Changchun and Warrnambool became sister cities on August 26, 2012.
Yuan Yushu, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Changchun Municipal Committee, and Jacinta Anne Ermacora, Mayor of Warrnambool, signed the agreement on behalf of the two cities.
Warrnambool is the largest city in the Great Ocean Road region, located 263km south-west of Melbourne, approximately a 3 hour drive via Geelong on the Princes Highway or Hamilton Highway. Or if you choose to come along the Great Ocean Road, allow approximately 5.5 hours driving time.
Warrnambool City Council is a municipality in south western Victoria with a population of almost 34,000 people (ABS, June 2010). Warrnambool is the largest city in the Great Ocean Road region, and Victoria’s largest coastal city (outside Port Phillip Bay). A rapidly growing regional centre, the city provides retail, professional, educational, social and health services to a regional catchment of approximately 100,000 people.
Over the past five years, Warrnambool has had an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, or 574 persons each year.
Warrnambool has a moderate climate with an average maximum summer temperature of 22°C, while the average winter maximum is 14°C.
Warrnambool is a key industry centre in the region, generating a GRP of approximately $1.6 billion and accounting for over 20% of the Great South Coast region’s economic output from less than 1% of the land area.
Warrnambool is a major employment base with significant dairy and meat processing factories along with a range of industries which service agricultural enterprises.
Strong labour force growth and a steady unemployment rate reflect a positive labour market and job prospects in the region. For the December Quarter 2012, Warrnambool reported the lowest unemployment rate (5.4%) of regional cities (by Local Government Area) in Victoria.
Tourism and hospitality is also a significant employer of people with the city positioned within the Great Ocean Road region and home to the award-winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Each year more than 700,000 people visit Warrnambool.
Warrnambool’s workforce is spread across a range of services including: social assistance and healthcare (15 per cent), retail trade (14 per cent), manufacturing (10 per cent), education and training (nine per cent), construction (nine per cent), accommodation and food services (nine per cent) and other (34 per cent).
Warrnambool City Council is also a major employer and provides a range of community services and also owns and manages community assets including the aquatic centre Aquazone, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool Stadium,the Lighthouse Theatre, Surfside Holiday Park and major tourist attraction Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
Property and business services, Government administration and construction are key growth sectors in the City.
The value of Warrnambool’s property market has grown considerably over the past decade. Median sales price for houses sold in Warrnambool in 2011 was $320,000.
The City's main education centres include Deakin University (Warrnambool Campus), the South West TAFE, Government and private primary and secondary schools, and pre-school centres.
Tertiary education providers Deakin University and South West TAFE have campuses in Warrnambool which, along with bringing students to the city, provide local people with opportunities to pursue education and vocational training without having to leave the region.
South West Healthcare and St John of God Hospital are the main health services in Warrnambool.
South West Healthcare
South West Healthcare (Warrnambool Campus) is a modern, well-equipped 207 bed general hospital servicing a catchment area of approximately 110,000. A wide range of services, including acute, rehabilitation, and aged care together with an extensive range of primary and community health services are provided.
South West Healthcare treats in excess of 12,000 inpatients, and 22,000 Emergency Department presentations per annum, and is a designated regional trauma centre. Within South West Healthcare there are two General Medical Units.
South West Healthcare provides a ranges of services including a 24 hour emergency department, acute care, rehabilitation services, allied health services, community health, district nursing, palliative care and psychiatric services. General and emergency dental services are provided for eligible clients at community dental clinics.
St John of God Hospital
St John of God Warrnambool Hospital is a 73-bed hospital established in 1939.
The Health Services Centreprovides a range of outpatient services, including rehabilitation programs, diabetes management and community mental health services. On-site consulting suites and regular visits from medical and surgical specialists increasingly eliminates the need for people to travel for medical care.
St John of God Warrnambool is a division of St John of God Health Care, a Catholic not-for-profit health care provider. As well as hospitals, home nursing and pathology services, Social Outreach and Advocacy services are provided which reach out to people experiencing disadvantage to improve health and wellbeing.