South Sea Islander

Stephen Andrew statement on South Sea Islander recognition

Today marks 21 years since the QLD Parliament came to create the ASSI ( Australian South Sea Islanders) Recognition Statement. It’s been a long hard road for the Australian South Sea Island Community since being Blackbirded here to QLD 157 Years ago. This Statement of recognition through bipartisan consideration hangs on floor 5 at the parliament annexe but has never been taken to fruition as far as its delivery is concerned.
It becomes very confronting when you realise that earlier this Year a 94 Year Old WWII ASSI Veteran died on a dirt floor in Ayr, in a house that dates back to the late 1800’s. He and his family were described as the most honest and had the best work ethic that could be found, also that when this gentleman ever had a beer he would pour one onto the ground for his fallen brothers. (Courtesy The Parker Family Ayr)
It was this year the ABS asked for more information around the numbers concerning ASSI in their census documents, the facts yet to be correlated. In fact, the ASSI have been administratively ethnicised from all levels of Government documents and policy even though the recognition statement exists – sad and incomprehensible given they delivered the sugar and other industries to QLD through their blood sweat and tears.
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