Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Don Knowler

Reconciling takayna

Pics:Vica Bayley


First published August 9

An open letter to the Premier of Tasmania

The Honourable Will Hodgman
Hon Will Hodgman,
Premier of Tasmania and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs,
Parliament House,
Hobart 7000.
9 August 2017

Dear Premier,

We the undersigned are Tasmanian writers, historians and publishers, with works drawing on Tasmania’s past, present and sense of place.

As non-Aboriginal people, we unconditionally support steps to progress reconciliation with Aboriginal Tasmania. While some of us have direct ancestral links to figures and families involved in the colonisation of Tasmania, we all feel the heavy weight of this history, how it was told and its ongoing impact on a proud and independent people.

Tasmania’s Aboriginal people, the Palawa, have lived here since time began. Their culture, community and connection to Country lives on despite the dispossession and injustice inflicted.

Injustice continues to this day, making the task of reconciliation multi-layered and urgent. Reconciliation is more than atonement for the past. Reconciliation requires action, equality, respect, celebration and support for Aboriginal people and their heritage, today.

Reconciliation requires leadership.

Reconciliation requires good faith.

Premier, the takayna/Tarkine is Aboriginal land. It displays some of the most powerful and precious sites of Aboriginal heritage significance and is an Aboriginal cultural landscape, a direct link to Palawa ancestors. This tangible link to one of the planet’s most ancient cultures merits a formalised level of official recognition and Aboriginal involvement, far beyond that which currently applies. Land justice is central to reconciliation.

Your intention to expand 4WD access across the takayna Aboriginal cultural landscape is entirely inconsistent with a good faith attempt to progress reconciliation.

It will be impossible for you to move beyond statements of intent, whilst the Government you lead continues to impose one culture over another, remains deaf to the wishes of the Aboriginal community and pushes for increased vehicle access across a sacred land.

In the interests of reconciliation, unity, equality and respect, we urge you to withdraw your plan to expand 4WD access on the takayna coast. In its place, take steps to properly protect this landscape through collaboration, cooperation and land justice.

By doing so, you will create a platform of trust and credibility upon which to build the reconciliation all Tasmanians want you to achieve.

Yours sincerely,

Pete Hay
Rachel Edwards
James Boyce
Lyndall Ryan
Heather Rose
Don Knowler
Henry Reynolds
Bob Brown AM
Bert Spinks
Clive Tilsley
Hamish Maxwell-Stewart
Alison Alexander
Nick Brodie
Kristyn Harman
Jesse Shipway
Susie Greenhill
Geoff Law AM
James Dryburgh
Katherine Scholes
Stephenie Cahalan
Amanda Lohrey
Andrew Lohrey
Lindsay Tuffin
Rachel Leary
Chris Champion
Lucinda Sharp
Jamie Kirkpatrick AM
John Biggs
Rees Campbell
Ralph Wessman
Adam Ouston
Rohan Wilson
Scott Millwood
Tim Thorne
Gina Mercer
Danielle Wood
Sarah Day
Rachael Treasure

*Pete Hay is a poet – with several published works – and an academic. He retired as Reader in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania in 2008. Pete remains an Honorary Research Associate at that institution. His research impact has mainly been in the sub-disciplines of island studies, place theory, environmental thought and the democratic credentials of activism. His major academic work is Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought (2002), published in Britain as A Companion to Environmental Thought.

*Rachel Edwards is the editor in chief of Transportation Press, whose second book, The Third Script, new short stories from Iran, Tasmania and the UK was launched in March 2016. She is the Non-fiction editor of Open Road Review, South Asia’s leading magazine of literature and culture, a regular guest on ABC radio discussing books and publishing and was host of the long running Book Show on Edge Radio, in the guise of Paige Turner. She is a freelance writer and reviewer and her work has appeared in Island, Crikey, Bookseller and Publisher and The Mercury. She guest edited a volume of the Review of Australian Fiction which featured Tasmanian authors exclusively. She is a former editor of Island and judge of the Tasmanian Literary Prizes and she has worked in bookshops around Australia, most recently as events manager at Fullers Bookshop. She has recently soft launched a freelance literary consulting business, Paige Turner.

ABC: Tasmanian 4WD tracks: Premier’s stance on Arthur-Pieman area ‘undermines reconciliation’ More than two dozen prominent Tasmanian writers, academics and conservationists have warned reopening controversial four-wheel-drive tracks on the state’s north-west coast could undermine attempts at reconciliation with Aboriginal Tasmanians. They have signed an open letter to Premier Will Hodgman, asking him to keep the tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area closed and to take steps to protect Aboriginal heritage sites there. The State Government has been trying to reopen the tracks but has been stalled by court action taken by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) …

Will Hodgman: Reconciliation Council of Tasmania

Cassy O’Connor: Reconciliation Council of Tasmania Launch

Rebecca White: Strong support for Reconciliation Council of Tasmania

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Robin Charles Halton

    August 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Summer is coming outdoor adventure time is fast approaching, adventurers in 4×4’s both locals and from interstate look foward to the West Coast experience that is currently being denied because of TAC indifference with the broader community re access!

