3 February 2016
[By CLARISSA SEBAG-MONTEFIORE] YARRABAH, Australia — This remote stretch of coastline in north Queensland has much to offer: pristine beaches dotted with mango and palm trees, tropical breezes, an azure ocean.
But the lush surroundings belie a troubled history. Yarrabah was settled as an Anglican mission in the 1890s, and Aboriginal and some South Sea island natives were forcibly relocated here from their traditional lands. Under mission rule, they toiled in agriculture, working on sugar and coffee plantations, for meager rations.
Children were separated from their parents and sent to church-run dormitories, their native languages banned and their freedom of movement curtailed and the Aboriginal community still struggles with this grim history.
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