News

Raechel has finally found home and has dual citizenship

LOST IDENTITY: Raechel Ivey has received citizenship in Vanuatu after finding documents proving that her great-grandparents were kidnapped in the 1800s to become slaves. (Inset) Raechel’s great-grandparents James Tuku and Fanny Battingarra
LOST IDENTITY: Raechel Ivey has received citizenship in Vanuatu after finding documents proving that her great-grandparents were kidnapped in the 1800s to become slaves. (Inset) Raechel’s great-grandparents James Tuku and Fanny Battingarra Contributed

WHEN Raechel Ivey first stepped foot in Vanuatu, she knew she was home.

It has been a long journey for the Australian South Sea Islander to prove her heritage and regain her identity.

Raechel is one of the first South Sea Islanders to gain dual citizenship in Vanuatu and Australia.

The Vanuatu Government recently made a change to its constitution allowing residents and indigenous ni-Vanuatu born overseas to hold dual citizenship.

Raechel said her journey to be recognised as a citizen of Vanuatu wasn't only for her; it was about giving her great-grandfather and great-grandmother their identity back, after it was stolen in the 1800s.

James Tuku and Fanny Battingarra were stolen from their respective homes in Vanuatu during the indentured labour trade that went on from 1847-1908.

Her great-grandparents were taken to Sydney, where James's last name was changed to Togo and he was made a gardener, while Fanny was a maid.

For Raechel, 55, it has been an emotional journey learning how her great-grandparents lost their identity, language and culture after being kidnapped.

Raechel, who moved to Central Queensland more than 17 years ago from Tweed Heads in NSW, got documentation of her great-grandparent's registration as "aliens" in Australia to prove that she is originally from Vanuatu.

In the early 1900s her great grandparents were set free and later wed and had children.

While their family was raised in Australia, Raechel says she's never felt completely at home here.

"My birth certificate says I'm Aussie, but we know we were brought over here," the Emerald woman said.

"Being Australian doesn't feel like my home; we're not Aboriginal or Torres Strait.

This documentation "shows that I belong somewhere."

After several trips to Vanuatu with documentation of her great-grandparents' history, Raechel was granted citizenship of her home country.

"I got a letter to say I've been approved, now I'll go back to Vanuatu to do an oath of allegiance," she said.

The mother of 10 plans to move back to Vanuatu in the future and begin to reconnect with family she's found in recent years.

Raechel said that while her people may have been stolen; "they didn't steal the heart of who we really are".

HISTORY OF BLACKBIRDING

Blackbirding (also known as the indentured labour trade) of South Sea Islanders happened between 1847-1908

An estimated 55,000 men and some women taken

Some islands' entire male population were taken

25-30% died through lack of immunity and maltreatment

There are an estimated 40,000 surviving descendants today

Most South Sea Islanders were brought to Queensland to work in the sugar industry

Topics:  south sea islander vanuatu



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

REVEALED: The CQ pubs set to receive a face lift this year

The old Saleyards Hotel is set to become a rum distillery.   Pictured are the new owners Warren and Catie Brewer with the children L-R Henry (3), and Otis (1).

If renovations are not already happening there are plans for TLC

He fell in love with an escort then held her dog ransom

A couple broke into the home of an escort, assaulted her and stole her dog because the man had fallen in love with her.

He beat her, demanded money and stole her dog.

An industry changing before Bruce's eyes

Bruce McKenzie with his grand son Riley McKenzie at Gracemere sale yards.

Bruce has seen the beef industry change significantly.

Local Partners

An industry changing before Bruce's eyes

Having spent close to nine decades in Central Queensland one local man has seen the beef industry change significantly.


Feeling Lucky?

Win $1000 worth of Scratchies
Learn More

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Why the Rocket Man won't be landing in Rockhampton

epa05642885 British singer-songwriter and composer, Sir Elton John performs in the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 November 2016.  EPA/PAUL BERGEN

Bulletin asks the hard questions after today's big news

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!