26 Oct 2011

Descendants of blackbirding to form national organisation to investigate reparations

6:38 pm on 26 October 2011

A Vanuatu descendant of those involved in the infamous blackbirding trade in Queensland says a national organisation will be formed next year after this month's trip to the Australian state.

MP David Abel was one of the organisers of a delegation to historical sites connected to the trade which was based on notorious shipments of mostly young men to Queensland in the 19th centrury.

About 60,000 Melanesians were tricked or kidnapped to work on Queensland plantations and thousands of their descendants remain there.

Mr Abel says the national organisation will be formalised next Easter when they return to Queensland.

He says the focus of the trip was to strenghten bonds between families but next year the matter of possible reparations will be investigated.