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Jane's Oceania Home Page Newsletter
September/October 2011
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Jane's Oceania Home Page Newsletter
Vol. 10, Edition No. 17, September/October 2011

I N   T H I S   I S S U E ____________________________________

News and Views
Pacific Islands Radio
Notice Board
Oceania Resources
About Books
Coming Events
Special Feature-People*
Recollections and Memoirs
Feature Web Sites
Oceania Web Sites
Interesting Places
Interesting Links
It's Time to Chat
Comments And Contributions

T H E  V I E W _________________________________
News and Views from Oceania

Welcome everybody to our Newsletter for September/October 2011!

It has certainly been some time since we have been in touch and I must say that, as usual, it is just great to be back in touch with everybody once again. Please let me take this wonderful opportunity to very sincerely wish everybody all the very best.

My heartfelt thanks go to our many valued members who have taken the time to write and for sharing so much with us all. Words cannot adequately express my deepest appreciation and gratitude for your most welcome and kind support.

Once again, please join me in extending a very warm and sincere Oceania/Pacific Island welcome to all our new members who have joined us since our last
August 2011 Newsletter! I would most sincerely like to welcome you all on board! Please make yourselves feel at home, sit back, relax, and may your stay and time with us be most enjoyable, mutually beneficial and most rewarding!


The objective of this Newsletter is to promote worldwide the Pacific Islands and, in particular, the island people. In addition, the intention of the Newsletter is to aid in the preservation of our island culture, history, genealogy, mythology, ethnology, anthropology, customs, etc. including rituals and lifestyles.

In doing this, the Newsletter shares and makes available a wide selection of rare, historical and contemporary postcards, along with extensive picture galleries of the countries and the people of Oceania. These are still being extensively upgraded and are of tremendous interest and value to people who are interested in the history of Oceania, as well as to our Oceania/Pacific Island people who wish to gain a greater appreciation of their beautiful island heritage.

In addition, the Newsletter introduces some of the many lesser known beautiful, important and very interesting islands and places of the Pacific/Oceania region.


It is rather disappointing to see that the low-lying Pacific coral island nation of Kiribati says it has been unable to complete a seawall to protect its international airstrip because promised climate change adaptation funds are yet to materialise. Two years ago, at the Copenhagen climate conference, the international community pledged US$30 billion to help developing countries tackle the effects of climate change,  however, the money is too hard to access. This is because most of the funds are being channelled through multilateral agencies and international financial institutions and it is very hard to access those funds because of the process involved.

The seawall is urgently needed to protect the runway - and the freshwater lens that exists under it - from storm surges. The seawall was supposed to be 150 metres long, but because of budgetary constraints for this project, the seawall was only constructed to 100 metres. Indeed, erosion has come to within a few metres of the edge of the runway which is the main runway for the country of Kiribati.

The low-lying islets of the Republic of Kiribati!

The above comments about the Republic of Kiribati highlights an important issue that may well represent an existential threat to the very existence of Kiribati which is a very low-lying Pacific island nation.  

Above is my humble Poem on Global Warming which was kindly featured on the following Web site: which, I humbly believe, to be particularly relevant to the low-lying countries and regions of the world including Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.

A cache of documents and intelligence reports from the Indonesia's elite special forces unit Kopassus reveals Australian academics, church leaders, businessmen and journalists have been targeted by Indonesia's military for their supposed support of independence in the troubled region of Papua.

The documents, dating from 2006 to 2009 and obtained by an Australian newspaper, show Kopassus runs a vast network of spies and informants as part of its campaign to keep vice-like control of the region and monitors the activities of foreigners in the region and around the world.

As well as providing an insight into the deep paranoia of Kopassus and its interference in the daily lives of Papuans, the documents are also remarkable for the many false assertions they contain. These include many Australian politicians and journalists who reported about the region as well as more than 40 US Congress members, including the chairwoman of the powerful Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, who are also branded separatist agitators. Other names include South African anti-apartheid hero Bishop Desmond Tutu and former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

Senator Feinstein and Bishop Tutu have raised concerns about human rights in Papua, but they have never backed independence. Sir Michael Somare spent decades actively opposing separatists. The documents include reams of ''bio-data'' of Kopassus agents and targets and scores of reports detailing activities from the significant to the everyday. Clan leaders, bureaucrats, university students, taxi drivers, farmers, car rental workers and a 14-year-old girl were all on the books of Kopassus and supplying information.

A health researcher says poverty and obesity are contributing to the high death rates of babies with Pacific ethnicity born in New Zealand. An epidemiologist with the perinatal maternal mortality review committee says Pacific mothers have the highest rate of still birth of all races in New Zealand. Indeed both Pacific and Maori babies are also more likely than others to die in the neonatal period.

Certainly, it is not known why Pacific families are over represented but research shows overweight women have worse pregnancy outcomes. However all women in lower socio economic areas in New Zealand struggle to have healthy babies and this is a big factor for Pacific mothers. In fact they are a group of people who are poor, and are overweight and often smoke more, Maori and Pacific women have higher rates of smoking, and that is associated with perinatal death and other bad perinatal outcomes as well.

Sadly, ninety six babies from Pacific families died in New Zealand in 2009 and about fifteen of those deaths were preventable. Thankfully, a recent workshop has looked at ways to make pregnancy safer with better access to pregnancy health care and education.

In our last month's Newsletter, I made mention of the difficulty many island nations were having in getting access to a clean and reliable water supply. In this context it is pleasing to see that the government of Israel has offered to help Nauru deal with its lack of clean water. A  recent report in The Jerusalum Post indicates that the offer came as the President of Israel  received the credentials of Nauru’s new envoy,  as the non-resident ambassador to Israel, stationed in New York.

The envoy told the President of Nauru’s unique geography, being an island with no rivers or lakes, surrounded by ocean which threatens to submerge it. In addition, all of Nauru’s underground water is contaminated, and the Nauru government would like to take advantage of Israel’s expertise in water technology to overcome the problem. The President promised to make Israel's best experts available to assist the Nauruans in this most important matter.

I well remember staying at Fiji's Grand Pacific Hotel when it was at its very best and it is most pleasing to see that this "grand old lady" is now to be refurbished. The project will be carried out in a partnership between the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), NASFUND and Lamana Development Limited.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the partnership between Papua New Guinea and Fiji to upgrade to Grand Pacific Hotel demonstrated the growing economic strength of the two countries. In addition, it indicates the enormous economic potential and synergies that can be developed between Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea has a highly developed and rich mineral and gas resource sector. Fiji offers many opportunities in agriculture, tourism, services, manufacturing, Information Technology and Computing (ITC), property development, retailing and growth of financial markets."

At the end of the redevelopment, the Grand Pacific Hotel will have a total of 113 rooms with a 5 star standard including a 600 seat state of the art conference facilities. Construction will begin in November 2011 with work expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.


The Grand Pacific Hotel was built in 1914 and for a number of years it was the premier accommodation in Suva. Also visiting dignitaries to Fiji and the South Pacific including members of the British Royal family have stayed at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

It is pleasing to see that the Gizo Hospital in the Solomon Islands is nearing full completion. Built with the generous support of the Japanese government it stands majestically near the shorefront of Gizo, the provincial capital of Western Province.

The newly built hospital is a far cry from what once was a small cramped building that could not cater to the growing population in the West.

Final work being done includes the hospital's exterior composite construction, electrical equipment installation and work on medical gas, sewage water treatment plant and water catchments. The new Gizo Hospital is a two floor, 60-bed facility and will be the country's second referral hospital.

It is expected to provide health care services to people from Western Province, Choiseul and western parts of Isabel Province.

Since the 1960s 14 Pacific island countries have won independence from their colonial masters - Great Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand - but of the colonisers, France, has been the odd one out. It is, however, going to allow New Caledonia to have a vote on its future in the next few years, while the current President of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, wants the Pacific Islands Forum to support his desire for independence. But there is a third French possession in the Pacific that apparently wants to be forever French:

It is the Kingdom of Wallis - part of the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna which lies in the central Pacific north of Fiji and west of Samoa. The first European to find the island was an Englishman, Captain Wallis, but local Paulo Falakiko Vilisoni says the French were close behind.

So it became a protectorate of the colony of New Caledonia. In 1959 they decided to have a ballot to decide whether Wallis and Futuna would continue to be a colony, part of the colony of New Caledonia or become an Overseas Territory of France.

Wallis and Futuna is the third of the French Pacific possessions, and less well known than New Caledonia or French Polynesia.

But while many countries in the Pacific celebrate their anniversaries of independence, on Wallis and Futuna they're celebrating 50 years of having been an overseas territory of France. Wallis and Futuna has a population of only 15,000 who clearly see themselves as part of France.

For more information on Wallis and Futuna you are invited to visit:

As one who well remembers the British colonial administration of the then British Solomon Islands Protectorate, there is a sense of perplex about the widespread looting and violence that occurred recently in the land of the people who were once our colonial masters. As is the case with most of these things, there is no clearly no simple explanation, however, there are some basic realities that should be born in mind when looking to understand these recent terrible events. 

Firstly, of course, Britain has been recognised as having the greatest wealth gap between the wealthiest and poorest of any country in Europe. With its entrenched aristocracy, this can virtually be equated to the large wealth gap between the upper class and the lowest class in British society. It is also generally accepted that the numbers of the people in the lower class that have been swelled by arrivals from the former colonies of great Britain. This has certainly compounded the huge differential between the rich and the poor. Indeed as some commentators have now suggested, widespread policy failures by government have now bred a feral British underclass. 

Certainly, this multi-faceted problem has been festering for a long time with the British underclass having incubated over generations of failed policy, behind inviolate barriers of class and social immobility, and home to a feral, fertile, fourth-generation welfare population.

Compared with its European peer group, Britain is way off the charts on many measures of social dysfunction. Its rate of teenage pregnancy is almost three times the average for the other large advanced economies in western Europe - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

Indeed, according to the European Commission, Britain has the highest number of violent crimes per capita in western Europe, and far more than its peer group of large economies.

To improve this appalling situation will require a lot of intelligent hard work from Britain's political masters and it will certainly take a long time for things to improve. In this respect, recent suggestions that the people involved in these riots should lose their pensions and social housing will certainly do nothing to improve the situation. There needs to be genuine social change in England so that all its citizens have a true stake in its well-being.


The political situation in Fiji will not be among hot topics of discussion at this month's Pacific Islands Forum. This is despite continued pressure from regional powerhouses, Australia and New Zealand and other small island states, for the restoration of democracy to the islands.

The Forum would focus on the two pillars of the Pacific Plan, namely economic growth and sustainable development. This Plan was agreed on by the leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in 2005, outlining four pillars. The other two pillars of the Plan are security and good governance.

Fiji was suspended from participation in the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009 for failing to hold democratic elections. This in itself was not without difficulty, particularly in the light of Fiji's significant role in the Pacific region. This role includes such things as being the hub much of Pacific travel as well as the centre for commerce and education.

Perhaps more importantly, however, this has allowed China another entry point into the Pacific with the President of the Republic of China placing great importance in developing relationships with Fiji. President Hu Jintao, said China respects the independent choice of the route of development by the Fijian people. President Hu Jintao was also assured that Fiji is ready to work with China to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in all areas, including politics and economy, and that Fiji will adhere to the One-China policy.

Consequently, it is interesting to see some recent statements by United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, warning that budget cuts in the United States could  force an abrupt pullout of the United States security presence in the Pacific at a time when China's power is rising.

Earlier this month, the United States Congress passed legislation approving US$2.1 trillion in cuts to government spending over 10 years. The first round of these cuts will reduce military spending by US$350 billion.

Certainly, it needs to be acknowledged, that political power is changing in the Pacific. United States global leadership and its influence is rapidly changing in the Asia Pacific region as, ultimately, it is economic power that underpins strategic power.

