Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne visits Macedon Ranges

Published on 12 April 2021

On Wednesday 31 March, the Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne, Mr Shimada Junji, visited the Macedon Ranges at the invitation of Mayor Cr Jennifer Anderson.

Consul-General Shimada joined Mayor Anderson, Deputy Mayor Cr Mark Ridgeway, Cr Janet Pearce and Council staff for morning tea in Council’s Gisborne office Japanese Garden, before visiting Mt Macedon and Honour Avenue to experience the autumn colours.

A visit to Hanging Rock, followed by lunch at local venue The Wine Collective at Macedon Wine Room, and an afternoon visit to Braemar College rounded out the Macedon Ranges experience.

“It was a pleasure to host Consul-General Shimada and showcase the beauty and colours of the Macedon Ranges during autumn. Macedon Ranges Shire Council has a sister-city agreement with Tokai City in Japan, and we were extremely pleased to welcome Consul-General Shimada,” said Mayor Anderson.

“Taking in not only the natural beauty of places like Honour Avenue and Hanging Rock, with the Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival in full swing this visit was an exciting opportunity to highlight local food, wine and businesses.”

At Braemar College Woodend Campus, Consul-General Shimada was given a guided tour by the College and Middle school captains, gave a short address, and was invited to assist in drawing the Easter raffle for end of term break-up. Braemar offers student’s cultural immersion opportunities, including a student exchange with a sister school in Japan.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council signed a Sister City Relationship Agreement with Tokai City Council, Aichi Prefecture, Japan on 16 October 2014. The aim of the agreement was to promote a mutual understanding and an enduring fellowship and friendship. The two regions enhance the relationship through a variety of events, including the participation in the opening ceremony of Tokai City Arts Theatre and a series of cultural exchanges involving local students, sports clubs, art exhibitions and Council staff.

In 2019, Kyneton sculptor and local gallery owner Larissa Gray was the successful applicant for an art exchange with Tokai. Popular for her bronze and mixed media sculptural pieces that depict iconic Australian animals, Larissa created three bronze artworks which were exhibited in Tokai, Japan.

Council would like to thank Consul-General Shimada for joining us to experience the wonders of the Macedon Ranges and look forward to an ongoing relationship.