Lia Pootah - Media Releases
Monday, May 23, 2005

23 May 2005 Lia Pootah Community room Sugarloaf Road Risdon Vale 6pm.


LIA POOTAH HISTORY is a fully documented account of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people who today are called Lia Pootah and their STRUGGLE through the COURTS and through the MEDIA for recognition of who they are.

To be launched by Liberal Minister Michael Hodgman QC at a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony by Lia Pootah Elders Smoker Uncle Leslie Dick – Story Teller Uncle John Coleman and welcomed by Uncle Tom Courto. Senior Elder Uncle Keith Farrell will present the book to Michael Hodgman for the Launch

Lia Pootah’s Cultural Historian and Historical Geographer Tereetee Lore/Kaye McPherson on behalf of Wallantanalinany Lydidder (Lia Pootah Elders Council) has written the history of the 14,000 plus Tasmanian Aboriginal people the Tasmanian Government and the Palawa would prefer never existed.

This book brings to light the historical omission in Tasmania’s Aboriginal survival of the Lia Pootah, a presence that "has obviously been too sacrosanct to be questioned" by non Aboriginal writers following the "same ol’ same ol’".

No other literary portrayal shows the plight of the Tasmanian Aboriginal who was never removed from the land their ancestors called Trowernna. Not since Sally Morgan’s Our Place has a book told of the trauma associated with survival through shame and denial
For further information contact
Kaye 03 62438606 Email Fax 03 62438057

Media Release

23 May 2005 Lia Pootah Community room Sugarloaf Road Risdon Vale 6pm.
Ignore the lies whispered about the Lia Pootah Community
See for yourself how the Palawa controlled Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre has manipulated the history of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population for their own needs for more than two decades
The Genocide of Tasmania’s Aboriginal People a Living Death details step by step the blueprint for the genocide implemented by distant kin descended from sealers.
In two volumes it is designed for both the curious and serious reader. The book in 130 pages tells the history of Lia Pootah from invasion to the present. It includes the court cases –shows how misleading academic theoretical histories for Tasmania’s Aboriginal population have ignored the truth – details the manipulation of the Palawa to control the very name Tasmanian Aboriginal.
The attachments 380 pages of documentary evidence so there can be no mistakes of footnoting. The reader can judge for themselves and come to their own conclusions: released twice before as a report in an attempt to stop the trial Black Electoral Rolls: in 2000 to the Tasmanian Government and the Electoral Office - then to the lawyers and Philip Ruddock when Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Wayne Gibbons CEO of ATSIC during the 2002 Federal Court Case to stop the injustice of the Trial Black Electoral Rolls.
The Lia Pootah Elders Council Wallantanalinany Lydidder want justice and demand the Australian Constitutional right to justice for their children and children’s children.

Rockingham Cottage
7/550 East Derwent Highway, BOWEN PARK. TAS. 7015
PO Box 146 Lindisfarne. Tasmania. 7015.
Tell: 03 62438597 Fax: 03 62438599 Mobile:0409 975587
A BOOK Offering an insight into the truth of Tasmanian Aboriginal history will be launched this coming Monday, 23rd May 2005 at the Lia Pootah Community Centre, Sugar Loaf Road, Risdon Vale, 6pm.
It is about, "The History of the Lia Pootah People" it has been penned by Kaye McPerhson.
"I am just the ‘pen’ who has written the history for all of us," states Kaye. "It is our history, while I am the author, it deals with our struggle for recognition."
The Book will send shock waves into the Tasmanian community. Kaye McPherson says it will be the first time "our" truth will be told.
"And it is the first time that a book written about Tasmanian Aboriginal people has been written by an Tasmanian Aboriginal person.
"What we get now is a one dimensional view which is really a rhetoric, which does not take into account the entire Aboriginal community.
"From 1967 until 1996 the Tasmanian Aboriginal community was united in the struggle to overcome the extinction myth. In 1996 the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) tabled a Report which defined Tasmanian Aboriginality, which you had to have a sealer descent, which effectively wiped out the majority of us," states Kaye.
"This book will reveal how it was done and the repercussions form it and our struggle," states Kaye.
In that, it is a controversial publication. At the same time it is a book which will hold the interest of all who read it.
The Hon Michael Hodgman MHA QC will be launching the book at a special smoking ceremony.
Author, Kaye McPherson is an elder in the Lia Pootah community and has been at the coal-face of the politics and the divisions. She has lived through all the destruction that has happened to the community since 1996 and she states her "whole life has been effected by it." She was part of the early struggle for recognition of Aborigines in general and "to be denied my ancestry by people who do not know me is an affront to the ancestors", states Kaye McPherson
"It has impacted to such an extent, that even though I am a Master of Science and working towards my Ph.D. in this State I am given no credibility and no acknowledgement of my work, even though it is respected in other States of Australia and overseas.
"I have the most important recognition that one can have and that is the respect from the Elders and community members of the Lia Pootah Community."
The book will be available at selected outlets. The media is invited to attend this momentous event.
Further: Reg Watson 62438597. Mobile: 0409 975 587.
Kaye McPherson 62438606.
May 19th 2005.
.A totally refreshing book to read on Tasmanian history which leaves the reader the absolute right to form their own conclusion on the information written on the enclosed pages. The content may be controversial but I am not aware of any other literary portrayal showing the plight of the Tasmanian Aboriginal



