chief Minister, committed to maintaining the strength of sister city relations and concluded with an invitation from the Chief Minister to the Mayor to visit Canberra for the official opening of Canberra-Nara Park.

Groups Participating


Canberra High School

Copeland College

St Francis Xavier College

Stromlo High School

Telopea Park High School

Artists, performers & sporting representatives

ACT Belwest Select Junior Soccer Team

ACT Senior Concert Band

Amelia Fielden

Cassidy Buxton & Peter Richens


Full Tilt Performance Troupe

Guides ACT

Jorg & Keiko Schmeisser

John Reid

Kin Harvey School of Dance

Leslie McIntyre

Soccer Canberra

Studio One

Tang Wu Do Karate


Torres Strait Island Dance Company


Supporting organisations

Ansett Australia Airlines (main sponsor)

Canberra Nara Sister City Committee


Win TV

Official Party

Kate Carnell MLA, Chief Minister

Simon Latimer, Senior Adviser

Alan Thompson, Chief Executive, Chief Minister's Department

Brian Jones, Chair Canberra Nara Sister City Committee

Jim Murphy, Chair, CanTrade

Air Marshall David Evans, Chair National Capital Authority

Mrs Evans

James Service, Chair CTEC

David Marshall, CEO CTEC

Sue Dobinson