During the week, members of the board and committee met with David Keys, Manager of the 2016 Census, Targeted Strategies of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Lynette Zito, District Manager for the ABS.

What we were told is that in our last Census only nine (9) people in Lismore, fourty nine (49) in Tweed and seven (7) people in Chinderah identified their heritage as ASSI. We were, and still are, completely shocked! The numbers recorded Australia wide are less than 2000!

What we learnt is that the ABS do not give out your information to any other government organisation. They are bound to secrecy by the Census Act and can be prosecuted if this information is revealed. So please don’t worry about who your data is shared with because the answer is no one!

Everyone, including other government agencies, can only access general numbers not specifics.

What we need is for people to identify their heritage in Question 18 as “ASSI,” “Australian South Sea Island,” “South Sea Islander” (all of these will be converted to Australian South Sea Islander).


If you have dual heritage please also identify your Aboriginal or Torres Strait heritage on Question 7 – but don’t forget that no matter what you fill in on the whole form, please, please, please fill in Question 18 with your heritage at “ASSI.”

Those four little letters will give the government a better idea of how many of us there are and in turn, will help us on our fight to receiving assistance, support, grants, scholarships, apprenticeships.

Without those four little letters, the government will have no idea that we exist in the numbers that we do and therefore we will not get the assistance we need!

Please get this message out there to all of your family and friends. No matter what else you fill in on this form get those four little letters – ASSI, written down for Question 18.

Tell the government that the approximately 8000 Islanders that stayed after the 1901 deportation that our numbers have swelled to probably 50 000 – 80 000 (conservative guesstimate).

Honour our heritage and ancestors and make this government see our numbers and be held accountable for its actions – fill in Question 18 on Census night, August 9th, with those four little letters – ASSI.

Once it’s been established that we exist in huge numbers, we can then lobby the government to put us in Question 7 before the next Census so it is just a mark that you put in on the same question where you acknowledge your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.


NSW Council for Pacific Communities Newly Elected Board


NSW Council for Pacific Communities newly elected board with continued Chair as Mal Fruean, Vice chair – Selwyn Piripi lloyd, Secretary – Melissa Waaka-Smith, Communications – Donita Hulme and Peter Elers.

Laurie Ferguson MP Federal Member for Werriwa NSW

Laurie Ferguson MP Federal Member for Werriwa NSW

26/04/16 Guests speaker Laurie Ferguson MP Federal Member for Werriwa has been a great supporter of the council and opened the AGM he also advise that he is retiring after 32 years in politics.

Inclusion of Australian South Sea Islanders on Question 18 for the 2016 Census form


28th April 2016: Australia Bureau of Statistics meeting today with National Census Program Head regarding the prominent inclusion of Australian South Sea Islanders on Question 18 for the 2016 Census form.

We discussed the ABS strategies and roll out from an electronic and community education perspectives.

In the photo (left to right) Graham Mooney (BASSIMWG), William Swain – (ABS Indigenous), Duncan Young (National Census Program Head), Liz Bolzan (Director NSW/ACT Census Regional Management Unit), Zac Wone (ASSIPJ Deputy VP), Alex Greenwich (Member for Sydney), behind David Keys (Manager – Targeted Strategies (CaLD), front Shireen Malamoo (ASSIPJ Board), Marie Geissler (ASSIPJ Strategist), Emelda Davis (ASSIPJ Chair).

CENSUS date is 9th August 2016.

Guard of honour to remember Aunty Phyllis Corowa


A guard of honour will be held on Friday before the funeral of Aunty Phyllis Corowa. All are invited to attend.


Indigenous rights pioneer and Tweed resident of almost 70 years, Aunty Phyllis Corowa, will be honoured and respected with a guard of honour in Chinderah on Friday the 8th April 2016.

Aunty Phyllis, 95, who died peacefully at her Chinderah home on Sunday, will be remembered for her pioneering work in the Tweed community as a founding member of the Australian South Sea United Council (now the Tweed South Sea Islander Association, TWSIA).

She was also a founding signature in establishing the Minjungbal Museum, and a key figure in speaking out against injustices carried out upon her people.

A descendant of the South Sea Islander people taken from Vanuatu to work in Queensland’s sugar industry in the late 1800s, Aunty Phyllis lived for the majority of her life in Chinderah, not far from the burial ground of many of those indentured workers.



Aunty Phyllis Corowa (right) with Emily May Enares (mother).

Niece Louise Togo, who remembers Aunty Phyllis fondly for her work in providing her people with a voice, said her Aunty was held in the highest regard within the community.

“She was such a such an activist in a generation that were really well known and respected in the community,” Miss Togo said.

