Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Islanders Push for Recognition

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Islanders Push for Recognition

Article excerpt

Pamela Frost

pamela.frost@dailymercury.com.au

MANY people don't know the history of how South Sea Islanders came to Australia.

But a Mackay woman hopes this will change now a new national governing body has been elected.

As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of South Sea Islanders being blackbirded to Australia, the Wantok national forum pushing for recognition was held in Brisbane.

Mackay Australian South Sea Islander Marcia Eves was among about 20 delegates from the region who attended.

A committee to represent Australian South Sea Islanders at a national level was selected and Ms Eves said this would make it easier for people to have their issues involving health and housing addressed.

Ms Eves said it was also important for their history to be made more public.

"There's still a lot of people out there that still aren't aware of Australian South Sea Island descendants," she said.

The national body will mean a new layer of responsibility and a way forward, according to Ms Eves. …

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