The Western Australian Government has celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Sister State relationship with Indonesia's East Java province by recommitting to the relationship and pledging funding for health and disability programs.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett was joined by East Java Governor Dr H. Soekarwo at a function at the State Reception Centre to sign a re-affirmation of the Sister State agreement.
"I am delighted to welcome Governor Soekarwo to Western Australia for the first time, and to join him in marking this special anniversary of our friendship," Mr Barnett said.
"Through the Sister State relationship many valuable programs and exchanges have occurred between governments, businesses, organisations and individuals in areas such as agriculture, health, social welfare, education, tourism and sport."
To mark the anniversary, the State Government has committed $106,000 towards services to support people with disability in East Java.
Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the State Government was contributing $80,000 towards the establishment of a scholarship for a high-level graduate from East Java to undertake a two-year Master of Clinical Audiology program at The University of WA in 2016.
"The successful candidate will then work towards improving services in East Java for people who are deaf, with a longer-term objective of helping to establish the first university course in audiology in Indonesia," Mrs Morton said.
"The State Government is also providing $26,000, and the Autism Association of WA (AAWA) $21,000, towards autism services in regional East Java which were established in 2013 by the Disability Services Commission and AAWA."
Through the Sister State relationship, the WA Government has a longstanding involvement with Karya Mulia, a school for children who are deaf in East Java, and provided $100,000 for school repairs to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sister State relationship in 2010.
Premier Colin Barnett visited Indonesia earlier this month
East Java has the second largest regional economy in Indonesia, contributing nearly 15 per cent of the country's gross domestic product in 2013
East Java's population is about 38 million
Western Australia has maintained a trade and investment presence in Indonesia since 1992. The office was based originally in Surabaya, East Java
Premier and State Development Minister's office - 6552 5000
Disability Services Minister's office - 6552 6900