Esperance Twin Towns Program

Twinning with our French Twin Town

The French connection with Esperance dates back to December 1792 when the ships “L’Espérance” and “La Recherche”, commanded by Admiral D’Entrecasteaux, anchored in the bay and carried out some exploration. Esperance Bay, the Recherche Archipelago, Cape le Grand, Pink Lake, and Frenchman Peak (le Chapeau) were all recorded and named by these navigators. Captain Rossiter, of the French Whaler “Mississippi” named Rossiter Bay, Lucky Bay and Mississippi in 1841.

During the Australian Bicentenary in 1988, Australian towns were encouraged to develop twin town relationships with towns in Europe that had a special significance to their early exploration or heritage. St Martin de Ré was chosen as Esperance’s twin because it is a coastal resort town similar in many ways to Esperance.

In April 1988 a delegation from St Martin de Ré visited to officially exchange an “Agreement of Privileged Relations and Friendship”. There have been several delegations from and to St Martin de Ré, by various Local Government dignitaries, over the years.

On 24 May 2014, the status of the Association St Martin de Ré evolved to include the ten villages in the Ile de Ré region. With this expansion the Association changed their name to “Association Ile de Ré - Esperance”.

Esperance Twin Towns Working Group

The Shire of Esperance established the Esperance Twin Towns Working Group, comprising of representatives from the Lions Club of Esperance, Esperance Senior High School, Community members and the Shire of Esperance, to administer the exchange program, to support the twin town ethos of increasing the friendship between Ile de Ré and Esperance, and raising awareness of the twin town relationship within the community.

The Student Exchange Program

With a view to support the Twin Town ethos of increasing the friendship between St Martin and Esperance, the Twin Towns Student Exchange Program commenced in 1990. Students in school years 9-12 are encouraged to apply for the four week exchange which will take place in July.

Knowledge of French is encouraged; other criteria which must be met can be found in the Student Exchange Information Kit and application forms are available here. The program and selection of the students is overseen by the Esperance Twin Towns Working Group.

NOW OPEN- Applications for the Student Exchange Program 2024 opened on Friday the 1st of September 2023 and close on Tuesday the 31st of October 2023.

Application forms (above) need to be emailed to or delivered by hand to the Shire administration building on Windich Street by the end of October 2023.

Once applicants are interviewed, up to 3 students can be selected to travel to France for a month in July 2024. Interviews will take place in the second week of November 2023 and the successful students will be informed shortly after the interview process.

Enquiries or further information to or ph. 0418 557 397

Applications can be delivered to the Esperance Administration Building or emailed to