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Overview - Sister Cities Program

We have six Sister Cities around the globe that share historic, social, cultural, and geographical similarities to Darwin.

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Our platform is founded on the global Sister Cities movement, and is situated in a Community Development framework that values people-to-people relations.

Through educational, cultural, professional, economic and humanitarian exchange, our aim is to enhance cross-cultural understanding and to be active participants in celebrating vibrant and connected communities.

Sister Cities

Kalymnos, Greece  

Signing 23 April 1982 in Darwin

Darwin has an established Greek community, dating back to early 19th century and booming in the 1950s when postwar immigrants arrived to work as sponge divers and on pearling luggers. The majority of Greek immigrants arrived from Kalymnos, about 300km south-east of Athens in the Aegean Sea.

The Kalymnos Sister City activities are currently focused on participating in the annual Greek Glenti Festival and partnering with the Municipality of Kalymnos to deliver the annual English Language Scholarship Awards in partnership with 10 schools on the island.

More information about Kalymnos

Anchorage, USA 

Signing 28 July 1982 in Darwin, 23 September 1982 in Anchorage

Initial moves for a sister city link began when former Darwin Mayor, Dr Ella Stack visited Anchorage in 1976. The Chief Minister at the time, Paul Everingham had also visited Anchorage and was supportive of the linkage.

Darwin and Anchorage share more similarities than you may think, apart from being completely opposite in climate, both cities are proud of the rich cultural heritage, and diversity of it's population. Dena’ina Athabascans lived in Anchorage long before Europeans arrived, fishing, hunting and living in locations spread across what makes up Anchorage today, similar to the first people's of Darwin, the Larrakia.

Anchorage Sister City activities are currently focused on celebrating cultural diversity and reciprocal arts and cultural exchanges. 2016 saw the two cities participate in Walk Together a huge celebration of diversity and a loud declaration that thousands of Australians believe we can become a nation known for our compassion, generosity and welcome. It was the first year an international partner participated.

More information about Anchorage

Ambon, Indonesia 

Signing 28 October 1988 in Ambon, 21 July 1989 in Darwin

The proximity of Indonesia to Darwin and the large Asian community in Darwin form the foundation of our affiliation. The links between Darwin and Ambon date back as World War II and annual delegations have taken place to Ambon to commemorate ANZAC Day and the Gull Force Battalion.

Links have been strengthened with the annual Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race and Ambon Night Celebrations at the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin, resulting in close friendship bonds between the two cities.

More information about Ambon

Haikou, China 

Signing 5 September 1990 in Darwin

Initial investigations for a sister city affiliation with a city in the People's Republic of China began in February 1987 through Lord Mayor Alec Fong Lim, the Australian-China Friendship Society and Council's then Sister City Management Committee. Based on the historical links between Darwin and Haikou, with the assistance of the Australian and Chinese Ambassadors, the Friendship Associations and the Chung Wah Society.

There have been an number of successful education, arts and cultural exchanges between the two cities. In 2016 Darwin received an Award of Honor for exchanges and cooperation with China at the, China International Friendship Cities Conference.

Currently the Haikou Sister City Advisory Committee is developing a Digital Art Pilot Project, Urban Landscapes: Past As Present, and has engaged award winning artist Naina Sen to explore ways that Haikou and Darwin can share stories via digital media.

More information about Haikou

Milikapiti, Northern Territory 

Signing 5 July 1999 in Darwin

The Sister City agreement was signed in Darwin on 5 July 1999 (National Sister Cities Day) by Darwin City Council Lord Mayor George Brown, Mr Allan McGill the then CEO and on behalf of Milikapiti, Mr Gibson Farmer, Council President 1999.

In July 2001, the Milikapiti Council was dissolved along with the Councils of Nguiu and Pirlangimpi to form the new Tiwi Islands Local Government. The relationship continues under the new structure.

In 2005, Darwin City Council staff travelled to Milikapiti in the wake of cyclone Ingrid to offer practical support to repair some of the damage left by this category 5 system. Locals and staff worked side by side to quickly respond to the various rebuilding efforts.

The Milikpaiti agreement still exists today and is activated in times of need between the two locations.

Dili, Timor Leste 

Signing 18 September 2003 in Darwin

As one of Dili's closest neighbours Darwin played a critical role in assisting Dili when violence broke out in 1999, through Government and Non-Government organisational programs. supporting refugees, financial assistance to capacity building and humanitarian projects.

Today City of Darwin continues to build relationships with the Dili District Administration, the local level of government in Dili, Timor-Leste.

The Dili Sister City Advisory Committee works closely with the Youth Advisory Committee to forge sustainable long term youth and cultural exchanges, such as the annual Dili & Darwin Youth Exchange and Quiz4Dili annual Trivia Night Fundraiser for local youth training organisation Action For Change Foundation.

More information about Dili

Last modified 
14 Jun 2018

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