As China rapidly ascends in influence, its superpower rival seems unable to face up to its failings.  As long as China keeps growing fast - and our entire economic policy assumes it will - the laws of arithmetic guarantee that it will soon overtake the United States to become the world's richest country. And wealth is strength, as America itself has shown for over a century.

But until now it has been easy to assume that America itself is not in decline: that the global power shift is driven by China's growing strength, not by American weakness. China might grow stronger, but America would remain a uniquely vibrant, resilient and innovative country, and a beacon to the world.

Now, one has to wonder. It is possible that we are witnessing, not one, but two remarkable national transformations, as America stumbles while China ascends. If so, that will make the shifting power balance between them much faster, more destabilising and more risky than ever.

We should not exaggerate the importance of Congress's debt fiasco and the Standard and Poor's (S&P) credit downgrade. But, nor should we overlook their significance as evidence of deeper, long-term shifts in America's economic and political foundations. We have assumed that America will bounce back from its present troubles because it has always bounced back before. This time might be different.

Indeed, the United States economy has changed a lot over the past few decades. The first and most important of those changes has been the decline of manufacturing as a share of the economy and a source of well-paid jobs. Manufacturing has always been the bedrock of American economic might. Thirty years ago 20 million Americans worked in the sector. Today, only 12 million do, and that number is falling by 50,000 a month. The biggest cause is competition from China.

As manufacturing has declined, its place has been taken by new ''knowledge'' industries such as finance and Information Technology (IT). But these industries do not create the vast numbers of well-paid jobs that once provided the bedrock of American society. Instead they provide very high paying jobs for relatively few people. This produces the second big long-term change in America's economy - the stagnation in average incomes.

While the relatively few people who work at the top end of America's growth industries have done very well, average incomes have hardly risen for the past 30 years. So one problem with America's new knowledge economy is that it doesn't produce many well-paid jobs. The other problem is that it's not clear what it does produce. Value is an elusive concept, but to put it mildly, it is hard to see how much value the bankers of Wall Street have added to the United States economy over the past decade or two, compared with the contribution of Detroit in its heyday.

This raises some rather unsettling questions. Can America's post-industrial knowledge economy support its global power? Can it create millions of well-paid jobs to replace those lost in manufacturing? Indeed, how can the United States maintain a high-wage economy without rebuilding manufacturing?

And how could America rebuild manufacturing in the face of China's competition? America's genius for innovation will help, but only if it can stop China adopting the same innovations itself. Essentially, as long as markets for goods and ideas remain relatively open, the only way for America to rebuild manufacturing would be to drive American wages down to the point that they meet Chinese wages as they rise.

In fact, this may be what we are already seeing. But they'll have a lot further to fall before China stops taking American jobs. That's bad news for American workers, but it is also bad news for America's long-term economic and social trajectory.

Which brings us to politics. Clearly America's political system has always been untidy, but it has mostly produced good government. Governing America has, however, become harder over the past few decades. Politics everywhere is first and foremost about choosing how to distribute wealth. Until recently the choices have always been relatively easy in America, because there has been a lot of wealth to go around. Now there is, relatively speaking, less to go round, the choices become harder, and the struggles over them intensify.

Several things then happen. First, the debt grows, as both government and people try to avoid choices by borrowing money. Second, politics becomes polarised, as voters scrabble harder for the choices that suit them best. Third, people become susceptible to any politician who can convince them that somehow the hard choices do not have to be made.

America is a remarkable and wonderful place, with immense resources of all kinds. It will remain the world's second-strongest power for decades to come, with a big capacity to shape world affairs and provide a great life for its people. But it faces choices today about how to grow its economy and use its power that are in many ways harder than any it has faced since the Civil War. Its political system today seems incapable of making those choices. We should be worried, because we need a strong and well-governed America.

Church, Samoa

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A far as Pacific Islands Radio is concerned, I am very pleased and proud to be able to say that a number of exciting and significant changes are both underway and are being planned for implementation during the present year. The most exciting of these is an expansion of our Playlist to incorporate not only the music of the Pacific Islands but also the incredible music of island people worldwide. The Playlist has progressively been expanded to include music from island people worldwide and, as such, will incorporate music from such islands as Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean along with the islands of the Caribbean in the Atlantic Ocean.

Marshallese singers featured on Pacific Islands Radio!

In this edition of our Newsletter I would like to spend a little time discussing the beautiful and unique musical traditions of the Torres Strait Islands, located between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The islands of the Torres Strait are occupied by a people with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, drawn from their Melanesian neighbours to the north, the Australian Aboriginals to the south, along with a touch of the cultural heritage of the islands of the Malay archipelago. This cultural diversity is also evident from the differing linguistic groupings in the Torres Strait islands. The western, northern and central groupings speak Western language, Kalaw Lagaw Ya or dialects of this language, belonging to the Australian language family; while people of the eastern islands speak Meriam Mir, an indigenous Papuan language.
Generally speaking, Australia has two indigenous peoples - Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

These groups share cultural traits, economic and ceremonial dealings, and a customary system of land-tenure law. The indigenous people of Australia migrated here over 40,000 years ago, when Asia and Australia were still connected by a land bridge. As the land masses separated, the population adapted itself to the various environmental and climatic conditions of this continent. Aborigines were nomadic, moving through the land in cycles, sometimes meeting with and sharing stories with other clan-groups. The Torres Strait Islanders were seafaring and trading peoples and their spirituality and customs reflected their dependence on the sea.

Although indigenous beliefs and cultural practices vary according to region, all groups share in a common world-view that the land and other natural phenomena possess living souls. The collection of stories of these powerful beings and the repository of knowledge represented in these stories shapes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law, both its history and future. The Dreaming or Dreamtime is the English name given to the intimately connected but distinct strands of Aboriginal belief; they refer not to historical past but a fusion of identity and spiritual connection with the timeless present. A similar concept with other names stands at the heart of Torres Strait Islander spirituality.

When the first Europeans settled in Australia in 1788 there were, perhaps, a million Aborigines in Australia and over 200 different spoken languages. This population was significantly and quickly depleted through a combination of warfare, disease and dispossession of lands. One reason for the cultural acceptability of colonial violence was the mistaken belief that Aborigines had no religion. The continuous Christian missionary presence in Aboriginal communities since 1821 has seen many Aborigines convert to Christianity.

Indigenous communities across Australia's Top End had contact with the Muslim Macassan traders for many centuries before white settlement. In the 1996 Australian census, more than 7000 respondents indicated that they followed a traditional Aboriginal religion.

Each clan-grouping has an important religious specialist who will initiate and foster contact with spirits and divinities. Specific elders may also be keepers of specific stories or rituals. Sometimes this knowledge is segregated according to gender - there is men's business and women's business.

Some key beliefs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are that the earth is eternal, and so are the many ancestral figures or beings who inhabit it. These ancestral beings are often associated with particular animals, for example, Kangaroo-men, Emu-men or Bowerbird-women. As they journeyed across the face of the Earth, these powerful beings created human, plant and animal life; and they left traces of their journeys in the natural features of the land.

The spiritual powers of the Dreaming are accessed by ritual ceremonies which invoke these mythic and living beings. These ceremonies involve special sacred sites, song cycles accompanied by dance and body painting, and even sports. In addition, at important stages of men and women's lives, ceremonies are held to seek the assistance of spiritual beings. This makes them direct participants in the continuing process of the Dreaming.

Music has formed an integral part of the social, cultural and ceremonial observances of Torres Strait Island peoples, down through the millennia of their individual and collective histories to the present day.

The traditional forms include many aspects of performance and musical instrumentation unique to particular regions and there are equally elements of musical tradition which are common or widespread through much of the Australian continent, and even beyond. The culture of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea and so their music is also related. In addition, the death wail is a mourning lament generally performed in ritual fashion soon after the death of a member of a family or tribe. Examples of death wails have been found in numerous societies, but the practice is most commonly associated with the peoples in central and northern Australia as well as among the Torres Strait Islanders.

The musical artistic expression of the indigenous peoples in Australia is commonly connected to notions of place. Consequently, it is also linked to musical artistic expressions of longing and belonging; two affective emotions readily expressed through music and lyrics. Because over two-thirds of Australia's approximately 29,000 Torres Strait Islanders have migrated to the mainland since the Second World War, artistic expressions such as music (and dance) are used regularly to establish and nourish connections to the Torres Strait. This kind of arguably fictive yet deeply-felt affective connection is especially crucial to diasporic populations, regardless of whether their migration was forced or voluntary. Music is a very mobile and potentially powerful form of cultural baggage and it was readily carried from the Torres Strait.

Indeed, wherever Torres Strait Islanders now live, it retains a high level of symbolic importance. It is one way to not only remain connected to home islands but also to differentiate Torres Strait Islanders as a group from the diverse cultural groups (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) that now live together on the mainland.

Maritime songs provide many insights into how some Torres Strait Islanders used, and still use music to connect themselves with their actual places of physical origin, their equally important symbolic places of cultural origin, or the industries (beche-de-mer, pearling, trochus and crayfishing) and boats (smaller schooners and luggers such as the 'Grafton' and
'Goodwill' and larger cargo boats such as the 'Melbidir' and 'Elsanna') that shaped and serviced the region.

Several distinct narrative themes arise directly from the work and lifestyles of the maritime industries, which were crucial to the development of colonial and contemporary Queensland, as well as other areas of northern Australia such as the littorals of the Arafura and the Timor seas.

In a ceremonial context, songs are seen as having a non-human origin. Old songs, evoking powerful Dreaming stories, are said to be created by the Dreaming beings themselves as they created the country in its present form. New songs may also be dreamed by individuals. The song text can evoke a complex web of associations and meaning for people who have extensive and specific local knowledge of country.

Bearing in mind that a performance of a central Australian songline may consist of hundreds of different song texts, the depth of knowledge it embodies and that is required for its decipherment is staggering. Truly the long song series of Australia are among the most
impressive monuments of human culture.

In addition to these indigenous traditions and musical heritage, ever since the 18th century, European colonisation of Australia began indigenous Australian musicians and performers have adopted and interpreted many of the imported Western musical styles, often informed by and in combination with traditional instruments and sensibilities. Similarly, non-indigenous artists and performers have adapted, used and sampled indigenous Australian styles and instruments in their works. Contemporary musical styles have all featured a variety of notable indigenous Australian performers.


Henry "Seaman" Dan


These include award-winning singer, Christine Anu who has made her signature song 'My Island Home', is an anthem for reconciliation among younger Australians and is proudly featured on Pacific Islands Radio. Another Torres Strait Islander with a national and international reputation is Henry "Seaman" Dan, known universally as Seaman Dan, a singer/songwriter whose music portrays a mixture of Blues, Hula, Slow-Jazz and Pearling songs, reflecting the many cultures and traditions found in the Torres Strait.

Pacific Islands Radio is very proud to be able to feature the beautiful, compelling and world-class music of the island people of the world whose artistry and talents are certainly worthy of a global audience.

This is particularly so as many of these artists continue to draw inspiration from their rich and varied cultural heritage. In doing so, they are producing work that has a richness and vibrancy that is compelling and absorbing and is something that is not always present in many of the current genres of popular music.


I am always deeply moved by the incredible music of the blind, indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Indeed, it is the clarity of his singing voice that has attracted rave reviews. He sings stories of his native land in both languages Gälpu, Gumatj or Djambarrpuynu, as well as English. Formerly with Yothu Yindi, he is now with Saltwater Band - both of which are proudly featured on Pacific Islands Radio.

He was born in 1970 on Elcho Island with a population of 2500, off the coast of Arnhem Land, Northern Australia about 350 miles from Darwin. He is from the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu and his mother from the Galpu nation. He was born blind, has never learned Braille and does not have a guide dog or use a white cane. Yunupingu speaks only a few words of English, and is said to be acutely shy.

Since 2008 Yunupingu's music has won a host of awards including Best World Music Album and Best Independent Release. He also won for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for Gurrumul and Single of the Year for Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind).

