The Mackay-Matsuura sister city relationship was formed in 1989. This is a very active relationship with annual exchanges between students, and biennial citizen visits. More than 350 students from Matsuura have visited Mackay since the relationship commenced.
The relationship is a cultural one but was mainly founded on the common interest in coal - with ships coming from Matsuura to our region in the early days of the relationship.
Matsuura is a coastal city located on Japan's second largest island Kyushu in the Nagasaki Prefecture and has a population of around 25,500. The main industries in Matsuura are electricity production and fishing and coal from the Bowen Basin. Coal is exported to Matsuura, and processed at the local power plant.
Over the years a warm and ever-growing bond has been developed between citizens of our regions.
Matsuura facts and figures
- Population: Approximately 25,500.
- Location: In the Nagasaki prefecture on the Japanese island of Kyushu.
- Area: 130.37 km2
- Industries: Matsuura has one of Japan's largest coal-fired power stations, an international trade port, a successful agriculture industry and a huge local fish market.
- Religion: Buddhism and Shinto
- City's flower: Rhododendron
The City of Matsuura amalgamated with the neighbouring towns of Fukushima and Takashima on 1 January 2006.
Sister Cities Mackay
The aim of this committee is to organise the Youth Ambassador Program for Mackay Students, along with the student visits from Matsuura.
The committee also organises many other events throughout the year, including an Australia Day Skype, the Drawing Exchange Program, a Speech Contest and Children’s Day.
Membership of the group is open to all residents in the region. More information can be gained by contacting the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee has also set up a Sister Cities Mackay Facebook page, to aid communication between Mackay and Matsuura - so that people can share photos and keep in touch.
Youth Ambassador Program
Applications for the 2016 Youth Ambassador Program have now closed.
Applications for the 2017 Program will be open mid-year of 2016. Applications will be open to both students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who are studying Japanese and adult chaperones with experience travelling and who have some Japanese language skills.
Matsuura student visits
Every year Matsuura City sends a group of students accompanied by two or three chaperones to Mackay for approximately eight days. Mackay Regional Council arranges home-hosts and activities for the students whilst they are here.
Activities usually consist of time at local schools, visits to locals beaches and places of interest, a bush dance and art/craft workshops. Free time is allowed for the students to experience Australian family life with the host families.
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen our cities' ties and expose Mackay families and Japanese students with each other's cultures.
The students are aged between 13 and 17 years and council seeks host families each year. Family members over the age of 18 years must be holders of a Blue Card.
Every two years a group of citizens from Matsuura visits Mackay for around three to four days. The citizens visit local attractions and have the opportunity of meeting up with old friends and make new acquaintances in the community.
On the alternating years, a group of residents from the Mackay region visits Matsuura. The citizens usually spend around three to four days in Matsuura and have an option to extend their visit in Japan.
25 Year Anniversary
Mayor Deirdre Comerford recognised Bill Molloy and Mark Leyland for their involvement in the Mackay-Matsuura Sister City relationship on Thursday, July 10, 2014, as part of the 25 year anniversary of the relationship.
Bill Molloy was recognised for his contribution and support of the Mackay-Matsuura Sister City relationship. He has been on 11 trips to Matsuura and is a long-standing member on the Sister City Advisory Committee.
Mark Leyland was made an Honorary Citizen of Mackay for his contribution to the establishment of the Mackay-Matsuura Sister City relationship. Mayor Deirdre Comerford said Mark was instrumental in initiating and developing the relationship.