To attend the launch of
Lia Pootah history
To be launched by

Liberal Shadow Attorney General
Michael Hodgeman QC

When: 23 May 2003

Where: Lia Pootah Community Room. Basement room Risdon Vale Community Centre Sugar Loaf Road Risdon Vale

What time 6pm
RSVP Kaye 03 62438606 Fax 03 62438657


Lia Pootah Aspects of Tasmanian Aboriginal History Series
By Worawee (Emma Wilson)
Emma Wilson is the Aboriginal great grandmother of Kaye McPherson a Lia Pootah Elder and Cultural Historian. Each book offers a refreshing insight into Tasmania’s Traditional Aboriginal culture from the perspective of a descendant of the Big River Tribe. The series is written in the Lia Pootah storytelling way even though the material is historically documented. Much of the information was sourced from within the bibliography of each book. Kaye is a Historical Geographer holding a Bachelor of Science with Honours and is at present finishing a Master of Science at the University of Tasmania.
Traditional Villages
By Worawee (Emma Wilson)
Contrary to popular belief Lia Pootah ancestors lived in villages. .This book describes location of villages, the building materials and techniques used to build the traditional Aboriginal houses. The books offer a different perspective on Aboriginal life.
PRICE $19.95 63 pp. Ilust. Soft Cover

Traditional Aquaculture
By Worawee (Emma Wilson)
Details fishing methods and practices for sustainable diversity of seafood. Seasonal harvesting does not make for a nomadic culture.
PRICE $19.95 67 pp. Ilust. Soft Cover

Astronomy and Other Seasons
By Worawee (Emma Wilson)
A never before look at the ordinary combined with the belief system and spiritual aspects of the Tasmanian Aboriginal.
PRICE $19.95 87 pp. Ilust. Soft Cover
ISBN 1 876260 025

Junior Editions
Stories from the Dreaming
This booklet contains four traditional stories and two contemporary Dreaming stories. Each story is accompanied with contemporary illustration

Dictionary of Aboriginal Words
This booklet is designed to show how when translating from the language of the original Tasmanian Aboriginal people the meaning of what the ancestors were saying could be easily lost when the words were saved in a language not their own. A selection of Aboriginal words is included giving a broad understanding of the language.
both booklets are $12 each

Eechidna and the Ants
A game of challenge in two levels. Suitable from prep to adult. Stop the ants from boxing the echidna into a corner. The aim is to stop the echidna removing ants from the board. Suitable for two players.
Game and counters costs $16.

A dice game designed to show the traditional lifestyle of the Lia Pootah ancestors. Suitable for younger children. From two to six players.
Game, counters and dice $12.

Suitable for K1 to K8. Written by two teachers, Betty Hill (Ed. Cert.) a retired teacher of 30 years experience and Janene Hancock (MED) who is currently teaching. Tasmanian Perspective on Aboriginal studies aims to assist teachers with teaching Aboriginal studies. The teachers kit is based on the Lia Pootah cultural history which covers all the Aboriginal people of Tasmania. $235