In November 2008, he was named 'Best New Independent Artist', and his album, Gurrumul, 'Best Independent Album' and 'Best Australian Independent Blues/Roots Album'. He is the 2009 Northern Territory recipient of Australia of the Year. In 2009 a portrait of Gurrumul by Guy Maestri won the Archibald  Prize, Australia's major art prize.

When he goes on tour, everything needs to be discussed with his family and the community before venturing out of his Northern Territory island sanctuary to tour.

Gurrumul also acts as a community leader of his homeland Elcho Island,  He is also of the view that his community should stop accepting welfare handouts as a result of the negative impact they have on the Yolngu society.

The music of the remarkable Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is proudly featured on Pacific Islands Radio.

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It is certainly my great pleasure to be able to introduce to you all our new and hopefully beneficial fourth Domain:

The name of our fourth Domain - Our Pacific Ocean - has been selected to reflect our close affinity with and our love of our vast and most beautiful Ocean. This Domain effectively sits across our other three Domains and, in doing so, provides updated information as well as ease of navigation via the alphabetical index provided for you and all our visitors on the Menu.

Iririki Island Resort, Port Vila Bay, Vanuatu

The above Domain has been successfully in operation since late 2008. Also, I have incorporated a considerable amount of new material including numerous postcards from the Philippines and the Pacific/Oceania. This upgrade also provides significant authentic and most colourful images of Oceania.


This Web site draws together a wide range of Oceania material in order to allow visitors to access this information from a common source. This information includes an extensive range of Oceania mythology, ethnology, tribal art, tattoos, postcards and picture galleries, as well as links to the home pages of the countries of Oceania, Pacific Islands Radio Stations Web sites and to other Oceania Web sites.


This Web site contains a short list of reference material that may be useful for people wishing to trace their genealogy, particularly if they are descendants of the early traders of Oceania.



Jane Resture's Oceania Page was developed to present and highlight an extended range of material in conjunction with Jane's Oceania Home Page. In doing this, it will allow the visitor to readily access information about the Pacific Islands.


Jane's Oceania Travel Page exists to provide the traveller with information to assist in the preparation of a travel agenda. The information on these pages is complemented by links to the various travel authorities throughout Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia as well as other Pacific Islands. These authorities will be able to make available more detailed information as well as arranging accommodation and attending to the other needs of the traveller.

Throughout Oceania, there is a vast and comprehensive variety of attractions and interesting places to visit and see. From the ancient mountains of Papua New Guinea to the coral atolls of Tuvalu and Kiribati to the modern cities of Hawaii, please settle back and enjoy an armchair traveller's visit to the exotic, enchanting, mysterious and beautiful Pacific Islands.


The Pacific Ocean represents one big holiday for people worldwide, including the Gold Coast and the rest of Australia. At this time of year, there are bargains galore, some of which are outlined below.

The following are some of the main specialist suppliers of our music from the Pacific Islands, who are highly recommended by Pacific Islands Radio.


Pacific Islands Radio recommends for a selection of traditional and contemporary music with an emphasis on Micronesian music.


For the beautiful music of Kiribati along with the enchanting music of other Pacific Islands, you are invited to contact the following exclusive distributor:

Our four Pacific Islands Radio Stations play the enchanting music of the Pacific Islands 24 hours daily.


An extremely worthwhile addition to our body of literature on the extremely important topic of global warming is the recent excellent and definitive publication by two eminent academics, Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey, Professor Emeritis in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and Rob Young, Director of Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and Professor of Geosciences at Western Carolina University. 

Aptly entitled "The Rising Sea" this book gives explanations as to why the Sea is rising, the difficulty in accurately predicting the extent of rising sea levels and examines the impact of melting ice shelves on rising sea levels. It also discusses the claims of people who deny the evidence of global warming as well as highlighting the impact of global warming on vast numbers of people who live on low-lying areas worldwide.

With scientists predicting that ocean levels may rise by as much as seven feet in the next hundred years, there is no doubt that this will have an extremely adverse impact on coastal cities worldwide. This timely book shows that, without careful planning, the economic and human consequences of rising sea levels will be disastrous.

For further information about Global Warming, you are invited to visit my humble Climate Change Web sites:

Oceania And Global Warming -
Oceania And Global Warming -

Lastly, my own humble Poems which are featured on the following Web sites:

Ecology - Our People On The Reef
Look To The Earth: Our People on the Reef
Oceania And Global Warming


Nancy Bird Walton
by HarperCollins Publishers Pty Limited
Australia 2002

My God It's a Woman is the extraordinary story of Nancy Bird, one of Australia's pioneer aviators.

Her training began in 1933, at the age of seventeen, in Sydney, where she was one of Charles Kingsford Smith's first pupils. Despite many obstacles - including being too small to reach an aeroplane's controls without the aid of cushions - Nancy was determined to fly, and obtained her commercial pilot's licence in 1935. It was a time when aviation had captured the imagination of people around the world. Long distance flights in single-engined aircraft were eagerly followed by journalists and the general public alike, aero clubs flourished, and the exploits of figures such as Kingsford Smith, P.G. Taylor and Charles Ulm would become legendary.

In spite of the great enthusiasm generated by these pioneers, Australian aviation was still in its infancy and fraught with many dangers and difficulties. Mechanical problems, frail aeroplanes made of fabric and wood, dust storms, poor or no aviation maps and sketchy weather reports would often turn a flight into a test of courage and perseverance. 

For further information about Nancy de Low Bird Walton OBE, AO (1915-2009)
Born To Fly - Australia's First Female Commercial Pilot:

The above excellent display is now a permanent feature at the National Gallery, Canberra.

The new wing of the National Gallery in Canberra, Australia, houses a breathtaking and astounding display of indigenous art that has no equal in Australia.

The impressive opening ceremony featured traditional song and dance and paid homage to Aboriginal and Islander Australians. The featured works were under the silent scrutiny of the painters, sculptors and photographers brought down from the north, in from the desert and from the wilds of inner-city Sydney and Melbourne.

The construction of the new wing of the National Gallery has taken nearly a decade to bring to fruition and has cost the public purse about $100 million which includes restoration of the galleries in the old wing.

A visit to the gallery of indigenous art in Canberra is highly recommended as it will allow so many of us to experience and be part of the wonder of Australian indigenous art. It will also allow the mainstream of Australian people to gain an insight into the many wonderful and absorbing facets of the rich and unique cultural heritage of the indigenous people of Australia.


I am very pleased to be able to share with you that the events mentioned in our last Newsletter  were extremely successful. They were well attended by participants, along with many kind supporters worldwide.
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"Coming Events" outlines some of the many happenings on our calendar throughout the year, hence the inclusion in our Jane's Oceania Home Page Newsletter.
As valued members of our Newsletter, you are invited to recommend appropriate and happy events, etc. that you feel should be shared with all our members who, I am sure, would greatly appreciate your kind gesture in sharing this information with us. Thank you so much!
Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, nicknamed "The White Mouse", served as a British agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the French Resistance and became one of the Allies most decorated servicewomen of the war. Born in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand 1912, Wake was the youngest of six children. In 1914, her family moved to Sydney, Australia and settled at North Sydney Shortly thereafter, her father Charles Augustus Wake, returned to New Zealand, leaving her mother Ella Wake (née Rosieur; 1874–1968) to raise the children.
At the age of 16, she ran away from home and worked as a nurse. With £200 that she had inherited from an aunt, she journeyed to New York then London where she trained herself as a journalist. In the 1930s she worked in Paris and later for Hearst newspapers as a European correspondent. She witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, and "saw roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets" of Vienna.
Waiting to welcome the Wanderer were four smaller vessels comprising a fleet of five, commanded by Captain William Boyd. This remarkable villain was born in Wigtownshire Scotland, in 1796, and carried on business as a stockbroker in London until 1840. He then floated the "Royal Bank of Australia" by selling debentures to the public for 340,000 pounds. Portion of this sum was spent in purchasing the Wanderer, together with the steamers Seahorse, Juno, and two smaller ships. After his arrival on the Wanderer, Boyd set up his office in Sydney, and was soon ready to start whaling, land-grabbing, and importing black labour.

This is the story of the barques and brigs that sailed out of Callao in Peru, calling at every Pacific island group except Hawaii, kidnapping thousands of men, women and children by violence and treachery and transporting them to slavery and death. It has been generally accepted that the people kidnapped from Tuvalu were bound for the phosphate mines of Chincha islands - this is not the case as they worked as domestics in the hotel industry in Peru or on the Peruvian plantations. The sad part of the story is that none of them returned.

The young man was, of course, myself. Since that first trip there have been seven others into the tropics and, always, to islands. To some I have gone more than once, especially to the big one, New Guinea. I have been back to Torres Strait, but not to my first love, Mer. It is still the loveliest island I have seen, easily the loveliest in Australian waters, and the coral reef that rings it is, such authorities as Yonge will tell you, unsurpassed in the world. Mer, though, is not what is properly called a coral island. Coral islands sound romantic, but the true coral island is flat, in accretion of sand on dead coral, and only what will grow in sandy soil grows there. That kind of island can look lovely from shiprail or from the airliner window, but actually it is rather dull. So are the tourist islands, even the hilly ones, of the Great Barrier Reef passages off the Queensland coast; they are only marooned hunks of the mainland. The western islands of Torres Strait fall into that "continental island" class, too.
The following material was presented to me by Sister Helena Egan, an Australian missionary in Kiribati from 1939 to 1983 - over 44 years! Her first hand recollections of the war in the Pacific are an invaluable record of this period. Her verbatim account of what happened during this time has been broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) with her original transcript being held at the Australian National University, Canberra.
I was fortunate enough, as a former student of Immaculate Heart College, Taborio, Tarawa, Kiribati, to have met Sister Helena Egan during her time in Kiribati. Later, Sister Helena Egan kindly visited me in Canberra, and later we kept in touch during her time in Sydney/Australian Gold Coast. She also very kindly made available a copy of this transcript as a record for students, historians and others who have an interest in the war in the Pacific (World War 2). It gives me great pleasure to be able to present Sister Helena Egan's record of the War In The Pacific.*
*It would be kindly appreciated to please reference the above Web site when utilizing this historical material. Thank you.



At the moment of detonation there was a flash. At that instant I was able to see straight through my hands. I could see the veins. I could see the blood, I could see all the skin tissue, I could see the bones and worst of all, I could see the flash itself. It was like looking into a white-hot diamond, a second sun.

The above graphic description of the nuclear explosion on Christmas Island on 28th April, 1958, is provided by Ken McGinley in his book No Risk Involved published by Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd, 1991. The book was written in conjunction with Eamonn P. O'Neill, an experienced Scottish journalist.
William Shaw was an adventurer and a gold-seeker who travelled extensively throughout Australia, California and the Pacific Islands. His recollections were published in 1851 under the title of GOLDEN DREAMS and WAKING REALITIES.
The extract below describes his journey from San Francisco to Hawaii and his early impressions of Hawaii including the missionaries, government, the Hawaiian people and the American influence on Hawaii at this early time.
Soak in the enchanting sounds of the sun-drenched Oceania/Pacific Islands coming to you in 64kbps FM Stereo!


The revolutionary movement that led to the decapitation of the French King evolved by 1804 to crown a French emperor; and for England, the war with France that began in early 1793 was to continue, with little respite, for twenty-two years. On land, Napoleon's armies had consumed whole countries, but Britain still retained command of the sea and in October 1805 won a historic victory at the battle of Trafalgar. Under the command of Lord Nelson, the British defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets - but lost Nelson, who had died on his ship thanking God he had done his duty. The navy was now perpetually engaged in a strategy of blockade and skirmish with few further major battles. On the bright side of things, there were no more officers on half-pay. Amid this grave turmoil the affair of the Bounty, a small transport vessel in the Pacific, was no longer a matter of consequence. In any case, the navy had undergone important reforms and change, and events of the 1780s belonged to a bygone age.


