AUSTRALIAN SOUTH SEAS ISLANDERS PORT JACKSON WORKSHOP STARTED

WANTOK. Photo credit: blogs.slq.qld.gov.au

WANTOK. Photo credit: blogs.slq.qld.gov.au

The Australian South Seas Islanders Port Jackson branch will be conducting a series of family tracing workshops for descendants of people who were black birded to Australia, beginning in Honiara tomorrow.

Over 20,000 people in Solomon Islands and other Pacific counties were taken to Australia and to Fiji between 1863 and 1904.

They were part of the Queensland-Pacific Indentured Labour Trade who worked in the sugar cane fields in Queensland and Northern New South Wales during that time.

President Emelda Davis, told SIBC News today, South Sea Islands communities in Port Jackson are trying to find their families, hence the ‘Faendem Baek Famili’ Workshop.

“Stability and understanding your culture, your heritage, you know, who you are, where you come from and why you sort of do the things that you do in terms of mannerisms and things like that comes from understanding your heritage. It’s a fact that Australian sociologists are culturally kidnapped and this is the first step towards reconnecting with our Melanesian, Solomon Island, Vanuatu and those 80 affected islands culture and identity and looking for our families, tracing our family histories.”

The President of the Australian South Seas Islanders Port Jackson branch adds its emotional to meet wantoks, and appealed to Solomon Islanders to attend the workshop.

“I’d really like to encourage the Solomon Island wantoks to come along and meet us and share our stories. Just really happy to be here and it’s always quite emotional when you come back onto country and see your people and you know looking in the mirror and it’s really a beautiful thing.”

SIBC News understands the first ‘Faendem Baek Famili’ Workshop begins at 1pm tomorrow at the National Museum Auditorium in Honiara.

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