Tasmania marked its sesquicentennial of European settlement in 1954. Tasmanian Times acknowledges the palawa people as traditional owners of the land and that they have never formally ceded sovereignty.

The documentary film below was made and screened as part of the commemoration. It displays phrasing and attitudes that are unacceptable today. It also completely ignores the Aboriginal history of lutruwita, apart from a single, offensive reference to ‘a primitive race of men’. The film omits any mention of the many conflicts of colonisation. Tasmanian Times does not share the attitudes nor historical viewpoint represented in the film.

We present this short documentary so that we may all understand how far we’ve come since 1954, and also reflect upon what we still need to do to recognise the indigenous people of lutruwita. This film is also testimony as to how the indigenous presence was erased from the cultural memory.

Tasmanian Story does feature some interesting contemporary footage of Tasmanian industries and iconic places such as Port Arthur, the Derwent Valley, and Tasman Island, and many more. Please watch with care.

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Tas That Was is a column that includes:

  • anecdotes of life in Tasmania in the past;
  • historical photographs of locations in Tasmania; and/or
  • documentaries about locations in Tasmania.

If you have an anecdote or photograph you’d like to share with us, please send it to submit@tasmaniantimes.com.