Vanuatu's stolen generation

Vanuatu’s stolen generation

On the tiny island of Tanna in Vanuatu in the South Pacific the ocean is a huge part of everyday life.

The Tannanese rely on the sea for their livelihood and the beach for cultural ceremony.

But 150 years ago something happened on their beaches, forever changing their relationship to the ocean.

In the 1860s throughout the Pacific Islands tens of thousands of boys and young men were kidnapped and coerced from beaches and put onto boats. They were then taken thousands of kilometres away to Australia. On arrival they were made to work on sugar cane plantations.

Hear stories of the blackbirding trade, how the community of Tanna continues to struggle to live with this history and how now, questions are being asked of Australia’s responsibility to acknowledge this brutal past.

A co-production between the BBC World Service and ABC Radio National, this program was a nominee for the 2020 Tom Krause Award for Outstanding Foreign Correspondent.

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