Communities come together for Australian South Sea Islander 150 years Project

Guest blogger: Bronwyn Davies - Coordinator Cultural Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council

2nd march meeting @ the centre Beaudesert. Image supplied by Bronwyn Davies,Bronwyn Davies, Coordinator Cultural Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council

Community Conversations have begun in Beaudesert between the Australian South Sea Islander community, the Mununjali elders and with the community around Beaudesert to progress planning a community commemoration to mark the arrival of the first South Sea Islanders as indentured labourers on the Townsvale Cotton Plantation in August 1863.

Elders have met and exchanged gifts and stories. Descendants of the Plantation owners have met with representatives of Vanuatu Australian South Sea Islander Community (VASSIC), the Mununjali community and organising committee. Landowners who now farm the land around or on the Original Townsvale property have come together to learn about the Australian South Sea Islander 150 commemoration plans and to share their stories of living and working on the land.

On the 16th March representatives from the Australian South Sea Islander Community (VASSIC), Mununjali elders, and the event organisers met to discuss the plans for the 24th August, they talked about what elements would make up the commemoration and the logistics of organising the event.
A meeting and information session will be held open for all community and interested parties this Saturday the 23rd March 1pm-4pm  at St Thomas Anglican Church Albert St Beaudesert.

For more information please contact Bronwyn Davies, Coordinator Cultural Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council  bronwyn.d@scenicrim.qld.gov.au or call (07) 55405319.  Alternatively look at the Scenic Rim Council Australian South Sea Islander Project webpage

Outside Harvest Point Christian Outreach Church, Veresdale (formerly part of Townsvale Cotton Plantation). Image supplied by Bronwyn Davies, Coordinator Cultural Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council

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