The Genocide of the Lia Pootah Tasmanian Aboriginal People
A two volume book. Vol. 1 is 130 pages of the history of the Lia Pootah. Vol.2 is 350 pages of attached documents. Disputes on footnote accuracy can not happen if the entire document is included and the reader can make up their own mind. The reader is also given the choice to read the book with or without attachments. $185
By Kaye McPherson
Risdon Cove is Tasmania’s most historic site, and is the only place that offers a continuation of Tasmania’s early history from Aboriginal Land to European occupation until the present. It is told in three parts.: The Aboriginal perspective, from the beginning time until 1804. The European perspective 1803 - 1901 and Oral Histories from 1920S – 2001.
Freda Gray President and Historian of the First Settlers (1804) Association considers it a milestone for Tasmania’s history.
PRICE: $25 169 pp. 50 Ilust.. 2 maps
Soft Cover
By Tom Courto
This is an account of Tom’s early life on the West Coast of Tasmania. It is a fast moving story about bush life, an Aboriginal guide and a dog called Ugly. Tom is an Elder within the Lia Pootah Aboriginal Community.
PRICE $22 pp. Soft Cover
By Tom Courto
The only book that tells you how to play to be a winner every time you bowl. Tom is a trophy winning state player. A book of amusing antidotes.
PRICE $18 soft cover
QUEENSTOWN: the way we were
By Tom Courto
To be released this year.
Aspects of Tasmania’s Traditional Aboriginal Peoples Series
Astronomy & Other Seasonsns $19.95 $3.50
Traditional Aquaculture $19.95 $3.50
Traditional Villages $19.95 $3.50
Traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal Teachers Kit
TEACHERS KIT $235 $15.00
Additional Items Sold Seperately
Junior Editions
Counting $9.9 5 $3.50
Stars and Planets $9.95 $3.50
Fishing $9.95 $3.50
Villages $9.95 3.50 $
Aboriginal Words $10.00 $3.50
Stories from the Dreaming $10.00 $3.50
ABC Cards (double sided A4 format)
Counting & Seasons $22.00 $4.50
Fishing $22.00 $4.50
Villages $22.00 $4.50
ABC Cards for display (A5 format)
Counting & Seasons $12.00 $4.50
Fishing $12.00 $4.50
Villages $12.00 $4.50
Pathways dice game& counters $13.00 $5.00
Echidna & Ants $16.00 $5.00
RISDON COVE $25.00 $5.00
Post code
Manuta Tunapee Puggaluggalia
PO Box 1437 Lindisfarne 7015

Manuta Tunapee Puggaluggalia
Established in 1996

PO Box 1437 Lindisfarne 7015
FAX 03 6243 8657 PHONE 03 6243 8606
Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Manuta Tunapee Puggaluggalia Historical and Cultural Association
and the
Historical Society of the Municipality Sorell

Present: A Conference with a Difference

The Keynote Speaker is Dr Stuart Blackler, Dean of St. David’s Cathedral who will speak on Reverend Bobby Knopwood the man.

Guest speakers will give a short talk and then interact with the audience in a discussion segment about their topic. There are 4 sessions.
Colonial Women: covers all women Aboriginal and European.
Colonial Men: looks at free settler, convict, Aboriginal and military
On the Ground: discusses changes to the landscape
What has Changed: To find where it happened in the past, original place names are essential.

There were so many positive contributions to the early Tasmanian lifestyle that have been ignored
People only know about the bloodshed of both races when historians ignore the positive friendly interactions. Tasmania has a fascinating history that is multicultural and interactive.

What about the strength women who worked beside their men or on their own to make a go of it?
Where is Hollow Tree?
Why did the whalers row as far as New Norfolk on the Derwent River?

Convicts served their time – many of the Aboriginal population developed a friendly relationship with the invaders. All became the framework that developed into the Tasmania we know today.
A interlude of music from Bowen’s time, directed by Don Cartright will close the conference.

Liapootah Community



Supported by the Lia Pootah and Risdon Vale Communities.

Risdon Vale Primary School is hosting a concert and exhibit to recognise the bicentenary of the arrival of Lt. John Bowen and a friendly interaction between members of his party and the Teen Toomele Menennye in 1803.

Exhibition of projects from:
Gagebrook – Lindisfarne North – Risdon Vale – Primary Schools.

A musical concert featuring:
Rose Bay and Geilston Bay High School bands - Risdon Vale Choir

Bicentenary certificates donated byHarry Quick MHR will be presented by Elders of the Lia Pootah Community.

Risdon Vale Community Centre Sugarloaf Road Risdon Vale
Concert begins at 10. 45 -finishes 12pm. Everyone Welcome
Email Fax 62438606 Phone Kaye 62438606

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

By Janene Hancock (MED)

September 12 2003 will long be remembered as a day when reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people became a reality and not just rhetoric.
At Risdon Vale, a community based in the valley not far from Risdon Cove, Lia Pootah people and Bowen Descendants mixed together in harmony and friendship. This was a time when history was remembered and recognition given to Lt Bowen arriving at Risdon Cove, and of a friendly encounter with the local Aboriginal people, Teen Toomele Menennye in 1803.

Other communities and government bodies bowed to the pressure of political correctness and missed an opportunity to put history into the past and to forge friendships and communication that will hopefully continue long into the future. It was a day of who’s who for reconciliation. More than 30 descendants of those who arrived with Bowen attended the event, the majority descended from Bowen’s young mistress Martha Hayes including a descendant from Elizabeth Cummings/Blinkworth who was a baby in Bowen’s party. Peter Sims was included in the ceremony in recognition of a man who has spent a lifetime preserving our Aboriginal heritage, as was Senator Paul Calvert in proxy for Minister Ruddock representing the link between the past and the present.

Among those present at the smoking ceremony were 9 politicians from the Tasmanian Liberal and Labour parties, independent Tasmanian Senators, plus representatives of Liberal and Labour from the Federal Parliament. President of the Federal Senate, Senator Paul Calvert delivered a speech on reconciliation from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Philip Ruddock. The Mayor of Clarence and Aldermen from the Clarence City Council were among the high profile people in attendance. People came from all over to share the experience, one group came from Marawah Tasmania’s most northwestern town driving 6 hours and then thanked us for the experience.

Representatives from different Lia Pootah affiliated Aboriginal communities came from all over the state, with representatives of almost every southern historical society. Some of those who numbered among the 150 plus who attended came from interstate just for the event. Keith Windshuttle remarked that the Lia Pootah Community had created history.

Uncle Leslie Dick performed a traditional Smoking Ceremony, cleansing politicians and Bowen descendants alike. The ceremony was primarily to remove the dark cloud that history has perpetuated against non-Indigenous people, as well as being a welcoming to a time of conciliation and friendship.

After the ceremony, elders from the Lia Pootah Community spoke about Aboriginal history, recognised Bowen and his descendants and made a commitment to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Uncle Tom Curto was Master of Ceremonies and proved to be an expert in encouraging everyone to enjoy themselves and share in the experience. Some of the speakers were, Aunty Kaye McPherson, Uncle Leslie Dick and Uncle Keith Farrell and Mrs Rosyln Hill senior descendant of Martha Hayes spoke about her ancestress.

After the short speeches, people then moved down to enjoy a bar-b-que where sausages, fish and chips and kangaroo patties were available.

September 12 was a great success with feelings of hope and goodwill emanating through those present. It is hoped that this atmosphere will continue to spread through both communities, healing the past and building the future.

(This was a non funded event and was the event that the government wished did not happen. It was the only bicentennial event that was officially refused funding. However the Lia Pootah Community would like to thank those who supported us in the Smoking Ceremony and ensured it was a such a wonderful success. First Settlers 1804 Association, Lindisfarne Historical Society, Coal River Historical Society, Bellerive Historical Society, Sorell Historical Society, Senator Paul Calvert, Harry Quick MP, Aldermen Doug Chipman and Richard James, Penny Silver, Margaret Anderson, Sue Cox and the inkind support of chairs , BBQs etc. from the organisation who wishes to remain anonymous. A special thanks to our photographer Derek Ernest who again recorded our ceremonies for our children. Senior Elder Uncle Keith Farrell)

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
10 September 2003

My My My the TAC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) must be terrified of the Lia Pootah Community. In the Mercury 10 September 2003 they have brought out their biggest gun a hoodwinked premier who they have hog tied in such a fashion he is unable to make any rational decision concerning the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. The TAC keep loosing in their battle to deny we even exist. We win in court. We win in the historical documentation. We win with community knowledge. Lia Pootah have shown many of the academics to be poor researchers and biased historians when it comes to Tasmania’s Aboriginal history.

Lia Pootah have petitioned Parliament about recognition. The TAC rant and rave screaming we do not exist that we are white. The TAC use a bull horn to scream we do not recognise them as Aboriginal.


We do not and never have needed the TAC to confirm our Aboriginality. We knew we were Aboriginal longer than the TAC. Many in our community were being tormented for being Aboriginal before the TAC was even formed. This was at a time when many of today’s TAC community members were denying they were Aboriginal in the 1970s and 1980s as newspaper archives show. It has only been since the 1990s that many of their community have decided that they are Aboriginal and not ISLANDERS.

The TAC can decide for themselves anything they like, it is their right.


Lia Pootah DESERVES an apology from Jim Bacon for lying to the Tasmanian population. Worse and more unfortunately for being a spokesperson speaking the tripe that comes out of the TAC or worse the Office of Aboriginal Affairs department of Premier and Cabinet, which is an extension of the TAC. Cousins helping cousins to push the barrow of deceit .

The world knows that any politician is only as good as their advisors. Jim Bacon has been shown time and again that he is receiving misleading advice. That his advisors are all tarred with the same brush (TAC and Bass Strait Islander descent) when it comes to their political agenda ensures a biased view of Aboriginal history. If you write the rules and rewrite the history to form a dogma that public officials are coerced into expounding only lies can result. Just because the policy maker for the TAC wrote the policies that control anything Aboriginal, that even the Premier of a state must adhere to, where is natural justice and the democratic rights of the people in any of this. It is only the dictatorship of the TAC that controls the government, not the people of Tasmania who think they are the electorate that forms the democracy. Tasmania’s tragedy is that Jim Bacon insists on making decisions without the input from the full range of people who make up the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities.

As has come to be expected the cruelty inflicted on the people of Tasmania by decisions made by Jim Bacon, spouting the diatribe of the TAC, is once more enforced by his closure of Risdon Cove. Descendants both Black and White have the right to have a personal pilgrimage to Risdon Cove and again the TAC slap away any form of reconciliation between the communities.

It is despicable and incendiary for Jim Bacon to state in the Mercury that Risdon Cove was closed to stop Lia Pootah from accessing it on the 12 September.

The Lia Pootah never had any intention to use the white man’s defined area of their traditional land called Risdon Cove. Knowing of old the vehemence of the TAC it was decided to access another place to mark the bicentenary of the event that shaped us all. To the Lia Pootah people the whole area of what is now called Risdon both Cove and Valley is of significance to their ancestors and traditional lands.

The headlines in today’s Mercury make a cheap shot from the TAC gun. How dare any elected official, let alone the Premier of a state, validate rhetoric proven to be a lie with the power of their office. It is bad enough that Fran Bladel, his appointed Bicentenary Committee Chairperson, can’t get anything right for 2003 and keeps shooting herself in the foot publicly by distorting everything about 1803-2003 events so that her statements have the mandated a complete “insensitivity to Aboriginal history”. The TAC shows sensitivity like a plague carrier, they couldn’t care less who they infect with their lies. They should be forced to accept the truth and held in isolation until they face the real history they refuse to allow the Tasmanian people to know.


For 18 months the Lia Pootah Community has been planning the event they are holding on 12 September 2003 at Risdon Vale. At no time was Risdon Cove ever considered. The TAC stole the land of Risdon Cove from 16,000Aboriginal people in 1999 when they gave themselves sole and access control of the site for their 300 remaining members. While Risdon Cove was for all the Tasmanian Aboriginal people Lia Pootah remained silent, all Tasmanians had equal access. The vicious soul destroying politics of the TAC is worse than any rhetoric indigenous people expect from white supremist aggressors. The TAC, is a totally selfserving corporation is about money – power – and above all greed.

Risdon Cove should be for all Tasmanians black and white. It is significant for Tasmania’s history and its beginnings were marked by a friendly encounter between two races in 1803.

That this initial occurrence went to hell in a hand basket does not give any one the right to claim it never occurred.




How dare the TAC, descended from the Bass Strait Islanders, desecrate the memory of the ancestors of the Lia Pootah community with their fabricated historical stories.

Today both cultures have descendants who reside in harmony in the valley of Risdon Cove. Descendant’s of the party of Lt. Bowen have welcomed the opportunity to share with the descendants of Teen Toomele Menennye in this day of significance.

