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A throng of Norfolk Islanders have occupied the island’s former Parliament grounds on the eve of the 227th Anniversary of the mutiny on the Bounty - the most fabled event in the island’s history.

The islanders, many of them direct descendants of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, are protesting at the Australian government’s unwelcome takeover of their homeland on July 1.

The impromptu sit-in follows a community gathering this afternoon that the Australian government-appointed Administrator Gary Hardgrave tried to ban.

Norfolk Island People for Democracy Limited (NIPD) spokesperson Andre Nobbs said islanders were standing up for justice just like their ancestors 227 years ago.

“We have genuine grievances and we’re being ignored by an Australian government that is hell-bent on suppressing our culture and democratic future,” Mr Nobbs said.

“We’re at our wit’s end and our community is suffering great stress and hardship, what can we do? Why won’t the Australian government communicate and collaborate with us?

“Do we bow or stand tall? Keep kneeling or rise? Give up or battle on? We’re being blighed and it’s time to channel Fletcher Christian and the strength of his convictions.”

Mr Nobbs said the group had no idea how long they would remain on the site. “This has all happened spontaneously, but there is a real commitment to the cause. If we don’t act now our way of life could be extinguished forever.”

Earlier today the positive spirit at the Norfolk Island United community gathering - on the grounds now being occupied - was only dampened by the refusal of Mr Hardgrave to address concerns raised by the islanders.

Mr Nobbs and NIPD president Chris Magri delivered a letter to Mr Hardgrave calling for him to resign and leave the island. But while they were granted an hour-long audience, no positive outcomes were reached.

“We’re trying to provide practical solutions to the division and hardship that the Administrator is causing by enforcing draconian colonial rule,” Mr Nobbs said. “But it’s like beating your head against a sandstone wall. He’s impossible to deal with and the sooner he is off the island the happier the good majority of our community will be.”

Bountineer (alternative spelling - Bountaneer)

Justified mutinying by crusaders for justice

“The Bountineers were lauded for liberating their community…”

Hands Up For Norfolk Island…descendants of the mutiny on the Bounty have occupied the island’s former Parliament grounds to protest at the Australia government’s unwelcome takeover


1. to be jollily rogered by a tyrant
2. to suppress the masses to a point where they revolt
“They were so sick of being blighed that they exiled the despot.”


1. to stand up and mutiny against injustice
2. to inspire the oppressed to fight for their inalienable rights
“The community decided to fletcher against continued subjugation.”

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EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Geoffrey Robertson: The recolonisation of Norfolk Island is a heavy-handed act of regression