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Islander honours her heritage

Tags: australian south sea islanders secretariat, nasuven enares, south sea islanders

NASUVEN Enares has much to be proud of.

Nasuven Enares, South Sea Islander. Photo: John Gass / Daily News

John Gass

NASUVEN Enares has much to be proud of.

She has achieved much in her life, including helping in the design of the Australian South Sea Islanders flag, intensive work with the Australian South Sea Islanders' Secretariat that addresses the welfare of her people and representing them at The Haig in the 1990's.

But her greatest pride is her heritage.

Born in Murwillumbah, she was one of 11 children with her father, Moses Toupay Enares gaining success as a banana farmer.

This was no mean feat, considering he was brought to Australia's shores as a kanaka through the black-birding years on cane and banana plantations in the Tweed region.

Ms Enares spoke at the Tweed Maritime Museum today (Tuesday) about her culture and her efforts to establish recognition of her people in Australia.

"I'm very proud of my heritage," she said.

"But I am also very proud of my Australian heritage.

"I grew up in this region and was never aware of racism.

"It wasn't overtly obvious.

"Yet we were deprived of our culture in many ways as children.

"We weren't allowed to use our native names.

"I was called Zoe by my teachers.

"My sister Neutuka was made to call herself Phyllis"

The Australian South Sea Islanders' Secretariat is a reporting body that addresses issues raised in the Queensland Government Action Plan 2000.

The plan is a whole-of-government response to Australian South Sea Islander community issues identified in the Recognition Statement.

The secretariat also addresses issued raised by the Government Response on the Situation of South Sea Islanders.

Ms Enares addressed the United Nations in 1993 in relation to the needs of South Sea Islanders in Australia.

Tweed Daily News  

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