Growing calls for better recognition of "what blackbirding really was"

Indigenous peoples Pacific people Australia Pacific Area

Support is growing for better recognition of Australian South Sea Islanders, many of whom were forcibly removed from their Pacific Island homes in a practice known as "blackbirding" to work on cane fields and cotton farms.

This year marks 150 years since the first Australian South Sea Islanders were brought to Mackay in central Queensland. Descendants of those once referred to as "kanakas", today met with the Queensland Multicultural Affairs Minister at the graves of their ancestors at Mackay cemetery.

The graves were unmarked for generations, and have only now been given proper recognition.

Publication Details