Broome visitors receive warm sister-city welcome in Taiji

Published on 22 April 2024

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For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Broome Shire Council delegation has visited our Japanese sister city, Taiji.

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

The trio were joined by Shire President Chris Mitchell and Shire CEO Sam Mastrolembo, who travelled at their own expense to demonstrate the Shire’s appreciation and commitment to the 43-year Sister-City relationship six years after the last visit in 2018. The proposed 2020 and 2022 visits were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Upon arriving in Taiji, the delegation was welcomed at a civic reception, participated in cultural walks and school visits, and was treated to some of the town’s attractions, including the spring cherry blossom bloom.

The Councillors travelled alongside St Mary’s College students and staff members undertaking their bi-annual student exchange program.

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

Shire President Chris Mitchell said seeing how the St Mary’s students conducted themselves in Taiji was a pleasure.

“We were very impressed by the student’s genuine embrace of the culture and their willingness to create relationships with their new friends despite some language barriers,” he said.

“Their musical performances were also a highlight.

“They have really done Broome proud.”

Shire President Chris Mitchell said the bi-annual visit provides valuable cultural benefits to Broome.

“Visits like this keep alive the shared knowledge of each town’s history and culture and explore how our common interests in tourism and pearling provide opportunities for a mutual exchange of knowledge.”