Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Bringing Back the Arafura Games: More Countries Sign Up

Minister for the Arafura Games, Ken Vowles, said Timor-Leste and the Philippines have joined Vietnam and Indonesia as the first countries to officially sign up for the Arafura Games more than 12 months out from the event.

The Territory Labour Government is bringing back the Games from April 27 to May 4 next year.

“We made an election promise to bring back the Arafura Games, which the CLP scrapped, and already we have four of our closest Asian neighbours signed up to take part,” Mr Vowles said. “The Games are an opportunity to further strengthen our ties with these countries, not just in the sporting arena, but in a business and cultural sense too.

“The Territory and Timor-Leste have a longstanding relationship, with the Territory representing more than 30 per cent of Australian trade with Timor-Leste.

“Our relationship with the Philippines is also strong, with Darwin welcoming an inbound government and business delegation in April 2017. This resulted in closer education ties between the Territory and the Negros Occidental province.”

The Filipino community is one of the largest multicultural groups in the NT and, according to the 2016 Census, there are almost 6000 Philippines-born residents in the Territory.

Assistant Minister for Bringing Back the Arafura Games Kate Worden welcomed the confirmation from Timor-Leste and the Philippines.

“The Arafura Games are an opportunity to grow community participation through volunteering, and to strengthen relationships with our Asia-Pacific trading partners,” she said.

Mr Vowles said the young sports men and women of today are the regional leaders of tomorrow.

“By re-establishing the Arafura Games, we are securing the relationships and partnerships that will support the NT economy well into the future,” he said.

“We are working hard to secure more countries and will be making more announcements soon.”

Media Contact: Leanne Hudson 0427 687 079.