Wantok 2012 – The Inaugural Australian South Sea Islanders National Conference

Published on Aug 27th, 2012

Last April 2012, a major conference was held in Bundaberg, Queensland to unite the descendants of these labourers, who came mainly from the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands, but also from Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and many other locations in the region.

The Wantok 2012 conference in Bundaberg brought together the descendants of those who remained known today as Australian South Sea Islanders, or ASSI from around Australia, as well as a large delegation of customary leaders and descendants’ families from Vanuatu led by MPs Ralph Regenvanu and Abel David.

The conference featured a moving reconciliation ceremony, as chiefs from Vanuatu revealed the hidden history of past atrocities and sought to rebuild links across Oceania.