The sister cities of Perth and San Diego share a strong Aboriginal and First Nations heritage and living culture.
Perth city is located on the country of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people - Traditional Owners of the south west of Western Australia for at least 45,000 years. In comparison, the Kumeyaay Nation are the original Indigenous people of what is now called San Diego city. 
This connection has prompted the City of Perth to propose an international cultural sharing program that engages Aboriginal and First Nations communities from both cities.
Through its Sister City relationship with San Diego, the City has offered the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) the opportunity to develop and deliver the Perth component of the inaugural First Nations Cultural Sharing program.
Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond said through the strengthening of the City of Perth’s bond with San Diego, the City hoped to provide WAITOC with opportunities to develop new relationships and international partnerships.
“The City recognises the importance of creating mutually supportive and effective relationships with the Aboriginal community and is committed to identifying opportunities for meaningful consultation,” Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond said.
Guided by the objectives of the City’s recently adopted Cultural Development Plan, the First Nations Cultural Sharing program will focus on gaining new knowledge, insight and ideas that support Aboriginal and First Nations cultural development.
“The program will ultimately lead to increasing economic diversity for both cities, strengthening Aboriginal and First Nations cultural industries, increasing the capacity of Aboriginal organisations and promoting Perth and San Diego as important cultural tourism destinations,” Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond said.
It is expected the San Diego and Perth components of the Cultural Sharing Program will be delivered in alternate years, commencing in 2020 when the City of Perth and WAITOC host First Nations visitors from San Diego.
WAITOC has proposed a 16-day itinerary, with the guests attending the World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2020 from 5 to 9 April. 
“WAITOC is very excited to be hosting the first nations delegates from the Kumeyaay Nation of which they will get to experience the World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2020 with tours of Nyoongar Boodja,” WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor said.
“The event is looking to bring together extraordinary stories of business and Aboriginal cultural success and provides a great opportunity for the Kumeyaay people to share in this rich cultural event.”
In addition to the conference, WAITOC have proposed a further 12-day program to allow the guests to engage with local culture, Nyoongar elders and emerging youth leaders. Here they will gain exposure to local artists, storytellers and creative and cultural practitioners.
San Diego then have the opportunity to reciprocate the experience for WAITOC where they will engage in cultural activity and develop their creative practice with the Kumeyaay Nation. 

The City of Perth acknowledges the Whadjuk Nyoongar people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters where Perth city is situated today and the Kumeyaay Nation that inhabits what is now called the City of San Diego.

Issued by: Brooke Hunter, Strategic Communications Advisor, 0448 610 834,