The Republic of Vanuatu joined the Commonwealth in 1980, the same year they gained independence. The land area is made up of a group of islands in the south-west Pacific, lying south of the Solomon Islands and east of the state of Queensland in Australia.
Vanuatu made its debut in the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982 and has been a regular ever since. The National Olympic Committee was formed in 1987 to enable Vanuatu to attend their first Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. The same body is responsible for organising their country's participation in the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games.