A.L. (For Lloyd) Hurrell was a young man with a vigorous mind and a strong body that moved well in a football jersey, but the job of school teaching on the South Coast of New South Wales, where he was born, fitted him like a starched shirt two sizes too small. He gave up school teaching and became a professional footballer up north with Maitland United. Physically that was better, but it didn't satisfy his mind. Then the letters of his brother Leslie, who was a Patrol Officer in New Guinea, seemed to give the answer. Leslie Hurrell was right. It was just the life for Lloyd.
Paul Gauguin first came to Tahiti in 1891 via Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, and Noumea, New Caledonia. He saw in Tahiti a chance to develop his art as well as developing an affinity with the indigenous people of Tahiti for whom he had a great admiration. The life and times of Paul Gauguin are vibrant and interesting and his work of art will be a lasting memorial to the people of Tahiti and to his own artistic genius.


The first European to visit the Island of New Guinea was the Portuguese trader and navigator Jorge de Meneses in 1526.
He anchored his galleon in Geelvink Bay, in the protected waters between Japen Island and the mainland of West Irian, lowered a boat and was towed ashore by eight armed sailors. 


Prevost-Paradol, a French author who wrote an excellent book on the colonies of the country in 1868, predicted that 'some day a new Monroe Doctrine would prevent old Europe, in the name of the United States of Australia, from setting foot upon a single isle of the Pacific.' A policy so exclusive had never been promulgated, though a convention of all the Australian colonies which met at Sydney in 1883 did enter its protest against any foreign power being permitted, to acquire fresh territory in the Pacific south of the Equator. But until the achievement of federation the people of Australia were too much immersed in the8ir own particularist affairs to pay attention to, or even to take the trouble to understand, what their future interests might be in the many groups of islands powdered over the face of the Pacific. Only a suddenly stimulated sense of danger warned them, almost at the last moment, to reach out a hand towards New Guinea, lying close to their doors; and their concern for other parts of the Pacific has only been aroused when they have been awakened to its imminence by some striking circumstance.
(Including the Malay Archipelago)
The Nature of Coral and Reefs
Tropical reefs are built from corals, primitive animals closely related to sea anemones. Coral types that contribute to reef construction are colonial; that, numerous individuals - polyps - come together to produce calcareous skeletons... structures which build up as reefs
Although Oceania covers over a third of the world's surface, its total land mass - excluding Australia - represents the equivalent of no more than an eighth of the area of Europe. Yet this string of tiny islands (some of them measuring only a few square miles, or even a few acres) lost in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean has produced an artistic tradition that is among the most imaginative, the most poetic and the most eclectic in the world. Defying all definition or classification, these works are now at last appreciated in their own right, freed from the shackles of an overtly Eurocentric approach. But the study of the art of this strange and colourful world, often dreamlike and sometimes macabre or disturbing, is nevertheless still in its infancy.
The Cult of Ancestor Worship
With the exception of the kingdoms of Java and Bali, heavily influenced by Indian civilization, the traditional cultures of the islands of Southeast Asia have succeeded in perpetuating their artistic and religious customs through two forms of decoration: ritual jewellery and ceremonial fabrics. Far beyond the level of mere craftwork, these objects have recently attracted the interest of collectors. The cult of ancestor worship, meanwhile has initiated a tradition of funerary art among the most inventive and original in the world.
The tribal art of Oceania is culturally diverse as well as having a definite link with the mythology of our Oceania people. Sadly much of our mythology and tribal art has been lost mainly due to the advent of the missionaries however it is very pleasing that many of our people are now choosing to explore these particular aspects of our heritage.


Modern evidence, including DNA analysis confirms the opinion that modern man, in the form of Homo sapiens, first came out of Africa as early as 160,000 years ago. Of the pioneers who moved across Asia, one group moved south-east down through the Indo-Malaysian archipelago, crossing over into Australia during a brief window of opportunity 65,000 years ago when water levels dropped. They also reached Papua possibly as early as 65,000 years ago eventually moving from there across the Pacific.
And The Carlson's Raiders
Carlson's ideas about warfare were formed during a remarkable career in and out of the Marine Corps. After serving as a Captain in the army during World War I, he enlisted in the Marine Corps as a Private in 1922. Stationed in Nicaragua during the Sandino regime, he clashed many times with the so-called native "bandits". Their basic tactic, he found, was to travel at night and ambush during the day. After a few brushes on them, he improved on their methods and not only travelled at nights but ambushed at night. Leading a detachment of fifteen marines on horseback, he once routed one hundred Nicaraguans and chased them over the border into Honduras. For this he was awarded the Navy Cross.
Matanikau River, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Many of the memories of the Battle of Guadalcanal are still as clear in my mind as are those of Pearl Harbor.​long_memoirs/index.htm

Aspects of the Mariana Islands
The megalithic columns and capitals of the Marianas silently recall the once splendid architecture of northern Micronesia.
One day, a little more than 50 years ago, a student at Yale College was walking through the grounds, when he saw a lad, about seventeen years old, sitting on the steps of the college, weeping. He was clad in a rough sailor's dress; his tawny face was dull and unmeaning, but his look of distress attracted the student's attention. Being a young man who sought opportunities of doing good, he stopped and asked who he was, and what distressed him. He learned that this was one of two boys who had come to this country, a little while before, from the Sandwich Islands, in the Pacific Ocean. This lad could understand but little of our language, and seeing so many things of which he was ignorant, he felt very sad and lonely. Mr. Dwight (for that was the student's name) asked him if he wanted to learn. The dull, tawny face brightened up, and he said eagerly, "Yes," Mr. Dwight then proposed he should come up to his room in college, and he would teach him. he said "yes" again and his face was brighter than before. So up he went the same evening, and began with the spelling book, and continued to study regularly for several months.


This Web site is the first of two Web sites dealing with the missionary vessel the Morning Star. Perhaps it may be more appropriate to refer to them as vessels as in the end there were three of them all bearing the same name. This site covers the period from 1819 to 1861 when the first Morning Star was utilised to establish a  mission station on Abaiang. The information has been based on the records of Reverend Hiram Bingham and Jane Warren and as such the narrative occasionally changes to the first person. Their records are a useful window through which one can view life in Oceania during this period.


The myths, magic and mysteries that determine the status of women in the Trobriand Islands, based on the findings of a 1918 ethnological study.
The ideas of the native concerning kinship and descent, with their assertion of the mother's exclusive part of propagation; the position of woman within the household, and her considerable share in economic life: these imply that woman plays an influential role in the community, and that her status cannot be low or unimportant. In this section it will be necessary to consider her legal status and her position in the tribe; that is, her rank, her power, and her social independence of man.


Linguistic and archaeological studies have indicated that two thousand years before the birth of Christ, the remote islands of the Mariana archipelago were settled by people from Southeast Asia. These people, the ancient ancestors of the archipelago's contemporary Chamorro population, were accomplished horticulturalists, mariners and fishermen who skilfully adapted to an environment made challenging by periodic droughts and powerful tropical storms. After evolving over a period of three millennia in relative isolation, the Chamorro had the doubtful honour of being the first people of Oceania to receive European callers during the early sixteenth century.


The Church was first to have intimate contact with the tribes of Papua New Guinea. Missionaries in Papua New Guinea and the people who supported them in many countries can justly claim credit, at least as much as the explorers, traders and administrators, for opening up this beautiful but savage land and turning it into a budding haven of peace and justice.
Disease, attacks by the natives, privations took a heavy toll. So much so that in some cases the number of missionaries who died in the country exceeded the number of converts they had been able to make. But the work of the missionaries progressed nonetheless. By the end of 1914, when German New Guinea had come under Australia's administration, all the schools in Papua New Guinea and 90 per cent of the hospitals were operated by the Church. And by 1973, there were 161 mission-operated hospitals in the country compared with 105 operated by the Administration! Of the nearly 5,400 secondary medical posts, 2950 were operated by the mission. Christianity was not forced upon the people. In fact, the individual's right to his own customs and beliefs is recognised by law. In 1973, more than 95 per cent of the native population claimed to belong to the Christian faith  Magico-religious pagan beliefs still exist - but only among a few tribes in the central western part of the mainland and in the int4rior of New Britain and Bougainville.

In the range of twined, coiled, woven and knotted objects that comprise the fibre arts of the whole continent, there is a wide diversity in techniques and materials, as well as great variety in the forms of the objects themselves. Natural fibres were used not only for baskets but for ceremonial objects, and for body adornment; in combination with other materials they were also used for clothing, for shelters, shades, fishing nets, fishing lines, sieves and canoe sails. Bark, human and animal hair, palm leaves and many varieties of vines and roots were all spun into strong twine.

The ancient and ingenious fibre arts show the balance and natural ease of the relationship between Aboriginals and their landscape and its plants. At one time, every Aboriginal woman across the north of Australia, through Queensland, New south Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and parts of Western Australia carried her belongings in a netted bag or used twined or coiled baskets to gather shellfish, berries, roots or even wild honey. around the camps of south-eastern Australia, it must have been common to see women sitting and making string bags, or twining reeds together; this is often seen in Arnhem land today.


Traditionally, every adult man and woman in the desert regions is an artist. Men use ancient abstract symbols to create ground designs in feathers, pulverised plants, ochre and blood, and these same materials create designs on their bodies in ceremonies. circles, lines and dots are also used to carry though the same symbolic language to three-dimensional ceremonial sculptures and other traditional items such as shields, weapons and carrying dishes. Women use abstract designs in their own parallel expressive arts and paint their bodies for women's ceremonies. The symbols are a form of visual language in which the ancestral renewal of life is celebrated and its continuance ensured. The arts all express - indeed, establish - the relationship of the people to their ancestors and to their tribal lands through stories of ancestral travels across the landscape. Various aspects of the journeys that must be remembered by future generations are included.
The History And The Spirit
Kaiala! The Traditional Welcome To The Gold Coast!
Kaiala (Pronounced Kye Arla) is the Gold Coast Aboriginal greeting or welcome meaning "Good Wishes". The full translation is - Yinkaiala Baugal - "Wishing good things and the very best for you". Iluka is also an Aboriginal word meaning 'near the sea'. It was used by Aborigines in the days when they enjoyed the attractions of the Australian coastline in all its isolated splendour. It signified a good place, rich in food and enjoyment. Throughout the centuries it conjured up visions of silver-gold sands and white-combed sparkling seas. A sun-drenched paradise of fun and relaxation, a haven for the weary traveller, a feasting ground for the hungry visitor. What was true for Australia's First People is still true today. Iluka... 'near the sea' is a great place to be.


