Why It's Time We Recognised Islander History

14 August 2013

Why It's Time We Recognised Islander History

Tomorrow the NSW Parliament will debate whether or not to recognise the ill-treatment of South Sea Islanders brought to Australia to work. Here's why MP Alex Greenwich raised the motion.

This month marks 150 years since about 50,000 people on 62,000 indenture contracts from 80 Pacific Islands were recruited or kidnapped to work under highly exploitative conditions in sugar cane fields.


These Australian South Sea Islanders suffered inhumane treatment, the highest mortality rates of any immigrant group to Australia and mass deportations when the White Australia Policy was introduced in 1901.  Ninety five per cent of them were adolescent and young adult males, the rest were women.



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