Video interview by Indigenous filmmaker Steven McGregor with Emelda Davis

Video interview by Indigenous filmmaker Steven McGregor with Emelda Davis about NSW Entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd for Servant or Slave – NITV documentary.


Today ASSI people remain marginalized, unrecognized, and even unknown to exist as citizens of Australia, with their labour contribution to the nation’s economic base hidden in history, and their own history hidden even from themselves as a community.

The term “Australian South Sea Islander” refers to the Australian descendants of people from more than 80 islands in the Western Pacific including the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) in Melanesia, the Loyalty Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, Rotuma (Fiji), Tuvalu in Polynesia and Micronesia who were recruited to the indentured labour trade which was akin to slavery, and started in NSW in 1847 (through Benjamin Boyd), with an influx to QLD between 1863-1908, to work and establish Australia’s economic base in sugar cane, maritime and pastoral industries.

ASSI have an evident kinship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities given their historical demographic through the labour trade and interracial marriage which sees today 100’s of families with direct Aboriginal bloodlines or marriage into Aboriginal families. The Torres Strait is more prominent in that and influx of ASSI were taken into the Torres Strait for pearling and bêche-de-mer industries as well as through the London Missionary Society from 1870 onwards. The most significant ASSI ‘colony’ is on Mua (St Pauls) Island, established by the Anglican Church in the 1900s.

Servant Or Slave: Stunning New Documentary Exposes Australia’s Stolen Wages History

To read the New matilda story click HERE

Daily Mercury story on South Sea Islander slave labour

Daily Mercury story South Sea Islander slave labour

Daily Mercury: Mackay and District Australian South Sea Islander Association’s Starrett Vea Vea hopes for more commitments from government to his community.


10th Nov 2016 – The Daily Mercury, Mackay ran an interesting article entitled EXPOSED: Lost history of South Sea Islanders slave labour. The article talks about Blackbirding in Queensland, growing up in North Mackay and going to school with many descendants of those who were blackbirded.

State Member for Pumicestone Rick Williams has sponsored a petition calling for a formal apology to the South Sea Islander community for forcing up to 62,000 people into the indentured labour trade known as ‘Blackbirding’, which was akin to slavery.

The petition currently has only 110 signatures. Mr Williams needs to secure 10,000 by February to ensure it is read in Parliament.

We emplore everyone to sign the petition to help with this goal.

Go to the Queensland Parliament website, click on ‘petitions’ and go to ‘current e-petitions‘ and look for ‘Australian South Sea Islanders – formal apology’ in the list.

Click the name and then click ‘YES’ next to “Do you wish to sign this E-Petition?”

You can read the full Daily Mercury story South Sea Islander slave labour by CLICKING HERE

Alicia Morgan has always had a passion for what is dear to her heart

Alicia Morgan

Alicia Morgan

Alicia Morgan has always had a passion for what is dear to her heart – family, research and education.

After leaving high school Alicia spent most of her young adulthood in the workforce before recently returning to study full-time at Southern Cross University.\

As a third generation descendant of a prominent South Sea Islander family on the Tweed, Alicia has always continued to honour and uphold the strong family values that were instilled in her from a young age.

Listening and taking note of the many stories and traditions that were passed down by Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, was something of great interest to her and she continues to ensure her own children learn and take pride in their own unique cultural heritage.

The love of discovering more about her South Sea Islander heritage has taken Alicia on a new journey in the field of Education. In her third year of a teaching degree, Alicia hopes to use education as a powerful vehicle for informing the younger generations how the South Sea islanders came to Australia and the reasons why.

With an invitation to do her Honours in Education, Alicia hopes to use this as an opportunity to create curriculum resources focused on Australian South Sea Islanders, that can be implemented and taught in schools on the Tweed.

Register for BLACK Tweed Heads!

Bilyana Noel Blomeley

Bilyana Noel Blomeley

Bilyana Noel Blomeley


Bilyana Noel Blomeley (Torres Strait Islander) has a Masters degree in Indigenous Studies from Southern Cross University where he majored in trauma and trauma recovery.

He has a Masters degree in educational psychology and University Medal from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has a post-graduate diploma in math education and a science degree in pure and applied mathematics.

Since 1987, he has lived, worked and studied alongside Indigenous peoples in Scandinavia, North America and Hawaii. He has fused Anglo-centred practices with Indigenous-oriented world-views and philosophies.

Bilyana presently works as a senior consultant with the NSW Department of Education and with over 30 years of formal education and teaching experience, coupled with his life as a strong, proud Torres Strait Islander he has proven to be an effective educationalist and open communicator.

Click Here to register for BLACK Tweed Heads

My name is Sasha Harrington

Sasha Harrington

Sasha Harrington

My name is Sasha Harrington I am an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman.

My family lines are from Saibai Island in the Torres Straits and Bundjalung Counrty on the NSW/QLD border. Born and raised on Bundjalung Country, I am a young woman who is passionate about empowering our young people to achieve.

I have been working with the Solid Mob for the last 4 years, coach local young girls rugby teams and am an active community member. I have a Diploma in Aboriginal Studies from Tranby Aboriginal College and am look forward to teaching our next generations in the near future.

Favorite quote:
“The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression – by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.”
~ M. K. Asante.

Hear Josh Apanui speak live at the BLACK forum in Tweed Heads

josh-apanui
Josh Apanui is from Tweed Heads and is proud Bundjalung, South Sea Islander and Maori descendant.

Josh is one of six children to Virginia Apanui (nee Bellear) and Tui Apanui. Growing up, Josh has experienced love, joy and happiness, however, he has also faced life’s challenges as a young man, and has learnt about choices and consequences.

At the age of 34 years, Josh has travelled and worked a lot, and hopes to share some stories with youth and community in support of understanding the principles of leadership, responsibility and identity.

Josh is now enrolled at Griffith University studying Bachelor of Arts.

Hear Josh Apanui speak live at the BLACK forum in Tweed Heads, October 29 and 30 2016.

Registration is a must for catering and seating purposes.

CLICK HERE to register for this event.

Hear Anita-Lee at BLACK Tweed Heads

Anita-Lee Summers

Hear Anita-Lee at BLACK Tweed Heads

Anita-Lee Summers has volunteered her time and energy to advancing local Aboriginal and Islander communities through strong governance for more than 35 years.

Anita has firm views on the topic of identity and is proud of her own dual heritage as an Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman.

Hear Anita-Lee at BLACK Tweed Heads this weekend!

Register now to attend this FREE community event!

Aria award nominee L-Fresh The Lion heads up free youth event.

L-Fresh The Lion

L-FRESH The LION is renowned for his powerful presence and thought-provoking lyricism.


Aria-award nominee L-Fresh The Lion heads up free youth event.

A workshop designed to encourage greater community awareness of Australian South Sea Islander history and ignite inspiration and connection in local youth is coming to Mount Druitt Hub this month.

BLACK (Bold Leadership Awareness Cultural Knowledge) is aimed at 17-30 year olds from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds, and features rap, influential speakers and engaging workshops.

Attendees will experience the energy and talent of recent Aria-award nominee L-Fresh The Lion, who will also lend a voice to a live panel discussion over the weekend.

L-FRESH The LION is renowned for his powerful presence, inspiring live shows and thought-provoking lyricism. In a short space of time, the Western Sydney artist has gone from underground community events and ciphers to national tours and major festivals. It speaks of an MC with a sense of purpose and self-belief.

Inspired by the soulful movement in US hip hop of the late 1990s/early 2000s, and the love and respect for his own cultural and ancestral roots of the Sikhs from Punjab, India, L-FRESH is an artist like no other.

Registration is Essential!

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