Councillors depart on first Sister-City delegation since 2018

Published on 11 April 2024


For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Broome Shire Council delegation is on its way to our Japanese sister city, Taiji.

Deputy Shire President Desiree Male, Councillor Melanie Virgo, and Councillor Phillip Matsumoto are travelling to Taiji after being nominated to attend, at the December 2023 Ordinary Meeting of Council.

The trio have been joined by Shire President Chris Mitchell and Shire CEO Sam Mastrolembo, who are travelling at their own expense to demonstrate the Shire’s commitment to the Sister-City relationship six years after the last visit.

The Shire of Broome delegation will be travelling alongside St Mary’s College students and staff members undertaking their bi-annual student exchange program.

The Shire of Broome proudly supports St Mary’s College exchange program.  

The last Shire delegation to Taiji was in 2018.  The proposed 2020 and 2022 visits were cancelled due to restricted travel during the height and aftermath of the pandemic.

Reciprocal visits from Taiji were also unable to go ahead during this period but resumed in August 2023 for the first time since 2019.

Broome and Taiji have shared a formal Sister City relationship since 1981 and have historical links going back more than 150 years from the establishment of Broome’s pearling industry.

Shire President Chris Mitchell says the bi-annual visit provides valuable cultural benefit to Broome.   

“Visiting Taiji strengthens the historical relationship between the two towns by keeping alive the shared knowledge of each town’s history and culture.

“I am certain that we will uncover valuable insights into Taiji’s profound historical impact on Broome, and delve into how our common interests in tourism and pearling provide opportunities for a mutual exchange of knowledge.”

The delegation left Broome on April 11 and will arrive home on April 20.