Nellie Melba (Helen Porter Mitchell), DBE, GBE (1856-1931)
The Voice of Australia
A century ago Melba was regarded as the greatest opera singer in the world, the first Australian to make a name for herself overseas as a singer at time when Australia was seen as a cultural desert.
Nellie Melba was fortunate in possessing all the elements that prima donna needs for success: a beautiful voice, a capacity for hard work, a commanding and charismatic presence, a strong constitution, a will of iron. All these combined to help her develop her talent and run her career with remarkable efficiency. Her portrait has appeared on the Australian $100 note, a fitting legacy for a woman who turned her golden voice into a fortune. She owned valuable property in London, Paris and Australia, a magnificent collection of jewels and a wardrobe of beautiful designer gowns.
Mary MacKillop (1842-1909)
In January 1995, Pope John Paul II declared Mary MacKillop 'blessed', the penultimate step before proclaiming her a saint who has gained wide recognition in the general community; in 2001, as part of Melbourne's official celebrations to commemorate Federation, Mary MacKillop was cited by popular vote as one of a select group of 'outstanding Australians'. The severe difficulties she overcame to bring the advantages of a practical vote as one of a select group of 'outstanding Australians'. The severe difficulties she overcame to bring the advantages of a practical education to all Australian children, regardless of race, creed or colour make Mary a truly heroic woman. With her sweet face, her bravery and high intelligence, Mary's life story should appeal to girls who read and view countless stories in the press and on television about pop singers, actresses or lavishly sponsored sportswomen, many of whom turn out to have feet of clay and are exposed as anorexic, bulimic or drug-addicted. Mary MacKillop's life sets an example to young people that they can have positive rather than materialistic aims in life and achieve goals that benefit others. One of Mary's main aims is to give all Australian children a better chance in life by providing them with an education at a time when this was reserved for those who could afford to pay school fees.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) (1920-1993)
An Outstanding Woman Writer Who Fought For Justice For Her People
Any account of the 1967 referendum, which granted a fairer deal to Aboriginal people (at that time they were not able to vote), would have to include the huge contributions made by Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal tribe and several other outstanding women like Faith Bandler, Pearl Gibbs and Jessie Street, women who worked hard to create a more just and equitable society for everyone in Australia. On 3 November 1920, the child who would become Oodgeroo was born on Stradbroke Island, the largest of the subtropical isles in Queensland's Moreton Bay. She was christened Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska and grew up surrounded by Stradbroke's immense sparkling white sand hills, freshwater lakes and long straight beaches. The Ruskas' Aboriginal family group, the Nunukul or Noonuccal, called the island Minjerraba in their language; it was the white explorers who named it 'Stradbroke' in honour of a British colonial official. On her father's side Kath was part of the Noonuccal tribe; the name she later adopted for herself was the Aboriginal name for the distinctive paperbark tree with its weeping foliage and paper-thin bark, which the tribespeople used as roofing material for their gunyahs.
Nancy de Low Bird Walton OBE, AO (1915 - 2009)
Born To Fly - Australia's First Female Commercial Pilot

Nancy Bird was aptly named; yearning to soar above the clouds took her around the world, fulfilling dreams that began in childhood.

The Birds were of English stock, but Nancy also had French forebears. She was christened Nancy after the capital city of the French province of Lorraine. De Low was the family name of Nancy's maternal grandmother, whose husband, a classical musician, emigrated to Australia, invested money in timber milling and lost most of it. Nancy was born in the sawmilling and timber town of Kew on the northern coast of New South Wales. At a time when aeroplanes were new and exciting, she enjoyed pretending she was an 'eppyplane'. She would climb fences and jump off them, flapping her arms as though they were wings. Nancy and her five siblings lived in what she described as an 'air conditioned house': the cracks between the weatherboards were so wide that the wind blew in and out quite freely.
Australia postcards and picture galleries depict many of the interesting aspects of life in Australia!


History - Early History
The discovery of some artefacts and evidence of pre-agricultural societies may mean that Timor was home to Homo erectus, early hominoids related to Java Man that settled the Indonesian archipelago up to one million years ago. Evidence of modern human settlement on Timor dates back at least 13,000 years, when the Austronesian peoples of Asia migrated throughout the eastern islands. These hunter-gatherers were joined by later migrants from Asia, who introduced agriculture around 2000 BC. Little is known of Timor before 1500 AD, though Chinese and Javanese traders visited the island from at least the 13th century, and possibly as early as the 7th century. Traders visited coastal settlements in search of the plentiful sandalwood (prized for its aroma and for the medicinal santalol made from the oil) and beeswax.
Timor was divided into a number of small kingdoms, which were little more than tribal groupings involved in frequent skirmishes, with head-hunting a popular activity. The Dawan (or Atoni) people, thought to be the earliest inhabitants of Timor, were the largest group in western Timor, but were divided into numerous small kingdoms. The Tetum (or Belu) people, the other major ethnic group, migrated to Timor in the 14th century, settling the fertile central regions and pushing the Dawan westward. Their origins are uncertain, but they call their homeland Malaka, and they may well have migrated from the Malay peninsula. From their fertile base, that today straddles the West Timor/East Timor border they expanded until four of their tribes had formed kingdoms and pushed further into East Timor.
Timor Postcards and Picture Gallery
Timor Home Page
Tribal Art
The following impressions of the early ethnology and mythology of Timor were recorded during the period from 1878 to 1883 by Henry O. Forbes, in his book A Naturalist's Wanderings In The Eastern Archipelago, published in New York by Harper & Brothers, 1885:
All the natives of the islands we saw were handsome-featured fellows, lithe, tall, erect, and with splendidly formed bodies. They dyed their hair of a rich golden colour by a preparation made of cocoa-nut ash and lime, varying, however, in shade with the time, from a dirty grey through a red or russet colour, till the second day, when the approved tint appeared. Several modes of arranging their hair were in vogue. It was either carefully combed out, transfixed with a long fork-like comb, and confined within a single girdle of palm-leaf, or a black, red and white patchwork band, was allowed to hang loose to the shoulders; or it was done up in a fizzed mop, different, however, from the unravellable matted wisp seen on the Papuans of Macluer Inlet in New Guinea or among the Aru Islanders.


Palmerston Islands mark the point farthest south in our circuit of the central Pacific atolls. The northern islet is 1082 nautical miles south of the equator. The atoll is about 280 miles south of Suvarov Island, 360 miles southeast of Rose Atoll, 400 miles eastward of Niue Island, and 270 miles northwest of Rarotonga, from which it is administered.
Mysterious Nan Madol, Pohnpei
Although dozens of ancient sites exist on Pohnpei, none exceeds the elite centre of Nan Madol in architectural magnificence. Indeed, no greater record of prehistoric achievement exists in all of Micronesia than the 92 islets of ancient Nan Madol. Set apart on the main island of Pohnpei, the ceremonial centre was the scene of human activity as early as the first or second century AD. By the 8th or 9th century, islet construction had begun, but the distinctive megalithic architecture of Nan Madol probably was not begun until perhaps the latter 12th or early 13th century. 
And The Lost City Of Mu'a
Recent findings by archaeologists have suggested that evidence exists of a greater population throughout the Pacific region that was more consistent with the estimates put forward by Cook and Durville and much larger than that recorded by the later European presence in Oceania. This Web site looks at one of the remainders of an earlier civilisation - Ancient Tonga and the Lost City of Mu'a.
To The Manor Born

Commissioned in 1831, Camden Park was built to celebrate and confirm Macarthur's position as the colony's largest private landholder - an achievement that would keep his descendants at the forefront of society until late in the twentieth century. In a country of few historic buildings, it offers a vision of Australia that we barely recognize today; a glimpse of the good life as it once was for the tiny, elite cartel that helped shape the foundations of a nation...There is an air of substance and permanence, a sense of serene graciousness and place, of belonging built over generations.

Travel Hopefully

... [A] colony in quicksand ... black men wandering and white men riding in a world without time where sons do not inherit and money goes mouldy in the pocket, where ambition is wax melted in the sun, and those who sow, may not reap ... the Northern territory of Australia ... land of an ever shadowed past and an ever shining future, of eternal promise that never comes true ...

THE LIGHT aircraft raises a puff of red as it touches down on a tiny dirt strip. It's almost lost from sight among the thick pandanus grasses standing more than two metres - the result of a good Wet season. The Wet is all but over, but access by plane is still the only guarantee of reaching this remote station in the Northern territory. The pilot climbs out. His skin, slightly sweaty, is adjusting to the oven-like heat. This pale, thin man with milky blue eyes looks strangely out of place in a country where the sun beats down so relentlessly. a small black cloud of flies immediately descends around him. The pilot is John Durack. He is a Perth solicitor, but thirty years ago he was heir to this property. He grew up here, part of the fourth generation of Duracks to manage this land. Now it's an Aboriginal station: Amanbidji. The dispossessed Ngariman people, who were once the Durack station workers, have had their traditional land returned to them.
New Caledonia (Kanaky) was populated by Melanesians (Kanaki) 2,000 years ago. The islands were named by Captain Cook in 1774, as the tree-covered hills reminded him of the Scottish - Caledonian - landscape. In 1853, the main island was occupied by the French Navy which organized a local guard to suppress frequent indigenous uprisings. Nickel and chrome mining attracted thousands of French settlers. The colonizers pushed out the original inhabitants, and traditional religions, crafts and social organizations were obliterated, and many landless natives were confined to 'reservations', and the system of terraced fields were trodden over by cattle. The last armed rebellion, stifled in 1917, only accelerated European land appropriation.


Easter Island is one of the world's remote and highly spiritual places. Located 4,000 kilometres from Tahiti in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it is barely touched by modern civilization. It is often referred to as Rapa Nui, the "navel of the world".

Easter Island History : Easter Sunday, and a ship crawls westward across thousands of miles of empty Pacific Ocean. Finally, over the horizon, a long island skims into view. Fourteen hundred miles from the nearest inhabited land, it appears barren at first. Rugged miles, naked to the winds, give way to grassy volcanic craters littered with millions of black basalt rocks. Surf pounds the twisting coastline.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

How Pacific Islanders arrived at Easter Island (Rapa Nui), one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, is no less an enigma than how their descendants could design and sculpt hundred of colossal moai from hard volcanic tuff, transport these tall and heavy statues great distances from quarry to coast and erect them on great stone ahu (platforms).
Residents and visitors have applied various names to this small, isolated volcanic land-mass. Polynesian settlers named it Rapa Nui, but the view of the seemingly infinite sea from the summit of Terevaka, the island's highest point, reveals why they also called it Te Pito o Te Henua - the Navel (Centre) of the World. From Eater Island, a vessel can sail more than 1900km in any direction without sighting inhabited land. Dutch mariner Jacob Roggeveen, the first European to sight the island, named it Easter Island, after the date of his discovery; the Spaniards first called it San Carlos (after King Carlos III). Other mariners dubbed it Davis's Land after confusing it with territory identified by the 17th-century English pirate Edward Davis. Roggeveen's legacy survived among Europeans. English speakers call it Easter Island. Spanish speakers refer to Isla de Pascua, Germans to Osterinsel.
A further word on terminology: What exactly to call the island in inhabitants and their language has been a topic of hairsplitting contention. Some people argue that the two-word term 'Rapa Nui' is an imperial imposition that the single word 'Rapanui' more closely approximates usage in other Polynesian languages.
For purposes of convenience, this Web site uses 'Rapa Nui' to refer to the island as a geographical entity and Rapanui to refer to the people and their language.
Aspects of Easter Island -
Easter Island and the Blackbirders -
Easter Island: Beyond the Surf Zone of Rapa Nui
It takes an hour to fly from Rarotonga to Tahiti, and five and half from Tahiti to Easter Island. But connections in Oceania are seldom neat. I had two days to kill in Rarotonga, and three days in Papeete before I could head to this little island, the easternmost outpost of Polynesia. My traveling time must be compared with that of the original migrants to Easter Island. They might have sailed from Rapa -- now called Rapa-Iti - in the Austral Island, 2,500 miles away. Or it might have been from Mangareva in the Gambier group. In any case, the journey in double-hulled canoes took them 120 days. This was sometime in the seventh century (though some archaeologists have dated it earlier). On the other side of the world the Prophet Mohammed was fleeing to Medina (in the year 622), the start of the Moslem Era. The Dark Ages had taken hold of Europe. The glorious Tang Dynasty had begun in China. In the Pacific, people were on the move, for this was the most active period of Polynesian expansion, which one Pacific historian has called "the greatest feat of maritime colonization in human history."
The following legends on the peopling of the Cook Islands was first recorded by the missionary, John Williams, who published it in 1840 in his book A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands. 

It is in Polynesia, where today was a tomorrow yesterday, and one day is the same as the other. Evidently in the islands contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of thousands of worthless desires makes a wise and happy purchase.

This Web site outlines only a few of the games and sports that have been enjoyed by the people of Samoa. Other human races could never be any happier and contented than the Samoans have been. "Work is all play in the islands," is often said. Those many friends of Samoa who have had the good fortune to visit Samoa and live with her people agree that this is true. Sports, games, and feasting are all singing and dancing. In the village all the adult population are either directly or indirectly involved.


Karta - Island of the Dead
Kangaroo Island

A large offshore island without human inhabitants, called 'island of the dead' by mainland Aborigines, separated from the Australian continent for almost 10 000 years, yet with abundant evidence of a prehistoric population. these are all the ingredients of a classic mystery story, which scholars have been trying to solve since 1802.


