Global City and Multicultural Expert Panel

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Minute by the Lord Mayor

To Council:

The City has developed a vision to position Sydney as a ‘Green, Global, Connected’ international city to lift its overall competitiveness worldwide. This vision, expressed through Sustainable Sydney 2030, our Economic Strategy Action Plan, and our suite of policies and strategies, has attracted strong support, and generated noticeable benefits for our communities and businesses.

Over the years, with a strong track record of promoting Sydney’s leading role in a global context, we have made great achievements by working with other international cities, especially in areas of sustainable development, creative and innovation industries, music and performing arts industries, and international education.

Our engagement in international networks, especially our partnerships with the C40 and 100 Resilient Cities, has shown our strong commitment and leading role in addressing climate change. These partnerships also offer opportunities to learn from other member cities. The City is also a member of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, and the World Cities Cultural Forum.

The City’s vibrant Sister City and Friendship City relationships have achieved fruitful outcomes and have received strong community and business recognition and support.

Our relationship with leading international cities, such as the six Sister Cities including San Francisco and Guangzhou, and six Friendship Cities including Chicago and Wuhan, also create opportunities for cultural and knowledge exchange between our multi-cultural communities.

We also have connected with a number of international cities via the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival and now the Sydney Lunar Festival - a bridge to bring our Asian communities closer into our city life.

With more than 200 nationalities living in our area, Sydney has a strong multicultural residential and business community who contribute to the City’s prosperity, culture and resilience through their diversity and international networks. 54.9 per cent of local residents were born overseas, of which 36 per cent came from a country where English is not the first language. 41.3 per cent of local residents speak a language other than English at home. The dominant non-English languages spoken at home are Mandarin (11.3 per cent), Thai (3.6 per cent) and Cantonese (3.3 per cent).

Celebrating and nurturing our communities and valuing the people-to-people connections strengthen Sydney and Australia’s place and influence in the Asia Pacific region and globally.

The City is currently undertaking community consultation on its next Community Strategic Plan, Sustainable Sydney 2050. This involves technical studies and research, including an Economic Futures study, a Green/Circular Economy study, Smart Cities Strategic Framework, Camperdown Ultimo Innovation Precinct Study, Transport Futures, amongst many others.

As the 2050 work progresses, and strategic directions become clearer, it will be timely for the City to consider the potential contribution that a Global City and Multicultural Expert Panel could make.

Alongside our existing Retail Advisory, Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory panels, this panel would provide high-level strategic advice on matters related to international engagement and our own diverse multicultural communities.

It could offer support for business across priority sectors including retail, tourism, creative industries, tech start-ups, night-time, international education, and emerging sectors like the green economy. It could help the city improve our multi-lingual communications practices and expand our reach into multicultural communities.

The Panel would also help in the identification of networks to enhance Sydney’s global positioning and connectivity, creating opportunities for trade and investment, and generating invaluable cultural and knowledge exchange to accelerate Sustainable Sydney 2030 – and inform Sustainable Sydney 2050.

It would play an invaluable role in enhancing the work of the city to connect with our multicultural communities and best utilise the City’s rich resources in international engagement to leverage Sydney’s status as a global city.

Overall, a Global City and Multicultural Expert Panel would assist the City to:

(a)        position Sydney globally;

(b)        strengthen the City’s international networks; and

(c)         strengthen connections within and to Sydney’s multicultural communities.


It is resolved that the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(A)        develop Terms of Reference for a Global City and Multicultural Expert Panel in consultation with Council;

(B)        call for members of a Global City and Multicultural Expert Panel through an Expression of Interest; and

(C)       report back to Council.


Lord Mayor

Moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Kok –

That the minute by the Lord Mayor be endorsed and adopted.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 13/05/2019

Date of decision: 13/05/2019

Decided at meeting: 13/05/2019 - Council

Accompanying Documents: