The Gunnedah Shire community is invited to witness the signing of a Sister-City agreement with Kolomotu'a, Tonga, on Friday, June 24.
This week, Gunnedah will welcome her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Ltfuipeka Tukuaho from the Kingdom of Tonga to recognise the relationship between Kolomotu'a and Gunnedah Shire.
Gunnedah Shire Council first reached out to Tonga in June 2019, writing to Mr Curtis Tu'ihalangingie, High Commission of Tonga, to explore the possibility of establishing a Sister-City Relationship between Gunnedah and Tonga.
Representatives from the High Commission of Tonga visited Gunnedah in April 2021 to meet with local businesses to discuss employment opportunities.
Four months later, Council received an official letter from the High Commission of the Kingdom of Tonga confirming that His Majesty's Government of the Kingdom of Tonga had approved the proposed Sister-City Relationship between Gunnedah and Kolomotu'a, Nuku'alofa.
"When representatives from the High Commission of Tonga visited Gunnedah in 2021, it marked the beginning of a valuable friendship and we have built on this since, so I am very excited to share this fantastic news with our community," Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said.
"There is a strong alignment of needs between Gunnedah and Tonga. Gunnedah relies heavily on its agricultural industries and has hosted a number of seasonal workers from Tonga on local farms over the years, many of whom have established long-term ties to our local area.
"The establishment of the relationship would assist in helping local businesses access seasonal workers and in return, provide meaningful support to the citizens of Tonga. It will also go beyond this to build valuable cultural and educational bonds between our two regions. It is a strong partnership with our Tongan friends.
"We look forward to formalising our relationship with Kolomotu'a this Friday and invite community members to come along."
What: Signing of Sister-City Agreement with Kolomotu'a, Tonga.
When: 10:30am, Friday, June 24, 2022.
Where: ANZAC Park in South Street, Gunnedah.
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