No greater contrast in island scenery can be imagined than Betio Islet, Tarawa Atoll, as I first knew it in 1900, and the same place when revisited in October, 1945. On the occasion of the first visit I went to confer with the Resident Commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony (now Republic of Kiribati and Tuvalu), Mr. W. Telfer Campbell, regarding the opening up of phosphate operations at Ocean Island (Banaba) which was to come under his jurisdiction, and the employment of Gilbertese and Ellice labour there. A small lot of Ellice "boys" had already been recruited.

Early European contact with Fiji comprised sealers, whalers, missionaries and traders who all impacted in different ways on the lifestyle of the local people. The history of Fiji is one in which European contact was primarily directed towards profit and trade with the impact on the local people being of lesser concern. The early exploration of Oceania was largely motivated by greed and any nautical entrepreneur who promised rich pickings could be fairly sure of receiving financial backing for his journey. It was this way with the Portuguese and later the Spanish who, when they grew tired of showing the flag, were replaced by the Dutch. The Dutch, like those who went before them made the usual overtures of friendship but their ultimate aim was always business. If the symbol of the Spaniards had been a bloodied Christian cross, then that of the Dutchman would have been a well-adjusted set of grocer's scales.


The history of Tuvalu is complex, interesting and intriguing. It involves the interplay of forces many of which are external to Tuvalu. For many people, the history of Tuvalu is measured in terms of the European exploration and influence. To others it is measured in terms of the development of our Tuvaluan people as they migrated over thousands of years through the archipelago of Asia. To others, it is concerned with the evolvement of our people from the spirits and demi gods of our past. The history of Tuvalu would not be complete unless all these factors are considered. This Web site addresses, the first of these - the early explorers who came to Tuvalu from the early 16th century up until the Declaration of a British Protectorate in 1892.


According to legend the islands of Palau once comprised a single large land mass. On this land mass, there lived a very unusual man called Uab. When he was a child, he did not play with other children but was simply content to eat large amount of food and to sleep. Even when he was very young, he would eat much more than the adults and soon he grew to be enormous. The older he got the more he ate and it was not long before he was eating all of his food that his family could produce. 


Storyboards were introduced into Palau by a Japanese artist during the Japanese occupation of Palau and adapted by the islanders to record their own traditions. The stories that are told on the Palau storyboards are usually old Palauan legends or alternatively legends from different islands especially Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.


The following are a collection of contemporary images from beautiful Palau:


The following are a collection of pictures taken in July 2011 of Baguio City, one mile above sea level. Indeed, it is actually in the clouds at times. One can look up from the lowlands and see the top of Cordellera Mountains bathed in clouds. It is also quite dramatic from downtown Baguio City. The rainbow picture was taken from a bus on the Naguilian Road which connects Baguio to the South China Sea coast.
Captivity, Cannibalism And Colonialism In The Pacific
In a corner of the Student's Reading Room of the Department of Ethnography (formerly the Museum of Mankind) in the British Museum hangs a painting of three people from the Pacific. Represented loosely within the convention of the Three Graces, the trio is striking and unique. The central figure is sexually ambiguous. Unlike the accompanying figures, she/he is naked. A suggestion of hermaphroditism is achieved through an ambiguity of signifiers - a feminine face, phallic spear, penis, small breasts. The painting disturbs because it seems to undermine the classical image of the Three Graces as one of consolidated femininity and racial and sexual otherness. As in the classical tradition of the Three Graces, the identity of the black three grades is unknown. The British Museum has very little information about the picture, which is thought to have been painted by the Chinese painter known as Spoilum. This artist painted in Macau in the late eighteenth century; he was one of the first Chinese artists to paint in a western style. The subject of the painting is thought to be three people from the Palau Islands who were taken captive by a Russian sea captain and landed in Macau. Further research into the painting has revealed almost nothing.  
Stuck on the Great Barrier Reef
Historians still debate which explorer was the first to see which piece of land or ocean, but there is little doubt that Captain Cook was among the first to see quite a bit of the unknown world. His three voyages, which started in the late 1760s and lasted through the 1770s, were not successful in their goals of finding a great southern continent north of the polar ice or in finding a Northwest Passage from the Pacific Ocean, but they did much to advance geographic knowledge of the day.


These are a collection of some highly recommended links from Jane's Oceania Links Page.






The following are extracts from a few of the many most interesting and often touching letters that I have received since our last Newsletter. I would very much like to share some of them with you as I find these letters to be most gratifying and motivating.

Please join me in thanking these wonderful people for sharing their kind thoughts with us.

Should you like to get in touch with any of the writers of the letters below, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail and I will arrange a contact. Certainly, many of our members and the writers of these wonderful letters have been in mutually beneficial contact with each other. Indeed, it is one of the aims of making these letters available to our members so that people can share their common interests in the Pacific Islands.

As an aid to appreciating your most kind letters,
I shall also include, in conjunction with some of the letters, the relevant Web sites to which these letters relate.

Hi Jane,

I do not really know you but while I was surfing on the net, I came across your email address. My name is --- and I am from the Trobriand Islands. I read your article on your site about Trobriand women and their status and you really capture my interest.

First of all, thank you so much for exposing my culture to the entire world. I really appreciate it on behalf of my people. I do not know where you are right now but I wish you luck in everything you do in life. I live in Papua New Guinea but travel regularly home to visit my parents. Thanks and God Bless you.

Reply: I have already included the following Web site in our current Newsletter (see above):
Aloha Jane,
I had to write you after spending close to 2 hours on your site going through all of those wonderful photos you have! I thought I had a collection of old Hawaii, you are pushing twice what I have. Great job! I am a video editing major here in the mainland, born in Wahiawa.I have some Hawaiian music videos I made and was hoping you could find a spare moment to take a look and maybe post a link to my site somewhere in your time capsule of a Hawaiian website. I entered your chat room but shucks nobody there for talk story. I will check back, please let me know what you thought of my HawaiianMusicVideo channel and the videos.
Hope to hear from you soon and Mahalo so much for such a great journey back in time!
Jane, please help me. I did receive August letter but have not had another from you in a very long time. Could you look into it for me. I own property in Fiji and will retire there full time soon. I love getting all the things that you send to me and others.
Thank you and kind regards---
Hi Jane, I hope you are doing great. My name is --- and I currently work for a company that maintains a travel website based out of UK. I have been going through your site and it comes across as quite a comprehensive and informative site with nice layout and good content. It would be great if one of my clients could obtain a link from your site. Could you please send me some information...?
Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!
Dear Jane
Visiting Malaita in a few weeks. Can you give me prices and more details for the cultural village tours? Thanks!

Dear Madam,

I am a Papua New Guinean  living here in PNG and I was so interested to find out that you have an interesting  site and that I feel I  should keep in touch with you to know  more about your site. I am currently doing my final year at Don Bosco Technological Institute and it is one of the most well structured and organised schools in PNG. I wish to know more about your site since I love the Pacific countries and admire their way of life. I hope to hear from you soon,
Sincerely ---

Dear Jane:
Recently I came across your fabulous site for Palau. Great job!  Thank you. 
My beau and I have fallen in love with Palau. We're wondering if you might know a way for us to relocate there, easily. As you an tell from my resume, I can do pretty much anything. Until I and my beau completely settle we would love to rent a quiet, beautiful and clean home from lovely people. Perhaps you might be able to direct me? I would greatly appreciate any kindness you can extend.  We would love to move within a few months or so. Best wishes and thank you in advance for your help.
Gratitude & grace ---

Hi Jane, I am writing a book on the history of the Kermadec Islands. I have read your piece on Depopulating the Tokelaus, and Captain Marutani dumped his largely Tokelauan slaves on the beach at Denham Bay in Raoul island. I would like to use the image you have used of Hehe a Afora, The Last Slave in my book. How can I access that image please? Kind Regards
Dear Jane,
I´m a student, I´m writing a document about Kiribati. I´m looking for information about the country and I have found you address.
I want to know if the information in the next link ( about education is updated, and if is not I will want to ask you for update information. Thank you for your time, and I hope to receive your answer. Kind regards.

Hi Jane,
I am a journalist at a press agency in Glasgow. We are searching for Scottish/British people living on the Island because you are the first country in the world to celebrate the New Year. Also I was wondering if you knew anybody from the island living in Scotland or the UK?
We are trying to do a nice story about the New Year. Thanks

Hi Jane, Stumbled on your websites while searching for Artists for Oceania Waves Radio.
It may be that we can be of serious assistance to each other and to your Artists.

Hello Jane,

My name is --- and I am 52 years old.
My father's name is --- and he is one of the men in your photograph of The US Navy Group on Palmyra 1942 and 1943. He was a Machinists Mate 2'nd class.
I have included The Link to this picture incase you have others posted and are not sure which one I am refering to.
If you wouldn't mind I would like to know if you are related to someone from this picture or... How you came about having this picture.
My Dad is 91 years old now and he is lucid and in reasonable health. I would very much like to correspond with you to learn more about what knowledge you have of this Navy Air Group.
My Father was born in Crowslanding, California, on June 25, 1919. He was born Anthony Raposo Santos, "Raposo is a Portuguese name" however he did not care for his middle name and upon enlisting in The Navy he americanized his name and changed his name officially to Anthony Richard Santos. He was born in a Farm house and did not have a formal Birth Certificate with his given middle name and this is why and how he changed it.
After enlisting in The Navy He was stationed at Almeida Naval Air Station and after The Bombing of Pearl Harbor he was sent to Pearl Harbor as one of the reinforcements the Navy sent to restore the base. After his assignment at Pearl Harbor he was then stationed on Palmyra Island. He is The sailor in The Back Row second from the end on the right hand side as you look directly at the picture.
Again I would very much like to hear from you and learn what you know about these men if you wouldn't mind.  
Thank You very much.
Dear Jane
I came across your website by accident while researching specialist foods unique to individual countries.
Could you tell me if there are any cook books or online recipes which describe menus unique to Tuvalu? I have never visited your part of the world but I understand from most travel web sites that certain "home grown" specialities are delicious.
Hope you can advise me. Kind regards

Dear Jane,
My father, --- served in the U.S. Army 42nd Division (the AmeriaCal division) during World War II. He always told us stories about the islands and how wonderful the people were there. Right before the invasion of Tarawa, his unit was assigned to an island near Tarawa to guard a radio listening post or observation post. They spent about 30 days there and were pretty isolated from the rest of the U.S. forces.  He could never remember the name of the island, he used to say that it sound something like Panama. Looking over the map of the islands, I wonder if this could have been the island of Abemama. Do you have any information about U.S. Army units being station near Tarawa or on Abemama ?  Sadly, my father has passed away and I have lost the source of so many great stories about the Pacific.
My father's stories have had such an impact on me that I  plan to retrace his steps as the best I can, any information would be of great help in the planning of the this trip
Thank You, ---
Dear Jane,
Please accept my apologies for writing to you but I am having a  problem of finding the right contacts and i was wondering whether you might be able to help as to who I need to contact. We are planning a trip in a private aircraft from Samoa via Canton and Christmas Island to Hawaii and we would like to know if jet fuel is available at canton and Christmas and whether any special permission might be required to land. Many thanks for your kind assistance - Happy new year :-)

Hi Jane,  
I am from Spain. Some years ago, 2003/2004 my cousin Reyes found a message in a bottle while she was on the beach. That message was from Peter Tevainea, from Kiribati, and finally we contacted with someone from those lands, you. We still remember chatting with you via messenger. You sent us a photo of you and your husband in a wedding, we visited your website, etc...but unfortunately we lost the contact with you. Recently my cousin had a baby and I went to visit them and she always remember this story and she would like to be in contact with you again. I told her I will look for you in facebook and in this way I found this email.
Please let us know how are you and we also want to wish you the best start of the new year for you and your family from Spain. It would be really good news for my cousin to know about you again after so many years. Looking forward to hearing from you --

Hi Jane,
On the bottom of this page:
The link to Pandora's ship wreck is broken. Anyway: a very good text about Pitcairn!
Regards, and a happy new year from Germany, Europe ---
The wreck of the Pandora --
Alfred Restieaux Manuscripts post 1881

Dear Jane, Is there a Part 3 to the above manuscripts – or any other information post 1881? My great grand uncle Captain James Robinson worked for Henderson and Macfarlane and is mentioned on the last page of Part 2 as he was master of the “Orwell”. He continued sailing and trading in the South Sea Islands for Henderson and Macfarlane and in August 1900 had command of the steamer “Kawau” from Auckland to Apia.  I believe but have no evidence, that he continued sailing the “Kawau” around Samoa until his return to New Zealand in July 1901.  If this is the case he was probably well known to Alfred Restieaux. He died in New Zealand on 21 December 1901, age 68. I am finalising a book on the life and voyages of Captain James Robinson and wondered if you had come across his name in connection with Alfred Restieaux? I have successfully followed James Robinson’s career up to the end of 1895. I do not know his movements from then until January 1900 apart from the fact that his wife “died in the islands” 21 April 1899 (location unknown). I believe he probably spent this period as a trader for Henderson and Macfarlane but can find no records. I am writing on the off chance that you may have additional information on his location and character. With many thanks. 

