Port Macquarie-Hastings Sister City Relationship with Handa, Japan
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council maintains a sister city relationship with the City of Handa, Japan. This relationship was officially formed in 1990, and includes a student exchange program.
Discussion proposing a sister city relationship between Handa and Port Macquarie began when a delegation of businessman headed by Mr michio Ochiai visited Port Macquarie in July 1988. This was shortly followed by a visit by 15 Jaycees to Port Macquarie and at a meeting held with Mayor Woodlands, discussed the possibilities of forming a sister city relationship with Handa.
On 14 March 1990, Mayor Woodlands heads a delegation for the official signing of the Sister City Agreement at a ceremony held in the auditorium of the Central Public Hall in Handa. The document was signed by the Mayor of the Hastings, Alderman Robert Woodlands and the Mayor of Handa City, Mr Koichi Yamada.
Today, Council's Administrator Mr Neil Porter and Handa Mayor Sumio Sakakibara continue to strengthen the bonds of friendship and create a wider understanding of our different cultures.
Higashi High School Students visit Port Macquarie.
Each year, students and teachers from Handa Higashi Senior High School spend 5 days visiting Port Macquarie to learn more about our culture and way of life. Local high schools from our region take turns to host the students during their visit.
In 2011 and 2012, Handa Higashi students were hosted by St Columba Anglican School with the students billeted by local host families.
Students and teachers will spend time visiting local attractions including Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park and North Brother Mountain as well as experiencing a day in an Australian classroom.
2011 Handa City visit to Port Macquarie