What’s Been Happening
Two local students, Emma Forsythe and Sophia Turner, fought off the competition to take part in the Council’s 2012 Sister Cities Student Exchange Programme.
Having attained the highest scores, from over twenty applicants, Emma and Sophia flew out this morning to Gilbert, in Phoenix, Arizona. They will spend three weeks experiencing the American way of life staying with their host family. We look forward to hearing their wonderful tales and fascinating stories on their return.
At the end of the three weeks two students, Malea Lunt and Sara Siadat, from Gilbert will return with Emma and Sophia to be home-hosted in Newtownabbey. During their stay, they will have an opportunity to closely experience the culture and customs of Northern Ireland in ways not available to a casual visitor and make lifelong friends by living with the family of their exchange student.
In 2010 the Council accepted a beautiful piece of art from the Mayors of Dorsten and Rybnik in recognition of our 50th Anniversary and our Town Twinning links with Dorsten and Rybnik.
The sculpture is made from 200 year old wood which had been reclaimed from an old farm house in Dorsten. From the pictures you can see the fine workmanship that has gone into making this gift and the care and patience it has taken to carve the various symbols into the wood. We have the Newtownabbey Flax Flower, The Dorsten Coat of Arms, The Rybnik Coat of Arms, Joined Hands representing Friendship, a Snake representing Guardianship, Water signifying New Life and Wisdom and many more.
Twinned Together in Music Event
The evening was designed as a celebration through music, food, song and dance and involved the three towns coming together with performances from musicians from Newtownabbey, Dorsten and Rybnik.
Twins 2010 Youth In Action Project
The Youth In Action Project ran from 2007 to 2010 and provided young people from Newtownabbey, Dorsten and Rybnik with the opportunity to participate in civic engagement and be encouraged to contribute towards policy and administrative decisions within the political arena. The project involved each twinned town hosting a conference as a forum for the young people to have their voices heard.
21 young people from across Newtownabbey and 38 young people from Dorsten and Rybnik participated in the conferences.
The project has been recognised as one of the most successfully delivered projects for young people across Europe. Project promoters in Frankfurt, commended the Youth in Action Project for all its achievements and the project is now being used as a show case for best practice across other Twinned Towns.
A Taste of Twinning
As part of Europe day celebrations in 2008 the Council launched an international recipe book A Taste of Twinning which includes recipes from Newtownabbey Dorsten and Rybnik.
Student Exchange Programme
This programme commenced in 2000 and has continued successfully year on year. It is a cross - community Youth Exchange Programme providing opportunities for young people to explore the differing cultures of both America and Northern Ireland. The programme sends two local teenagers to Gilbert, Arizona for three weeks and two American teenagers to Newtownabbey for three weeks. The students promote their own towns to local schools and community groups and highlight how young people live and contribute to the development of their home towns.
If you would like the opportunity to participate on the programme visit our Student Exchange page for an application form or contact Carol Shane at
The Rodeo Comes To Town
Special guest appearance at the 2008 Ballyclare Mayfair from Gilbert’s rodeo riders.