    I support fair reasonable conditions for recreational access and not denial that is leading to continued wanton vandalism of sites as TAC claims!

    The State Government needs to man up to TAC, break the standoff and bring forth an access permit system under the supervision of PWS to ensure recreation can be enjoyed and previous offenders are not permitted at all.

    I am surprised that organised 4×4 clubs have not taken a heavier hand since the banning of seasonal 4×4 recreation.

    It stands to reason this is just another event by TAC to deny us access to crown lands that should be available for all of us the responsibly share together.

    Just another reason why this mocked up reconciliation talk is all talk and nothing more than another attempted land grab with money attached to further divide the general population.

    Unless there is a workable arrangement to share the Arthur – Pieman Protected Area among legitimate users then unauthorised entry will flourish, spurring on more divisions than the government would care to know about!

  2. Robin Charles Halton

    August 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Reconciliation is currently beyond the realm of possibility and is just another grand standing measure to divide the nation even further!

    Very few place any real importance on these latest measures that seek pity for the aboriginal community that think it can be solved by a dose of self determination.!

    Aboriginal groups need government money to live and that is a fair and reasonable measure but left exclusively in the hands of those who do not understand its value on the main, many projects often blamed as political can end up being squandered all the way from Cape York to Cygnet.

    This is happening continually, endless taxpayer money is mismanaged on non effective programs creating more of cultural clashing often engaging with significant differences between State and Federal governments to continue to try and figure out the best way forward to fund worthwhile projects such as low cost and suitable basic housing for example!

    The younger generation in particular many who now appear to have fallen behind through cultural ignorance, lack of self control need to be encouraged move on and integrate themselves into education then into jobs and create stable relationships across the nation.

    There is far to much emphasis on culture, like religion in a modern global society is less important than making the best of opportunities for daily living.

    Cultural practices that draw on separation of community are common but do nothing to raise expectations for life improvement within a modernising society.

    A strong element of integration with the workings of white society is required to bring about success among indigenous people such as been happening with benefactor and mining magnate Twiggy Forrest for example where community is encouraged to work for a living and live a more settled life in outback Australia!

  3. abs

    August 8, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    #4 because the world is much more broad and diverse than how you perceive it

  4. John Hayward

    August 8, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Pleading for decency from Eric Abetz’s straw figurine is pushing a pathetic fallacy out of the gravitational field.

    John Hayward

  5. TGC

    August 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    #3 I knew all that- but why/

  6. Greg Bars

    August 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    takayna is the native word for the place and is generally considered respectful to the original owners to use that instead of the colonial one. This is common in jurisdictions across Australia, New Zealand and other countries as a reconciliation measure.

    This is actually state government policy now, see http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/189314/Aboriginal_and_Dual_Naming_Policy.pdf

    2.1 That preference is given to Aboriginal place names for any geographic feature or place
    that does not already have an existing official name.

    2.2 That a dual naming system be adopted by which Aboriginal names can be applied to
    geographic features and places that already bear registered names and when a name
    change is not possible or acceptable. Both will be registered names, and both names will
    be used together in the future and appear together on all official documents and maps. It
    is expected that some Aboriginal names will replace the introduced name over time. The
    dual naming process gives the community time to adjust to the Aboriginal name.

  7. TGC

    August 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    It would appear ‘Tarkine’ has served its purpose and it is now to be ‘takayna’
    I guess that’ll have a run before being ‘subdivided’ into smaller ‘names’ to keep a campaign ‘fresh’
    Recognised a few names on that list- but there doesn’t appear to be a comprehensive and persuasive plan explaining how this ‘reconciliation’ is going to be achieved. One imagines both – all- sides will need to be
    brought (come) together with their own ‘agenda’ and from that a ‘reconciliation’will occur
    By all means, bring it on- Set a meeting date
    and a target date for implemenation and no-one goes home until an agreement and format is reached.- otherwise- it’ll be a case of ‘same time next year’ and all the years after that.
    If the folk on that list are fair dinkum- do it now,don’t just “talk of stars shining above”

  8. Chris

    August 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    We will Brook no defence, Wee is Grooming everyone to understand that we are the Government and we is in charge, so stop yer Gutwhineing in Abetzland.

    A few tyre tracks across a pile of shells is nothing compared to the ability to deepen the ruts that we see are entrenched and the water splashing over our vehicles is fun to watch, after all we is adults whoopee who believe the coast , like Hobart skyline should be opened up, just think of the views from the great heights and towers which we are determined to build and hang the opposition and the wires from.

    Of course the privatisation of water is like the Tarkine and other places is paramount to our mates and the financing of Martini inspired ventures in the so called wilderness is just necessary development, who needs a pristine wilderness, there aint no money or donations and more importantly votes in this.

    As the Choc top administrator in the Leibrals would say, where’s me popcorn?

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