“While she was an activist for Aboriginal and South Sea Islander human rights, she was very graceful, was a lady and was highly respected.”

A guard of honour for Aunty Phyllis will be held along Wommin Bay Rd on Friday before a funeral service at Tweed Heads Memorial Gardens from 1pm.

The guard of honour, to which all of the Tweed community is invited, will span from Wommin Bay Rd to Jenners Corner as Aunty Phyllis’ hurse makes it way along the riverfront, past Corowa Park (named after Aunty Phyllis), and the First Chinderah Scout Hall where the original TWSIA was gathered.

“We’re hoping that the community will come together for a send off in Chinderah that Aunty Phyllis deserves,” Miss Togo said.


Friday, April 8 at Tweed Heads Memorial Gardens (chapel),
176 Kirkwood Rd W, Tweed Heads South.


The guard of honour will precede the funeral service and residents are invited to join in between Wommin Bay Road and Jenners Corner at 12.00pm.


Sydney Local Women of the Year 2016

Sydney Local Women of the Year 2016


Congratulations to the finalists and many women of NSW that work tirelessly for their communities.

We look forward to continuing our collaborative working relations with our diverse communities and Parliamentarians. Mr. Alex Greenwich, Member for Sydney put forward the motioned on 15 August 2013 in NSW Parliament which saw bipartisan support recognising Australian South Sea Islander forebears contribution to the nation with a strong commitment to social justice and census recognition.

NSW motion / debate videos can be viewed HERE.

Extract from program: EMELDA DAVIS – Nominated by Alex Greenwich MP, Member for Sydney. Emelda has led the NSW Australian South Sea Islanders since 2009, enabling official recognition of indentured labour trade akin to slavery of South Sea Islanders that occurred between 1847 and 1908.

By building relationships with demographers and government at all levels, Emelda has built the profile and acknowledgement of this vulnerable community.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore and Emelda Davis (ASSIPJ) leading Sydney’s Climate Change march.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore and Emelda Davis (ASSIPJ) leading Sydney's Climate Change march.
Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore and Emelda Davis (ASSIPJ) are amongst supporters and friends leading Sydney’s Climate Change march.

Article: Cairns Post – Huge crowds march in Sydney climate rally. (images)

THOUSANDS of protesters have marched through Sydney CBD to the Opera House to rally for action on climate change ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris.

THE giant costumed figures of Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott greeted scientists, activists, families, elderly and youth that gathered at the Domain on Sunday to urge leaders to shift more rapidly to renewable energy and cut carbon emissions worldwide.

People have waved placards to the sound of drums while others have broken into dance and worn costumes of marine life that would be affected by increasing global temperatures.

“Minds change or climate change” read one placard, while another said “there is no Planet B”.
Climate Council’s Professor Tim Flannery addressed the crowd before they marched, saying a successful outcome at the UN summit was vital.

“Do your utmost to see success at Paris, we won’t accept anything less,” he said to the cheers of the crowd, which he described as “the biggest climate march” in Australia’s history.

The rally observed a minute’s silence to acknowledge those most affected by climate change, especially Australia’s neighbours in the Pacific.

Earlier, deputy federal Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said the government had to take action now before the cost of reducing emissions increased. “The sooner we start making cuts to our carbon pollution, the cheaper it’ll be to get there,” she told reporters in Sydney just before the rally. “Climate change is not a distant future threat for our Pacific neighbours, it is happening right now.”

Protester Fiona Ng, who wore a jellyfish costume, said she had joined the march because Western countries had an obligation to help poorer nations tackle the problems caused by climate change. “People are losing their heritage, land and culture,” the 34-year-old told AAP. “There’s really a lot of injustice.”

The “climate injustice” was also the reason for Marist religious brother Justin Golding’s attendance along with students from Marist high schools. “I’m here looking for a change in the heart of people,” he told AAP.
“I work with young people who are passionate about climate justice … as a community we need to take action on a personal level, in our homes.”

Sydney march organiser Reece Proudfoot said those taking part in the Australian marches walked in solidarity with millions of people across the world as part of a global campaign.

Mr Proudfoot welcomed Labor’s pledge on Friday to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, which is well above the coalition pledge of between 26 and 28 per cent.

More than 40,000 people marched in Melbourne’s central business district on Friday to kick off the weekend of climate marches, with dozens of events also taking place in regional towns across the country.

Slavery or Servitude

Shireen Malamoo listens to interview by Emelda… ‘Slavery or Servitude’ is an emotional and confronting insight into the domestic servitude forced upon Aboriginal women in Australia. Stolen as children from their parents and placed in girls training homes, they were trained as domestic servants: servants who would be absorbed by the new colony and modern industry.

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