About Sister State Relationships

The objective of Sister State relationships is to create and foster cultural and friendship links with overseas countries. 

Western Australia has five Sister States:

  • East Java in Indonesia; 
  • Hyogo Prefecture in Japan; 
  • Andhra Pradesh State in India;
  • Zhejiang Province in the People's Republic of China; and 
  • Tuscany region of Italy.  

These relationships are guided by Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) that outline areas of cooperation between the parties involved, quite often in areas of trade or culture. A MOU has also been signed with the Tomsk region of Russia.  
The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (DJTSI) is the agency responsible for managing Western Australia's Sister State relationships. DCA collaborates with DJTSI in the development and management of cultural exchange projects linked to Sister State relationships. For more information visit the DJTSI website.

Previous Sister State Cultural Initiatives

Zhejiang, China - 20th Anniversary Celebrations

2007 marked the 20th anniversary of Sister State relations with Zhejiang Province, China.

This milestone was celebrated with a program of cultural activities made possible through grants and support from the governments of Western Australia and Zhejiang Province.  

DCA developed and managed a reciprocal cultural exchange project culminating in a photographic exhibition presented in Perth and production of two documentary films, one created by filmmakers from Zhejiang and the other produced by WA's CM Film Productions.

Other 20th Anniversary events included exhibitions of photographs and rare Zhejiang celadon at the Western Australian Museum, and performances at Government House by The Butterfly Girls, a traditional Chinese instrument ensemble from Zhejiang.

Zhejiang, China - Public Servant Exchange

During 2008 DCA's Senior Policy Officer, International, lived and worked in Zhejiang Province for a 3 month period as part of the Western Australia - Zhejiang Public Servant Exchange Program.

The purpose of the exchange was to provide a better understanding of government, business and people in Zhejiang and use this understanding to foster and facilitate cultural programs and trade between the two States.

The exchange focussed on investigating collaboration opportunities in fashion design, film and animation, as well as developing links in the performing and visual arts fields.

East Java - Gamelan Orchestra and Pendopo Peace Pavilion

In May 1993, the Provincial Government and people of East Java presented a hand crafted, 80-piece Gamelan orchestra to the Government and people of WA.  In exchange, WA presented a sculpture to East Java. The purpose of the gifts was to strengthen the Sister State relationship between East Java and Western Australia through cultural understanding and exchange.

The Western Australian Gamelan Orchestra is housed at Murdoch University, in a purpose built pendopo (traditional Javanese structure) officially named Joglo Rahayu (Peace Pavilion).  The Peace Pavilion is located in the Education and Humanities courtyard. It blends Australian materials and elements with the architectural style of the pendopo, which traditionally plays a central role in Javanese village life.  Construction of the Peace Pavilion was made possible through support from the Lotteries Commission, the Department of Culture and the Arts, Clough Engineering and its Indonesian partner, PT Petrosea and many donations from individuals.

Murdoch University is the custodian of the Gamelan on behalf of the State of Western Australia. The Peace Pavilion allows the Gamelan to be housed where it is accessible for all Western Australians.  The aim is to encourage an awareness and appreciation of Indonesian culture. Access can be provided for school groups, interested members of the community, visiting dignitaries and those who want to learn, practice and play the Gamelan.