Projects & Focus Areas
Get 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:
Blackbird 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.
Help 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.
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.