Sister City Program

The establishment of Sister City relationships serves to promote friendship, co-operation and cultural exchange between two communities and acts as a core for community exchange and contact between ordinary citizens. 

Sister City Relationships

Manly has Sister City relationships with 10 cities around the world: 

  • ODAWARA – is Manly Council’s FRIENDSHIP CITY in Japan
  • CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH - is Manly Council's SISTER CITY in California, USA
  • YEONGDO-GU, BUSAN - is Manly Council's FRIENDSHIP CITY in South Korea
  • GUNNEDAH – is Manly Council’s FRIENDSHIP CITY and is situated North West of Sydney in the Upper Namoi Valley NSW
  • TAITO-KU – is Manly Council’s SISTER CITY in Japan 
  • OECUSSE, TIMOR LESTE - is Manly Council's SISTER CITY in East Timor
  • JING’AN – is Manly Council’s SISTER CITY in China
  • BATH United Kingdom – historical connection/sister ‘twinning city’ relationship
  • HAEUNDAE GU, PUSAN – is Manly Council’s SISTER CITY in South Korea
  • CITY OF SELMA in California, USA

The main functions and responsibilities of the program and Sister City Committee are:

  • to create goodwill and better understanding between the peoples of the world through 'people to people' contact
  • to foster international understanding
  • to consider all matters relating to the maintenance and establishment of goodwill with Council's established Sister Cities
  • to contribute towards the growth of understanding and co-operation between the peoples of different nations through promoting close interchanges in the fields of education, culture, the arts, sport and commerce, by:
  • promoting community awareness of the existence of Sister City affiliations
  • promoting community awareness of the objectives of the Sister City affiliations
  • fostering the exchange of information, literature and people between the respective communities
  • to act as a nucleus and co-ordinating body to establish an on-going programme of liaison with Sister City affiliates
  • to co-ordinate the establishment of contacts in respective communities through dissemination of literature, introduction of people with common interest and to seek financial assistance and sponsorship to promote the objectives of the Sister Cities affiliations.

Sister Cities Committee

Manly Council's Sister Cities Committee is made up of two Councillors, Japanese language teachers representing local schools, community volunteers and a Council administration staff member, with the function and responsibility to consider all matters relating to the maintenance and establishment of goodwill with Council's established Sister Cities. The Committee reports and recommends to Council. Council’s Sister Cities Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. 

For more information on our Sister Cities program, contact Council’s Executive Assistant & Protocol Officer on (02) 9976 1438 or go to this link.



Manly and Odawara formed a Friendship City Relationship in 1990.

A reciprocal Student Exchange Program is held annually with the Tokomeki International School in Odawara.

Manly and Odawara 2013 Student Exchange

City of Huntington Beach

Representatives of Manly and the City of Huntington Beach, homes to two of the world’s greatest surfing beaches, signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising a Sister City relationship on Thursday 16 February 2012.

Huntington Beach hosts the annual week-long U.S. Open of Surfing and Beach Games, whereas Manly hosts the annual Australian Open of Surfing.

The two great surfing communities have both been blessed by the presence of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku and trace the origins of much of their surfing culture back to his influence.

A statue of Duke Kahanamoku stands on the headland overlooking Freshwater Beach, part of Australia’s Manly-Freshwater National Surfing Reserve, and in the 1920s, the Duke surfed alongside the pier at Huntington Beach.

Both Manly and Huntington Beach welcome tourists from around the world, their downtown districts including active art centres, colourful shopping and restaurant districts, and museums dedicated to surfing and beach culture.

City of Huntington Beach represented at 2014 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing in Manly

Yeongdo-gu, Busan

Yeongdo-gu Friendship Relationship was established on 29 May 2009. The agreement is based upon the shared desire to pursue friendly relations and promote cooperation and understanding.



The Friendship Relationship with Gunnedah was established in 2005.

Gunnedah and Manly share a famous citizen, poet Dorothea Mackellar, who was a resident of both communities.

Gunnedah is 478 kilometres North West of Sydney and as 'Koala Capital of the World' has one the largest and healthiest Koala colonies in Australia.

Bilateral exchanges between our two communities is envisaged including education, environmental management, sport, literature and the arts.

The Beach to Bush – Bush to Beach Program between Manly and Gunnedah sees students participating in an annual student exchange that allows both Manly and Gunnedah students to visit each other for a three day period on a reciprocal basis.


Taito Ku

Manly and Taito Ku formed a Sister City relationship in 1982. Taito Ku is one of the 23 wards of Japan's capital city Tokyo.

The idea to form a Sister City relationship between Manly and Taito Ku was proposed in 1980 by Japanese artist Masami Yamada on the occasion of his first exhibition held at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum. The suggestion was quickly followed up by Taito Ku City officials who visited Manly in 1981.

Visits of children, students, bands, choirs, orchestras, welfare groups and community groups between the two cities have all been part of the relationship.


Oecusse, Timor Leste

On Friday, 18 July 2008, the President of East Timor, His Excellency Dr Jose Ramos Horta visited Manly this to conclude a Friendship City Relationship between Manly and the East Timorese region of Oecusse, which is a unique region of East Timor surrounded by Indonesian controlled West Timor.

Manly Council has identified several potential projects where assistance can be provided to the people of Oecusse. One of the suggested projects is to distribute solar powered radios so more people of Oecusse can receive important information from the community radio station.

The community radio station provides information on healthcare, farming practices and local government information. At the start of the project, only 7 percent of the population receives that information.

Other projects include sponsoring reading competitions in the region's schools to encourage literacy or to provide advice and equipment in regards to road building.

Manly Council also works to encourage the schools in the area to join up to the Timor Leste Sister Schools project whereby schools across Australia are linked with particular schools in Timor Leste (East Timor).



Manly and Jing’an formed a Sister City relationship in 2000. A reciprocal student exchange program was established with students visiting Manly and Jing’an alternate years.

Manly and Jing’an Shanghai China celebrated the 10th Anniversary of their Sister City Relationship in October 2010.



Manly has longstanding historical links to Bath. Captain Arthur Phillip, who named ‘Manly’, was a resident of Bath and was the first colonial governor of New South Wales.

Manly Council has hosted regular cricket matches with the Lansdown Cricket Club from Bath since 1988.


Haeundae Gu, Pusan

The Sister City Relationship with Haeundae Gu, Pusan in Korea was established in 1994. (inactive at present).


City of Selma

(inactive at present).