1 Feb 2019

Australia accused of trying to weaken cultural heritage on Norfolk

4:02 pm on 1 February 2019

Australia is being accused of trying to weaken Norfolk Islanders hold on their island and culture.

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Photo: Norfolk Government

The president of the Norfolk Island People for Democracy said he has uncovered official reasons for Canberra's takeover of the island which are at odds with what has been publicly stated.

Brett Sanderson said the official rationale for the administrative change was because of the island's supposedly dire economic state.

However, he has discovered, via a Freedom of Information request, what he said is an attempt to wipe out Norfolk Islanders' links to their Pitcairn heritage.

The preamble to the Norfolk Island Act, which recognised the island as a homeland for Pitcairn Islanders, was removed by Canberra in 2015.

A 2018 ministerial briefing Mr Sanderson has obtained shows its aim was to disengage and overwhelm Pitcairn culture and heritage.

"The most disturbing thing was the department's sort of ethnocide push really. It's really cultural genocide to try and wipe out a people through whatever methods are available."

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