Nathias Warkill ross

Nathias Warkill plans to take the tourism industry by storm. The Rockhampton born 22 year old plans to be the hotel manager of hotel chains such as the Hilton, Marriot and Accor; Nathias loves a challenge and works hard to enjoy the benefits. Tourism is the vehicle that he will use to create awareness about the Australian South Sea Islander Culture and its issues.

“Being able to represent the Australian South Sea Islander culture in any country is an amazing concept” Nathias says.

Like most students Nathias was unsure of what his future career would be after high school. Studying at North Rockhampton State High School he excelled in English studies, Drama and Music. Schooling was an important aspect of his life and he was grateful to be awarded one of the Australian South Sea Islander High School Scholarships provided by the Department of Main Roads. This enabled him to finish his schooling without any financial uncertainties and allowed him to concentrate on studies. However, throughout schooling he thought it was important to also gain work experience.

During his high school years Nathias, was successful in gaining work in the retail industry.
Immediately after high school Nathias was fortunate enough to be given an Australian South Sea Islander traineeship working in the Local Tourism Office, Rockhampton Tourist and Business Information now Capricorn Enterprise. Trainees are usually hired on a yearly basis. However, Nathias excelled in his position as Event Co- coordinator Trainee and soon earned himself a permanent position as a part of the Capricorn Enterprise team. He stayed with the company for three years and resigned as the Visitor Information Centre Supervisor of the Capricorn Coast based in Yeppoon, in 2012.

To further his knowledge, Nathias is currently studying Tourism Management with a major in Events at Bond University on the Gold Coast. He was honoured to be the first recipient of the Accor Indigenous Scholarship.


Ros Wallace, an Australian South Sea Island Leader

dee"Its' time to raise the bar' is the drive behind Rockhampton's newest female business woman. Ros Wallace, an Australian South Sea Island woman launched her entertainment and events business in June this year.Her new venture is more than a business. 'This is a vehicle of which I can deliver my suicide prevention message and showcase the talents of our south pacific artists" Ros says.

Ros has worked as the Coordinator of the Victims of Crime Program at the Central Queensland Community Legal Centre for over 10 years.During this time she has seen more than her fair share of the effects of crime and sadly, has seen too many young people take their lives, which has had a major effect on her.Today after surviving a brain tumour 2 years ago and returning to the Victims of Crime program part time, Ros states'nothing just happens'.

It was whilst recovering from the tumour that Ros imagined and made plans for all that she could do once she became well again.Ms Wallace is confident as she strongly confirms.'This next chapter of my life is mine and I'm taking the rein, as we each have a free will or choice.And my will or choice is to fulfil what I believe is my God given purpose'. Ros" tip is,"don't focus on what you cannot do but that which you can do, thus my own business from home'.

Ros Wallace together with her South Pacific Crew presented NEXT a live concert which featured ex- locals Clint Wallace & Zeek Power with Slip-on Stereo, Uali and JKing on Saturday, 29 September, 2012 at the Leichhardt Hotel in Rockhampton.  

It was an event which was about creating a platform to showcase Australian South Sea Islander musicians and culture and to promote an extremely important message ,
"Life is worth living suicide is not an option".



Vera Bezgovsek

This time last year the Bowen community was in the last stages of preparations for "Behind the Cane"' a musical theatre work which chronicled in song, dance and stories the strong and courageous spirit of Australian South Sea Islanders at the Bowen Soundshell as part of the 2011 Queensland Music Festival.
Working hard in the 18 month lead up to the production was Vera Bezgovsek, who alongside Gwen Watego was a community consultant for the ASSI community in Bowen liaising with the QMF team producing this historical event.Vera, the second youngest of 14 children born to Joseph and Ruby Merrypor of Kinka Beach, Yeppoon, Qld is very passionate about the need to promote and share the stories of Australian South Sea Islanders with the wider community
Vera's grandfathers were brought to Qld during the Blackbirding era from Gaua and Santo in Vanuatu and the opportunity to share their stories alongside others was an opportunity not to be missed.
Bernie Hock, a former principal of the Queens Beach State School where Vera, had worked for over 27 years, described Aunty V as "a living legend at QB. A lady who gave her heart and soul for the betterment of the school and the QB community. Vera always worked above and beyond the call of duty and took great pride in her work".
It is this hard work ethic and her love for family and community that shone through the time that "Behind the Cane" was being worked on and later performed.

Although recently retired from full time work, Vera plans to continue being an active member of the Whitsunday Australian South Sea Islander United Council in Bowen and take every opportunity that comes her way to share about Australian South Sea Islanders. In a speech to a room full of councillors from all over Queensland, Vera shared about her experience working with Queensland Music Festival, and then ended her speech simply with the words "It is time we told our story".


Krishna Nahow Artist
Profile ASSIS website - Krishna Nahow Artist, Kurator, Kultural AdvoKat, printmaKing KoOrdinator and Founder of KastomK; the Koveteur of all things K, Krishna Nahow, was born in Bowen, north Queensland and currently lives in Brisbane.
She is a university graduate, an Ambassador for Blackbird; finding family blong yumi, and sits on the executive committee of ASSIS and the Descendent's of Australian South Sea Islanders, DASSI, Sunshine Coast. In 2013 she takes on another Artist in Residency [AiR] this time at Brisbane Girls Grammar School. You can follow her progress on her blog Last year Krishna with DASSI and the Sunshine Coasts' Australian South Sea Islander community participated in the Sunshine Coast Regional Council's Floating Land Festival.
Two successful art exhibitions were shown at the Butter Factory, Cooroy in partnership with Queensland Museum. One being local digital stories in My Island Homes, shared the art space with Krishna's new media installation Long Along Sugar Ca Cane. This installation expressed the narrative of loss and longing through song and spoken Mwotlap language and Bislama. The inspiration for the work was a song composed at Mwotlap which shares the same name as the title of her work and can be heard throughout the installation. The work is a dedication to our elders past who were the pioneers of the Queensland agricultural economy; the slave labourers who were blackbirded from their homelands in the Pacific who then went on to create the sugar industry of Australia today
- Krishna Nahow Her style is narrative and she expresses the representation of her unique cultural identity, the diaspora of Australian South Sea Islanders, the descendants of those who in the 19th century were blackbirded, that is forcibly removed by trickery or kidnapping, from their Pacific Island homelands to Queensland, to be used as the slave labour who pioneered the Australian Agricultural economy. Last year Krishna spent seven months living in the community of Motalava with her two children. Known in the native language as Mwotlap, is a small island in the northern Banks Island group in Vanuatu
. As one of the six recipients of Commonwealth Connections International Artist in Residence she used the opportunity to go to the place where her family Womal descend from to reconnect. Krishna is also a descendent from Tanna and from Quissee, Vanua Lava, in the Banks. All these islands are in the nation of Vanuatu. You can look straight across the water from Womal ground in Neringnuman Village, Mwotlap to Paul/Lorull ground at Quissee, Vanua Lava.

Theres a south sea islander mural in Bowen in the IGA car park of family Womal and family Yasso and in this mural is a bay where the blackbirders tall ships came in and across this bay you see a bigger island with a volcano in the distance. This here now is the actual view from Womal ground across to Paul/Lorull ground. I have seen it and it was confirmed when I showed the picture of this mural around in Mwotlap, straight away people told me exactly where that place is..... Krishna Nahow



Who inspires you?

The elderly people at Mwotlap. They have a long life expectancy, they are aKtive and
work in harmony in their gardens with a smile and laugh everyday, they're fishing and diving and singing and making fun.
They live happy and healthy lives. It what I aspire to
in my life.