Projects & Focus Areas

KaiKaiCompSmallGet your recipes out for Blackbird's huge Kai Kai competion.  We will be choosing the top recipes that will be cooked by some top chefs for special guests.  Winners will recieve great prizes, their recipe in the the next edition and maybe make it into the Blackbird Cookbook out later in the year.


Check out the latest edition for Storian Blong Yumi for more information.


The single most important task is the largest Pacific and South Sea Islander genealogical and historical project ever to be conducted.  Blackbird currently helps with finding and re-connecting families in Australia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, using all means available including ship logs, historical records, oral history and information from the families themselves. 

Blackbird assists villages and communities throughout Australia and the Pacific in areas of governance, economic development, tourism, health and education.  From a simple solar powered energy system, coconut oil press or medical supplies to building new infrastructure, tourism or arts. You can assist by providing donations of funds, resources and materials and of course your time.  Individual focus areas both now and in the future include:   

Read more: PacificAID

Image29Blackbird is restoring the historic Torres Strait Islander pearling lugger, ANTONIA A99 for return to the Torres Straits and Queensland waters.  Many South Sea Islanders worked on the pearling luggers from the late 1800's and continuing on into the 1950's.  Many Torres Strait Islanders also have South Sea Islander heritage and remain an important cultural connection.

South Sea Islanders first came to Queensland in 1860, even before Queensland's blackbirding era began. On the tall ship Julia Percy, which had worked in the New Hebrides, Captain William Banner and his Pacific Islander crew came to Lizard Island looking for Beche-de-mer.  Completely separate from the Blackbirding era, many South Sea Islanders came to the Torres Straits, particularly when pearl shell was found in 1868 and by the end of 1872 about 500 South Sea Islanders were working as crew and divers when the entire population of the Straits was only 3,500.

Read more: Pearling Lugger Antonia

63671_1Help us raise $1 Million to purchase our very own tall ship to sail between Queensland, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and other parts of the pacific and along the East coast of Queensland finding families, researching, community development and adventure tourism. 

Whilst the internet and accessiblity of Queensland towns makes the task of gathering information, research and collaborating findings in Australia easy, there is still no other way of obtaining the required level of information from South Pacific Islands to make this project a success other than by sea. 

Read more: Tall Ship Blackbird

Come join our expeditions to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Torres Straits, Loyalty Islands, Fiji, Samoa and other parts of the Pacific for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that provide rewarding experiences and the opportunity to work with local villages in building businesses, improving health, education and the standard of living, all whilst enjoying tropical island life, climbing volcanos, trekking jungles, diving shipwrecks or paddling your dugout canoe to a deserted beach.  Female-only expeditions also being organised.

Read more: Blackbird Expeditions

Blackbird is currently producing a series of short stories and documentaries incorporating each of the countries involved and will include single family stories; retracing footsteps and routes; re-enacting piracy, blackbirding and recruiting; searching for families and finding families; searching for lost ships and their treasures; cannibals; missionaries and their involvement.  Got something you want us to document? Email us today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Latest News

Blackbird's LATEST EDITION of Storian Blong Yumi is out now. Learn of the UNKNOWN ISLANDER, the ABORIGINAL CONNECTION, seaching for lost shipwrecks with FINDING HELENA, join BLACKBIRD ADVENTURERS, help us get our very own TALL SHIP, enjoy our new range of BLACK FEATHER wines, enter great competitions,...


  During Australia's main Blackbirding days between 1863 to 1904 Queensland sugar and cotton plantations, sheep and cattle farms, pearling and fishing vessels and domestic households were worked by South Sea Islanders who were recruited – or more accurately during the Blackbird “era” kidnapped – by men who were, and are still known today as Blackbirders.   Blackbirding in the Pacific region was not only left to Australians.  Plantation owners in Fiji, New Caledonia, German plantation owners in Samoa and Papua New Guinea recruited for their respective locations.  In 1862 and 1863 Peruvian mine owners organised devastating slave raids on the Pacific. Over a period of about 40 years, 62,000 Islanders were brought to Queensland from the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and other parts of the South Pacific to provide cheap labour for the burgeoning sugar industry.  A small number of labourers came from the Polynesian and Micronesian islands such as Samoa, Kiribati and...