Australia’s first advertisement in Aboriginal language is a powerful and moving moment, considering the dark history of Tasmania since settlement by Europeans.
It’s a project as a result of collaboration between the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) and the The Wilderness Society (TWS) calling out the state’s premier, Will Hodgeman.
“Tasmania’s Premier talked reconciliation but he doesn’t walk it,” the ad says.
'Protect the Tarkine' targets Hodgeman’s proposed 4WD tracks across the National Heritage listed Cultural Landscape on the takayna coast.
His plan includes putting ‘interlocking plastic matting’ over middens and other sisters for recreational use.
Heather Sculthorpe, CEO of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre says using palawa kani language is a powerful tool.
“Premier Hodgman’s reset relationship has involved ignoring Aboriginal opinions and pushing ahead with this destructive plan, to the point where we were forced to go to the Federal Court to defend our heritage.
“Using our language to defend our heritage from a Premier prepared to put politics ahead of people is a powerful new tool that makes us very proud and we expect it to resonate with wider Tasmania,” she said in a statement.
However a spokesperson for Tasmania’s Liberal government has said they had made an election promise to allow “all Tasmanians” to be given access to Tarkine.
The spokesperson continued to go on and say the Hodgeman government will change policy to provide an inclusive definition of Aboriginality as well as introduce Aboriginal history at schools.
A crowdfunder to support the campaign has been launched and the hashtag #takaynaniparana (faces of the Tarkine) has been started to go along with it.