Today’s Australian South Sea Islanders have a special place in Queensland’s cultural diversity and history. They are the descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland from 1863 to 1904 from 80 Melanesian islands to work the State’s cotton and sugar plantations. The 62,000 men, women and children were considered a cheap source of labour, with many being kidnapped, tricked or blackbirded. By 1908, many had been deported under the “White Australia” policy and those who remained suffered harsh treatment and discrimination. Today, Australian South Sea Islanders have a unique identity in Queensland, which is embedded in a rich heritage and vibrant culture.