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Warm Sister City relationship grows with delegation visit

July 25, 2023

The already strong Sister City relationship between Gunnedah Shire and Kolomotu’a in the Kingdom of Tonga has become even closer with this month’s delegation visit.

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the visit, led by Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tukuʻaho, the High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga to the Commonwealth of Australia, had been an amazing experience for the community and everyone involved.

“This is the second time we have been blessed by a visit from Her Royal Highness, and it was truly a productive four days,” Cr Chaffey said.

“This Sister City Agreement is now a year old and has grown into a family relationship, with strong cultural and friendship ties between our regions. It was particularly exciting to see so many of our community members,
organisations and businesses welcoming the delegation, including at the Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce Gala Ball.

“Community groups were very generous with their time and their talents. Our Tongan visitors have commented on how much they enjoyed visiting Gunnedah and meeting our community.

“We are cementing the way forward for our partnership, particularly in the areas of the arts and culture, sports, education and employment.

“To this end, a delegation of business people and Council representatives will visit Tonga in early October for an employment expo to outline the many opportunities there are on both sides. Tongan people have worked in Gunnedah for many years, and are very much part of our community.”

The visit from the Tongan delegation was also the beginning of fundraising for a new library for the Government Middle School of Kolomotu’a which was badly damaged in a tsunami in January 2022. The principal of the school, Lose Kuluka, was among the visitors to Gunnedah.

“We visited the Middle School on our visit to Kolomotu’a in October last year and witnessed first hand how difficult it was to teach with limited buildings and resources,” Cr Chaffey said. “This is a wonderful way we can assist our friends to get back on track.”

The Gunnedah Shire Council Sister Cities and Friendly Relationships Working Group will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the next steps.

If you are interested in joining the delegation to Kolomotu’a that begins on October 7, 2023, or are an individual or community group that could help in the fundraising effort for a new library for the Government Middle School of Kolomotu’a, please email the Working Group via

Caption: Gunnedah Shire business and community members joined members of the delegation from Kolomotu’a in the Kingdom of Tonga and the Annual Mayoral Breakfast.


For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.