Please give me suggestions about how to improve this essay about South Sea Islanders in Australian history. One of the most important difficulties South Sea Islanders faced was the discrimination and mistreatment they received labouring in sugar and cotton industries. Between the period 1863 and 1904, around 55 000 -762 500 South Sea Islanders, mainly from Solomon and Vanuatu, were shipped to Queensland and New South Wales for cheap labour (Australian Human Rights Commission 2012).  South Sea Islanders were mostly visible around Mackay, forming around 25 hundred of the 80 thousand urban populations (Clive Moore 2001). The Islander immigrants were known as ‘Kanakas’ and their recruitment involved either blackbirding (practice of kidnapping labour) or trickery. They signed a three-year work contract that revealed a system of treatment and labour conditions that discriminated on the basis of race. The employment of “coloured” labour, apart from on farm owned by a countryman, was banned by the Queensland’s Arbitration Court between 1919 and 1921 and gave preference in employment to Australian Workers’ Union (the Whites). When the deportation order was made a total of 7 068 Islanders were repatriated back to their islands in the period of 1904 and 1908(Clive Moore 2001). However, after a 1904 Royal Commission, certain categories were allowed to remain in Australia. Approximately 1500 Islanders were officially allowed to reside and another 1000 stayed illegally (Department of Aboriginal 2012). 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is good to see the changes that you have made here.  It is good that you have included citations and defined blackbirding.  A couple things that I guess I missed last time you posted this:

You can’t say “between the period…”  You could say “In the period from 1863 to 1904…”  Or you could say “Between 1863 and 1904…”  But “between the period is not correct.

In the US, at least, we refer to the Solomon Islands and not to “Solomon.”  Unless this is different in Australia, you should change that.

Similarly, we would not say “25 hundred” of “80 thousand.”  We would put it in numerals as you did earlier in the paragraph. 

In that same sentence, perhaps you should say “of the 80,000 people in the urban area.”

Overall, though, this is better than previous drafts.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial