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The Screen Guide

Few people know that the Australian sugar industry was founded on the sweat of men and women enticed or kidnapped from the islands of the South Pacific. Sugar Slaves is the story of that human traffic, euphemistically known as 'blackbirding'. Between 1863 and 1904 about 60.000 islanders were transported to Queensland, where they toiled to create the sugar plantations of the far north. Then, after the introduction of a White Australia policy, most were deported. A few thousand were permitted to remain and today north Queensland is home to 20.000 of their descendants. In 1994 Australian Islanders at last won official recognition as a distinct ethnic group. A unique community, it is the only substantial black migrant group in Australia. This documentray at last uncovers the little known story of Australia's sugar slaves.

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Trevor Graham
Jean-Jacques Portail
Penny Robins
Executive Producers
Sharon Connolly
Dir. of Photography
John Whitteron


Jonathan Holmes (narrator)

Production Details

Production Completion
History and national identity
Production Company
Annamax Media Pty Ltd  Film Australia Limited

Selected Awards & Festivals