South Sea Islander and Australian Reflections on 'Blackbirding'

Away in The Land of the Wattle and Gum - Gus Clutterbuck (photo credit Grant Hancock)

South Sea Islander and Australian Reflections on 'Blackbirding'

MONDAY 30 APRIL - FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018


 

Kerry Packer Civic Gallery Exhibition

Exhibition dates: Monday 30 April - Friday 18 May

This exhibition reflects on the 19th Century the ‘labour traffic’ (known as ‘blackbirding’) of South Sea Islanders by colonial powers to the cotton and sugar plantations in Australian, Fiji, Samoa, and even Peru. Of approximately 60,000 ‘recruited’ to Queensland, often by deception or force, about 25% died during their contracts.  Many of the artworks & historical materials in this exhibition were first exhibited in Queensland (2013) and then in Fiji (2014) and Vanuatu (2015). 

The exhibition will also highlight and reflect on the contributions Island workers made to the economy and infrastructure, and the experiences of descendants of Island workers who stayed (Australian South Sea Islanders), descendants of Australian Aboriginals taken back to the Islands as children or wives, and the experience of seasonal workers in Australia today.

South Sea Islander and Australian Reflections on 'Blackbirding' Forum
Thursday 3 MAy 6.00pm - 7.30pm
KERRY PACKER CIVIC GALLERY

In this forum, diverse speakers will reflect on the 19th Century ‘labour traffic’ (known as ‘blackbirding') of South Sea Islanders by colonial powers to plantations in Australia, Fiji, Samoa, and even Peru. Of approximately 60,000 brought to Queensland, often by deception or force, the death rate was about 25. They will also highlight contributions Island workers made to the economy and infrastructure, and the experiences of: descendants of those who stayed (Australian South Sea Islanders); descendants of Australian Aboriginals taken back to the Islands as children or wives; and seasonal Island workers in Australia today.

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, The South Pacific Islander Community of South Australia and Helen Stacey with Dr David Bunton


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - and Building our Future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise