Clear Creative Connections

exhibition services I arts I heritage I creative business  
  development I management I advice


Curator / Project Coordinator

Stage: Development


  1. Community wellbeing

  2. Cultural Awareness

  3. Artist Collaboration

  4. Cultural Heritage Research


  1. Community gatherings

  2. Exhibitions

  3. Collection Research and Access

Key Dates

  1. Project Development 2012 - May 2013

  2. Program June - November 2013


  1. Project Coordinator

  2. Co Curator along side Imelda Miller

  3. Grant Writing

  4. Build Partnerships and Collaborations

  5. Marketing


  1. ASSI Community

  2. ASSI Associations across SEQ

  3. Local governments

  4. Cultural organisations across South East Queensland

Project Introduction

    1. 2013 marks 150 years since the first South Sea Islanders were brought to Australia.

    2. To acknowledge the ASSI people and promote their unique culture, hidden and difficult heritage and valuable contribution, a consortium of ASSI, south east Queensland (SEQ) local government and cultural organisation representatives have been working, since 2010 to develop a commemorative program of community activities, arts and cultural events.

    3. The program titled ASSI 150 SEQ.

  1. Project Aims

    1. ASSI 150 SEQ is a community arts and development project. Its aims are:

    2. Showcase the arts and culture of the ASSI people through exhibitions and performances;

    3. Educate and build awareness for the significant heritage of the ASSI people through displays, workshops, research and collecting;

    4. Create linkages to build community cohesion, confidence, pride, identity and ability;

    5. Enable collaboration involving ASSI artists/groups and organisations with other Australian, South Sea Island and international artists/groups and organisations;

    6. Encourage the research, protection and access of the ASSI cultural heritage;

    7. Broadcast the ASSI activities nationally and internationally.

  2. Exhibition Description - The Australian South Sea Islanders

    1. The exhibitions for the ASSI 150 SEQ program will explore the culture and heritage of the ASSI people and showcase their unique arts and crafts.

      1. Reflecting the ongoing vitality and diversity of the ASSI culture the exhibition will utilise innovative methods to present the mix of new and existing artistic and historic material.

  3. Exhibition Rationale

    1. Australian South Sea Islanders are the Australian born descendants of people brought here between 1863 and 1904 to work the cotton and sugar plantations, pastoral and beche-de-mer industries. They arrived from eighty Pacific islands, with the majority from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. 

    2. These people were brought to Australia as a source of cheap labour. Many were tricked into coming, others were kidnapped or "blackbirded". Men, women and children were forced to work long hours, for low or no wages while living in very poor conditions.

    3. Between 1906 and 1908 large numbers were deported. Those who remained and their descendants were subjected to ongoing racial discrimination and harsh treatment, including restrictions as a result of government legislation. 

    4. On 25 August 1994 the Commonwealth Government formally recognised Australian South Sea Islander people as a distinct cultural community. In 2000 the Queensland Government acknowledged the unjust treatment and ongoing social and economic disadvantage endured by the community.

    5. Through a range of contemporary and historic material this exhibition commemorates the 150 year heritage of the Australian South Sea Islander people. It reveals the hidden and difficult stories associated with their heritage and showcases a resilient and vibrant community who are proud of their ongoing contribution and achievements in Australia.

  4. Key Themes and Messages

    1. “Australian South Sea Islanders’ unique spirituality, identity and cultural heritage enrich Queensland’s cultural diverse society.  For more than a century their culture, history and contribution to Queensland have been ignored and denied.  Even today there is little knowledge or understanding among the Australian community about Australian South Sea Islanders.”

    2. Queensland Government Recognition Statement, 2000

    3. The ASSI 150 program aims to build on work previously done and increase awareness and recognition.

    4. The exhibitions aims to communicate the following messages:

    5. The contribution to the growth of Australia by ASSI people is significant and long term

    6. That the ASSI heritage is a hidden heritage, full of painful and troubling events.

    7. Cultural and heritage recognition for the ASSI community remains a priority for them. They want the Australian community to be aware of the contribution to the country, the treatment they endured and the issues the community face today.

    8. The ASSI community are a community united by diversity, their ancestors came from 80 different islands.

    9. The ASSI culture is a unique, rich and diverse.

    10. The ASSI are a resilience people. They have endured unjust treatment and ongoing social and economic disadvantage.

    11. That ASSI people celebrate their life and contribution to Australia while maintaining links to their south sea island home.

    12. ASSI people are actively contributing to Australia today. They are proud of the ongoing achievements, particularly in sport.

  5. If you would like to receive the ASSI 150 SEQ Newsletter contact

Project enquiries
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ASSI 150 website

Krishna Nahow, Yearnings, Digital Drawing, 2013 © The Artist

ASSI 150 SEQ has been made possible through the work of the  ASSI SEQ Steering Community, Community and Cultural Groups and Organisations, SEQ Local Governments and the Queensland Government.

Funding Partner

Project Partners

Program Partners