Blackbird International was established in 2003 as a small community project called Blackbird and was founded on the single objective to reunite families of the descendants of those that were recruited during the Blackbirding era from the 1840's to early 1900's. Blackbird commenced a FINDING FAMILY BLONG YUMI program primarily with Australian families wishing to find out more about their origins and ancestors.
Blackbird outgrew it’s community based status many years ago with numerous projects and initiatives and the requirement to undertake work to find familes in Australia and more than six Pacific Island nations including Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Today, in many villages throughout Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and other parts of the Pacific, there are individuals that have many questions as to what happed to their father, grandfather, uncle and aunty. Did they have children and granchildren? Did they make the journey? Where did they go? What happened to them?
Similarly in Queensland, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and Papua New Guinea, the decendants of those recruited may now have hundreds of family members from a single “recruit” who seek their own information about which Island or village their grandfather or grandmother came from and what the village is like today. Australian South Sea Islanders seek to reunite with family members of those that remain in their original village and to take the journey home.
It is widely accepted that whilst the majority of Australian South Sea Islanders have some very general knowledge of where their grandparents came from in a much broader sense, (ie: somewhere in Vanuatu or Solomon Islands) in the majority of cases they don’t know their true island, village, names and customs, their families and have had little or no contact.
To learn more about the work of Blackbird International, Blackbirding in Australia and the South Pacific and to support their work, follow the link below.