Alfred Restieaux manuscripts - Australia:
Alfred Restieaux manuscripts: Pacific Islands:
Dear Jane,
I have a copy of the Kiribati translation of Captain Davis' diaries, and I have also gone through the extracts from the diaries (in English) on your web site. I found the Peace Treaty between the Tarawa chiefs in the Kiribati version, but could not find the English version in the extracts on your web site. I would be grateful for your assistance in directing me to where I could find the original (English) of this document. Any other information you have on the Tarawa civil wars at the time of the Royalist visit would be greatly appreciated.
I also understand that from my informants that there was an earlier peace treaty mentioned by the Captain of HMS Miranda, but I have not been able to locate it. On a different matter, I enjoyed reading your piece on the history of Taborio (IHC) and having read Sr Alaima Talu's MA thesis, I found your piece very interesting. It presented a new insight into the story that most outsiders to Taborio like me (and those who examine the thesis) are not aware of.
Thank you for your good work in promoting Kiribati and Tuvalu.
With best wishes. ...

Dear Jane,
I came across your very informative website this evening while searching for some information about an art object I was given. Years ago, a friend brought back some hollowed out bones from Australia that were plugged with wooden heads and stand upright. They're carved or I should say, etched? with designs.  I have one that she gave me that has a black wooden plug that looks like a stylized head with a top knot. The bone is carved with creatures with 4 legs and a tail. The body and head of each creature is a triangle. My friend who can no longer communicate, did not have any information about them except that they were possibly used for carrying lime. I'm not sure what kind of lime. Might you be able to help me identify this object? I'd be happy to send a photo. Thanks very much... -- Please check out the Menu on the Web site for relevant answers.

Haifa Adei Jane, I stumbled into your page and was intrigued with the wealth of info…  Do you live on Guam?  Working on a project and would love to talk to you.
Dear Madam,
My name is ---. I work in polish television in Europe. I try to make a short news about Poland (town on Kiritimati island), because it's the same name as my country. Do you know why the town is named Poland? Can we have a short conversation via skype Or facebook? I wait for your message. All the best...
Dear Jane, Having seen the beauty of Kiribati islands I was so amazed with the magnificent features and treasures of the hidden landscape. Indeed people are missing something to discover. The people look so beautiful and I was so touched. Am a radio and TV businessman in Uganda, East Africa. Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa and I can say Kiribati is the Pearl of Pacific but people have not discovered it. How can I get in contact with you so we can discuss radio, TV and tour business. I will be grateful if you consider my call and together we can make Kiribati be at world lips everywhere. Below is my contact as you can send me yours in reply. Looking forward for your cooperation. Thanks.
Hello, My name is ---. I was born on Ocean Island in 1957. My parents David and Patsy Hackworth lived on the island for about 7 years during the 1950’s, along with my brothers Andrew and Steven and myself. Although I do not have memories of living there, I grew up (in Melbourne, Australia) with stories from my parents and brothers who loved the island and the Banaban people, and many slide nights with family and friends who also lived on the island. I recently discovered your website/email on the Internet and am writing to you with the hope that you may be able to help me out on 2 issues.
Firstly, I would love to go back to Ocean Island but have had difficulty in getting information on how I can do this.
Secondly, I now live in Hong Kong and work as an architect and interior designer, and would love to be able to collaborate with Banaban craftspeople to design and custom make products for projects we are working on using traditional Banaban skills and local materials. I was wondering if you would be able to help me with leads for people I could contact directly about both these issues. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
My contact details are noted below. Very best regards
Hi Jane, I have some friends who are taking a 60 foot power boat to Thailand they want to go by the Marshall island and I think it would be better to go to the Marianas which would take them by Wake can yachts go there can they buy fuel where do I find out. Aloha


A very touching letter to share ...

Hi Jane, I have read your poem 'Our People On The Reef'. It has taught me about life on the Marshall Islands. I have thought a lot about what I can do to help save your islands, and these are some of my ideas:

  • firstly we should educate the people of there so they can understand what to do and how to manage their lives in bad conditions .
  • second thing is we should write to the government of there to solve the problems of related areas.
  • thirdly we should arrange some precaution classes where they can learn how to prevent themselves from being unsecured.
  • and as they belong to that area so they are very well aware of  condition of there in different situations that's why they must be always prepared according to the weather to secure their homes, lives, families and other things related to them..
This is all what I can thought in the age of 16 I know these are not sufficient but maybe any point can hold your attention.
I just wanna help the humanity it's my dream which will come true someday ....
I am kashmina hira khan
Student of class 8 ,and 16 yrs old.....
I have many ambitions and this my first step towards saving humanity. Bye, take care.
Hi Jane, I'm trying to locate information on US Army Air Corps Captain, Wirt A. Laun Jr. His WWII dog tag was found on Christmas Island. He enlisted in the Air Corps in April of 1941. Not sure when exactly he was on Christmas Island, but his dog tag was found during a clean up of debris/equipment a few years ago. The man who found the tag, Thomas Cecchi, would like to find Wirt (who would be about 93 years old now, if he's still alive) or his family to return the tag. I know he was still in the Air Corps as of 1948 because I found him listed as a reference on a website for the University of VA. I have contacted them and am waiting to hear back.  It seems like he just disappeared off the face of the earth. Other than a 1930 and 1920 Census, I have found no other mention of him. There were no siblings listed in the Census and I can't even find a death record for his parents, who were born in the 1890's. He is from Alabama, but enlisted in FL. If you think you can help, it would be very appreciated. I am considering ordering his records from NARA. There might be something there, if his record didn't burn up in the 1973 fire. All the best. Francesca Cumero, Angelo's WWII Angels Dog Tag Return Project, --

Dear Jane, I compliment you on your excellent website about Kiribati. It is very interesting and informative.
I am contemplating  sailing a yacht from USA to Australia, and would like to visit and travel through Kiribati on the way. I am Australian, and the yacht would be American. Can you tell me what the administrative requirements would be for such a visit, are visas required, where are the ports of entry etc, etc? Also if prior permission is required, where can it be obtained? Any other information pertaining to sailing through Kiribati would also be appreciated. I would be accompanied by my wife.
Thanking you. Yours Faithfully...

Dear Jane, I have just read your most interesting recollections and family history on your website and wonder if you can help me. I was born in Tonga in 1954 as my parents, Marjorie and Viggo Petersen, had a three year contract with the Tongan Government. My great aunt and uncle were Alma and Otto Brahne who lived at Niumate, a copra plantation in Tonga.  I have been told Niumate was 7 miles from Nuku'alofa, but am unsure where exactly. Having inherited a wonderful collection of photographs depicting Niumate and our years in Tonga, I am hopeful you may be able to help. Otto's sister Ruby Brahne married August Riechelmann, so no doubt you are related. I would be most interested to hear from you. Do you live in Sydney? I am currently in Sydney till mid March.  I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards...

Hello Jane, My name is and I’m writing to you from Norway. I found your e-mail address on your website and I decided to contact you. I have always been fascinated with the Pacific region, which is indeed a very remote and exotic place for me. I often search the Internet for news about the Pacific nations and try to keep myself up-to-date with respect to the recent development in the region. I often dream myself away about visiting those countries...I truly hope to be able to visit them sometime in the future, but unfortunately such a visit seems rather unlikely at the moment. 
For the time being I would very much like to obtain some postcards from the region and especially from Nauru and Tuvalu. Any help or suggestion in this respect would be very much appreciated.  I would be more than happy to pay for the postcards, of course. I have searched the Internet thoroughly, but I have not found any site selling postcards from Nauru and Tuvalu and in the part of the world where I live in it is impossible to find any kind of printed promotional material from there. Maybe you would be able to help me in some way? I tried to contact the National Tourism Office of Nauru, but their e-mail of the does not seem to work. Thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide. Best regards
Dear Dr Resture,  
My family lived on Ocean Island (as it was then called) from 1938 to 1941 when we were repatriated because of the war. My father, Alfred Metcalfe, worked for the British Phosphate Company as a mechanical engineer. My mother was Dorothy Metcalfe, and my sister Diane, brother Rex and I were very young children at the time. I wondered whether you have any records of the people on the Island at the time, especially my father. He died in 1969 and my mother in 1961, but I am in the process of writing a journal of my life for my grandchildren and would love to be able to elaborate on our life there.
I have enjoyed reading your website and the poems within, and the interesting information.
Kindest regards,
Sonia Telfer (nee Metcalfe)
Berwick, Australia
Greetings Jane….. congratulations on your website & the information you have given to us  ‘query-seekers ‘ 
We are having a club competition,  the theme being ‘Islands In The Sun'. In our group a member chose SOUTH SEAS ISLANDS. With that most of the other members will  choose the same wording…. As it is so commonly spoken as islands of the south seas. I remembered that my son’s 1st words were puka-puka, well before he could even say mama! For some time my husband & I could not fathom why these words. Then I remembered that our friends use to invite us for their children’s home-movies.
I think it is in one of those American GI’s fighting the Germans… where he must have picked up the word puka-puka. I have roughly researched the internet & found it on your website. Could you please advise me how I could research more of the place as to use it in the theme. WE need to décor the room & maybe serve a  simple common appetizer from the area. Their culture & dress. Where will I be able to get some posters of the island too. Thanking you in anticipation. Regards Dorothy sam
Dear Jane,
I just found your amazing homepage about the Aborigines on
Thank you so much for the interesting information!
However, one thing that would really interest me is, if it would be possible for a stranger to live with their tribe for some time nowadays. Do you know any kind of aboriginal tribe that would accept white people or aliens in general? Of course I think of traditional tribes that have kept their religious and other beliefs for the most part. I would be very pleased about an answer and am looking forward to hearing from you.
Best regards...

Hi and Mauri Jane, I've been living in Kiribati for 9 years, the last five in Xmas. I enjoy your website and refer friends to you for the best and most up-to-date info, particularly related to our nuclear history.

I have a couple of questions for you: Why has there never been any radioactivity (other than background, comparable to any city in the US or UK) found on Xmas. There's clear evidence presented in your articles and eye witness accounts, and elderly Brits I've spoken with here, that there were at least several 'dirty ones' which exploded over the island and only several hundred feet elevation (contrary of course to all British MOD reports). With the half life of Uranium and others, how can there NOT be any residual radiation on our beautiful isle!? I've searched the web and found no info. What do you know?

