ASSI - Port Jackson Blackbirding

ASSI - Port Jackson Blackbirding

Community Recognition Notice, 17 November 2021, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament

On behalf of the Sydney electorate, I congratulate the Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI-Port Jackson) for their education and advocacy about Blackbirder Benjamin Boyd that helped get the government to remove his name from the Ben Boyd National Park. 

Boyd trafficked 200 men and some women from Pacific islands to work as slaves alongside Maori and First Nations people. Some escaped, Boyd eventually abandoned the scheme and the remaining slaves due to community and government opposition, leaving some to become part of local communities. ASSI-Port Jackson have worked for years pushing for greater recognition and inclusion for the blackbirded descendants, their history and modern day survival. My successful 2013 motion marked Australian South Sea Islander Recognition Day to recognise Pacific Islanders recruited or kidnapped to work in Australia, suffering inhumane treatment. Their descendants continue to contribute to our community and economy. I commend the ASSI-Port Jackson group for their ongoing work to reveal the truth about blackbirding slavery in Australia. This change for the former Ben Boyd National Park will contribute to national truth-telling.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!