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International Relations

Home / Welcome to Darwin / A Global City / International Relations

We have a proud history of internationalism. Darwin’s links to Asia pre-date British colonisation and have been a source of great prosperity. As the capital of the Northern Territory and, as a modern and vibrant city, Darwin is positioned to lead Australia's economic and diplomatic engagement in South East Asia and other world regions.

Darwin is the closest Australian capital city to Asia, providing the shortest transport routes for two-way trade between the Asian markets and Australia. 
In addition, Darwin International Airport is one of the few airports in Australia that operates 24/7.
Furthermore, the deep-water Port of Darwin provides modern freight-handling facilities, a dedicated bulk liquids berth, and links with an intermodal road-rail network. 

City pf Darwins International Relations efforts contribute to:

Community & Culture

People that visit and settle in Darwin support City of Darwin’s vision for a creative, connected and inclusive city.


Access to markets, commercial opportunities, international investment in Darwin and international students, and tourists all contribute to the city’s economic prosperity.

City of Darwin's International Relations Program 

City of Darwin's International Relations Program supports a variety of activities within the Economic Development and Tourism area of Council.

The International Relations program is responsible for the strategic management of City of Darwin resources to promote economic development and international strategies for City of Darwin.

Projects may be initiated internally, by Council Decision, via the Sister City Subcommittees or as a result of engagement with significant stakeholders.

The program covers 3 distinct areas:

  1. Economic Development opportunities
  2. Sister Cities & Friendship Cities
  3. Delegations/Visits
Sister Cities


Anchorage, United States of America

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

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 its population. 

Ambon, Indonesia

Signing 21 July 1989 in Darwin

The proximity of Indonesia to Darwin and the large Asian community in Darwin form the foundation of our affiliation.


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.


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. 

Kalymnos, Greece

Signing 28 July 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.

Milikapiti, Tiwi Islands

Signing 5 July 1999 in Darwin      

In 2005, Darwin City Council staff traveled 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.


Friendship Cities


Friendship Cities

We have established a friendship city understanding with Honolulu (USA) and Santa Cruz - Galapagos (Ecuador).

Broader International Engagement

The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Council Staff and community members on committees receive international dignitaries and delegations in addition to attending internationally focused conferences, meetings and events. These agreements can be found here


More Information

For further information about the International Relations Program, contact the International Relations Project Officer.

08 8930 0300 


City of Darwin International Relations framework is supported by the International Relations Advisory Committee and Sister City Committee, which are advisory in nature. The Committee operates to advocate, inform, and support Council with its International Relations framework, while supporting a whole of Council approach to community, cultural and economic development.

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