Also I find little about radiation sickness etc among US servicemen here for Op Dominic. Were there any 'dirty ones' in Dominic?
And now I see that the elderly Brits are getting a class action lawsuit together against the MOD, who have been stonewalling information for 50 years.
What's the latest on that? last I heard they had 700 plaintiffs including Fijians, New Zealanders and the Brits.
Are there any I-Kiribati plaintiffs in the lawsuit? Thanks very much for your information. cheers and TiaBo Moa ---
Dear Jane:  I  am writing a book about 100 courageous people for readers age 12 and up. One of the courageous people that I am including is Eddie Rickenbacker. Your NET article about TUVALU - Lost at Sea -
The Rescue of Eddied Rickenbacker on NET site
is a viable resource... I am writing to request permission to use the above article you have written as resource for my book. Thank you so very much.
Hello Jane, I am a year 12 student in Darwin High School and for my English assignment we are researching on Lost or Stolen Generations. For me having being from the Pacific, I chose Black birding in the south seas, where hundreds of lives of our fellow islanders were taken for slavery. The information that you have provided on your web page has helped me so much but I was wondering if you had some suggestions of books that I could borrow to help me with my research. If you do have suggestions of books I would greatly appreciate it if you could send me a list of the tittles so I could borrow them from the public library. Kind Regards ...
The Kanakas and the Canefields:
Tuvalu and the Blackbirders:
The Story of Blackbirding in The South Seas:
Australia -
The Stolen Generation:
Hi Jane, I was very interested in your Fanning Island web page.
I lived there from 1939 to November 26 1941 when the Monterey was diverted and we were taken to Honolulu for our safety.
I was particularly interested in David Craig’s photos of the cable station and of the group of children.
My father worked for Cable and Wireless.If David Craig has an E-mail address I would appreciate receiving it.
I do have photoprints and my father had an 8mm movie camera of which some film survives.  
Regards ---
Hello Jane, I am one of the staff in the mathematics and computer department of the University of the South Pacific.
I am from Kiribati and I would like to do a research on developing mathematical concepts of canoe construction in
Kiribati. I have been trying to get information on canoe construction and I noticed that you have an article on line
about canoe construction in Kiribati, could you please assist me by giving directions to the literatures on this
concepts: “construction of the Kiribati canoe”.
Dear Jane, In 1915 my grandfather went to Fanning Island and built the radio tower.  My grandmother joined him in 1916 on the island and my uncle was the first white baby born on the island.  I have many pictures of the towers being built, my grandfather and Mr. Greig along with the natives who worked the island.  I would be more than willing to share these for your web site if you are interested. 
Please let me know, Barbara Cain Email:
Dear Jane,
I just finished reading your Story of Blackbirding in the South Seas and was wondering if you might be able to help me in my search.
I am interested in Thomas Webb and George Robinson. I am trying to find where these two men originated from. In The History of the Bonin Islands by Cholmondeley it states that Webb is from Wallington, Surrey, England and that George Robinson is an Englishman. Do you have any further information? It would be particularly helpful to know siblings or parents for either of these men, birth/christening dates of either man, marriage date for Robinson, Robinson's wife's name, and Robinson's place of origin in England.  Any information would help.  Thanks so much for your time!
Sincerely, ---


Miss Jane Resture: I write from Mexico, I hope you understand my English, it’s not very good.

I write because  a few days ago saw an article in TV about Kiribati, and I saw images, and the preoccupation of the president Anote Tong by the effects of the climatic change. In TV the landscape is beautiful, I can’t  imagine a fascinating place. But today, find  the page of Kiribati, and find your page, and I’m here to write to you.

Thank you by showing the natural beauty of the Pacific Islands, because you give other reasons of care to the planet, we live very far, but I think that I have the obligation to  express that you live in a special place, to surround the nature, with ancestral traditions that to keep up the identity of your nation.

Congratulations to your page.

Sincerely ........Mexico City        

Hi Jane, I just want to thank you for the resourceful site. I went to school at UH Hilo from 1977 to 1985.
Thank you again. Sent from my iPod

Hi Jane, I was looking at your PNG mythology stories on your Site and was interested to read about the Ayon pygmies of inland PNG. I’ve lived in the country for some time, travelling extensively, and have never heard of these people. Are they Highlanders? I know the people from Jimi, WHP, are considered by some to be pygmies. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers...

Hi Jane, My name is Bob, I live in Canada in the province of British Columbia, in a town called Chilliwack, I have spent the biggest part of my life working in the computer and communications field, for over 27 years now. I have dreamed of one day coming to Kiribati and using what I have learned in my work to assist your country. If you can could you tell me if my skills could be used in your country? You are the first person in Kiribati who I have found an email address for so I apologise if I am asking you questions you can not answer, but I am so fascinated by your lovely country. Thank you for taking the time to read my email. Many thanks. ---

Hi Jane, I was wondering if you would be willing to add the Polynesian Cultural Center to
The Polynesian Cultural Center focuses on promoting Hawaiian culture through education, hands-on activities and a wealth of information on Polynesia and the islands that encompass it. We feel it would be a very useful resource for your site's visitors. Aloha --- Polynesian Cultural Center

Hi Jane, My name is --- and I am an inspiring travel writer and I am in the process of creating my travel blog so I can post up my writing. I haven't actually traveled anywhere yet, but I still write. I have a article on Cooks Islands and I came across your photos and I was wondering instead of just copying the photo I would get your permission first...
f you wouldn't mind can I have a copy of the photo?
I will have photograph by..... and your name. Hope to hear back from you! Best regards ...
Hi Jane, I am currently researching the types of housing in Papua New Guinea. do you have any information in regards to the size
(i.e. how many bedrooms, square metres, etc.), materials (wall types, floor coverings, etc.), costs of construction, construction
techniques, skilled labour, construction times or any other information you would be able to provide?
If you are able to provide any information in regards to the types of housing it will be hugely appreciated.
Thank you for your help! Kind Regards --
Hi Jane, It has been awhile. I was with the group that put the runway on Makin. Have you heard anything about the people in the Gilberts (Kiribati) Hope they were spared.
Hi Jane   I got an answer from you before I had the second email finish. It came back, with the gray address.. The first thing I told the wife I hope it doesn't hit Makin because they have no high ground. Baker, was the other Island we put a runway on  that was about 25 feet where the light house was, and the rest was maybe 6-8 feet . with no palm trees, just birds, no fresh water. I guess you know  I have a bunch of ? to ask you. Just where do you live and what is your address. That is real important now. 
I was absolutely astounded to read your excellent web page. What  a great outline to the story. I felt compelled to email you about this and congratulate you. I have been researching history for many years now and have just found within the last few years more and more coming online about the history of the Kanakas. My daughter is married to a Quakawoot boy, so my interest lies there for the children. I feel it is deeply satisfying to have a sense of your ancestral roots whatever background you come from. So well done on this fantastic web page.
Hello Jane, I'm --- from the BBC in Sydney calling. We're putting a story together for the BBC website looking at the indigenous culture of Tahiti & are hoping to speak with you this week by phone or via email if possible. Many thanks. Regards...
Bula, I have come across a lot of sites where you have posted information on history, families and genealogy topics.
I was wondering if you have come across a Trader/Settler named HICKS in Fiji during the mid 1800s. He is mentioned in an except in "Fiji Islands - A Brief History".
We believe him to be our ancestor and would like to find any information with regards to him.
Anything you may have to share will be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks. Kind Regards,

Dear Jane,
I would like to introduce myself, my name is --- I am a Travel Agent
based here in San Diego, California, U.S.A.  I have a client are interested to go to Solomon Islands for Scuba Diving. 
I would like to ask some information regarding the international flight from USA to Solomon Islands.  I am not sure where is the nearest major gateway either Australia or New Zealand or Fiji before to connect going to Solomon Islands. I know they have Solomon Airlines flights services going to Solomon Islands.Your prompt reply in this request is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Travel Agent -

Hi Jane,  
Having spent a day on Fanning Island and mixing with its wonderful people, I am particularly interested in knowing if the island was affected by the Tsunami from the recent Japanese earthquake. Hope you can help.
Hello Jane,
Please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is ---. I work for a multimedia company ToadShow Pty Ltd here in Brisbane. We have been contracted to design and produce an Educational Centre at the Hinze Dam located in the hinterland of the Gold Coast.

We are very interested in your website, janesoceania in particular two images that we are seeking permission to use in part of the display at the Education Centre.
Would it be OK with you if I send you a mock up of the page on which  we would like to use the images?
The page is 1 of 24 and would appear in a Touchscreen kiosk. The whole theme of the Touchscreen display is of the history of the area, Numinbah Valley and the whole catchment area. I look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Jane,
I have some PNG carvings, had them for about 40 years, handed down from parents. I have 2 masks, 2 statues: man and woman, drums axes crocodile, don't know anything about them, could you help.
To Dear Jane,
My name is --- I am a second year student at James Cook University in Townsville. I am currently taking a subject on Australian People. We have been asked to choose a theme and select some photographs that go along with that theme and analyse them and what they represent.

My group and I have chosen to look at the Melanesians and the slave trade in the sugar cane industry. Your website has been more than helpful in providing us with some wonderful photos for this assessment.

Dear Jane, I am looking at the photograph which I am using from your website of the last group of Kanakas returned to the Solomon Islands in 1895. I am going to be looking at the deportation of Melanesian people after the work was done and modern day Melanesian people living in Australia. What I wondered was if you had any websites or references or any other information that might assist me. Thanking you in advance for your time ... Kind Regards

Many more very interesting letters to be inserted here in our forthcoming editions.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  

Our Chat Room is always available for online chatting between parties and can be accessed via Jane's Oceania Home Page: or the URLs:


Your valuable comments and contributions are always most welcome and can be e-mailed to me at:

Thank you so much everybody for being very important and valuable members of our Oceania Club.
Let us all hope for continuing greater peace and harmony, good health, prosperity and happiness, for everybody!
I wish you all the very best and please take care!

May our God bless us all and, as usual, I look forward to the pleasure of your company next time.

Jane Resture

Jane Resture on Facebook   
Special Message
Good day to all our friends here on Facebook and
to all our many subscribers to our Jane's Oceania
Home Page Newsletter incorporating our Pacific
Islands Radio Newsletter.

It is most pleasing that the number of subscribers
has more than doubled since our last August 2011
Newsletter. No words can adequately express how
much I really do appreciate your welcome response
and I look forward to welcoming you all on board to
share our love for Oceania/Pacific Islands! Thank

... In our forthcoming November/December 2011
editions which will be going out earlier than usual
to all subscribers due to final examinations and the
Christmas/New Year holidays, etc. In these editions,
I propose to discuss further the results of the recent
Pacific Islands Forum held in New Zealand in
September 2011 as well as the ongoing impact of
Global Warming on island community along with
the role of women in Island Societies, the formation
of National Parks in the Pacific/Oceania Region, the
ongoing development and implications of undersea
mining throughout the Pacific/Oceania, and a range
of other important issues impacting on the people
of Oceania including the growing role and influence
of China in the Pacific/Oceania region

I am so very excited about all the above issues, and
much more, and I do look forward to discussing them
in our next editions. This, of course, is in addition to
our regular features pertaining to Pacific Islands
Radio including many exciting and new artists.

At this time, my loving and warm Best Wishes and
very sincere Congratulations go to all our students,
wherever you may be at this time - you have all done
us very proud and you are certainly the future of our
Oceania people!

I am taking the liberty of attaching below the URL
of our Jane's Oceania Home Page Newsletter for
August 2011. Of course, should you wish to subscribe
in order to receive your free copies for the holiday
season, now is the time to do it before it is too late!:-)
This can be readily done in your spare time by signing
up at the bottom of this Newsletter using 'Topica',
our long time mutual friend and most reliable server!
Enjoy your day!

Some of my recent Oceania/Pacific Islands Newsletters to share:
July/August 2012
You are all cordially invited to view the full Newsletter for July/August 2012 at the following URL:
January/February 2012
Christmas/New Year
Shared Thoughts
Jane's Oceania Home Page Newsletter & Jane's Pacific Islands Radio Newsletter- Christmas 2011/New Year Special Edition

Sent out to all subscribers in E-mail format and placed here on Web site format on 26th August 2011
Contents and formats of this Newsletter are:
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