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Kit BlogArchive: 2015

Life on Fantome Island: The Joe Eggmolesse story

25 Jul 2015 | Author: Andrew Hateley-Browne

Joe Eggmolesse is a third-generation Australian South Sea Islander. His grandparents came by ship to Australia in the late 1800s. His grandfather came willingly. But his grandmother, at 16 years of age, was taken by force in a practice called “blackbirding”. In Queensland and northern New South Wales, the sugar and cotton industries enslaved islanders. Around 60,000 people came to Australia as “indentured labourers” in this way. In 1901, the government enacted two White Australia policies. They tried to get rid of “Kanakas” (South Sea island workers). After half a century of blackbirding, the practice finally stopped.

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