The Lia Pootah community welcomes people of all ancestry and descent to attend their friendly event in the name of reconciliation at Risdon Vale on 12 September 2003 in memory of those who in 1803 shared a friendly interaction.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003
7 AUGUST 2003

We would like to thank the Mercury for not giving us the opportunity to respond to the allegations printed in the Mercury 7 August 2003 before they went to press. There is nothing like a biased one sided attack on people to inform the general public with factual happenings.

It is rewarding when the Tasmania’s leading newspaper can constantly report information that is discredited within the laws of the land. When they can publish defamatory and libelous articles with apparent impunity. Lia Pootah was unaware that the Mercury was able to fictionalize the news, portray as fact falsities that are not confirmed within Federal Law. Of course if Lia Pootah were able to access legal funding to go through the courts yet again, to once and for all to bring the accusations concerning their Aboriginality to a halt, then the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Bacon Government and the TAC would stop their accusations instantly.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Community is not the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Lord Mayors Aboriginal Committee do not represent the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. Nor does Micheal Mansell represent or speak for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. They represent the the TAC/Palawa only. Once again the Mercury is aiding and abetting the falsification of Tasmania’s Aboriginal history by it’s biased, one-sided misleading reporting.

How quickly fact can become fiction when the Mercury reports on Palawa events. We have Rodney Dillon ranting about his cultural rights to collect Abalone. For any form of cultural fishing right Rodney would have to be a woman, and some how I do not think that is his gender. Cultural tradition was women being the fishers for the community. Never did men fish for Abalone, crayfish, crab, oysters, mussels or any other traditional fish. Rodney has no rights cultural or otherwise to set up a tradition that never existed. The Mercury again shows the ignorance of Michael Mansell on Aboriginal cultural affairs when he backs Rodney Dillon’s right to fish for Abalone.

Then there is Arthur Hamiliton’s stance. How quickly we forget when we are accepted by the TAC as being Aboriginal.. Arthur was not always recognised and even faced humiliation for the loss and accusations of the TAC denial of his Aboriginality.

To: mercury
Subject: Preamble debate
10 June 2003

The black armband history for Tasmania demanded by so many historians and the TAC completely overshadows the real history in Tasmania between the new arrivals and the original people. Yes Tasmania was invaded, an already occupied land cannot be settled. Yes atrocities were perpetrated against a large percentage of our Aboriginal Ancestors, and if you are a Bass Strait Islander then yes your history is founded in abduction, abuse and murder. This is not the case for all Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Yes Ancestors of some members of the Lia Pootah Community are part of this "black armband history" many are not. Not every Aboriginal community was attacked, the people murdered. Some communities interacted with the new arrivals as they did at Bothwell and Sorell. Some of the later Europeans who arrived were exceedingly hostile but this only affected the narrow strip of alienated land not the whole of Tasmania.

There are two very different documented histories of survival for the Tasmanian Aboriginal, why harp on only one. Documentation for the early history also shows that interaction between the two races, in many instances, was peaceful and friendly. Ancestors from South Arm area were taken to Hobart via Bellerive by ferry, both black and white passengers had a good time. Men like John Shinall (Shiner) lived and worked within the broader community maintaining peaceful relations with those who stole his Ancestral land.

Tim Flanagann fans the academic debate slamming Windshuttle, praising Reynolds and all the time the real Tasmanian Aboriginal history is marginalised by white academics scoring points from each other. On the other side of the coin we have the TAC pushing a barrow of its own agenda which fabricates the history of the Tasmanian Aboriginal to the extent that bureaucracy has been given guidelines to follow on Aboriginality that make a mockery of the documented evidence. When will people remember that Michael Mansell's degree is in law not history and his one sided distorted view on history has become rhetoric. Michael Mansell does not speak for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. He speaks for the TAC and even then he does not speak for all those he claims to represent. The TAC only represents a small select few who claim descent from a single man. Their claims of descent do not even represent the Tasmanian Aboriginal people who are recorded in history let alone those who died anonymous.

Black armband history is a modern discourse to alleviate guilt of past actions. Yes many of our grandfathers committed unspeakable horrors, many did not. Many of those men and women who arrived as convicts were treated just as cruelly and inhumanely as the Aboriginal. More than a hundred years later can we still blame the invaders for atrocities committed when in that time and space it was the done thing. Nineteenth century England is noted for its cruelty and inhumane treatment of its own people, why should their treatment of our Ancestors be any different, they were considered even lower on the evolutionary scale.

History can never be viewed by standards of today as many historians seem to do. History can only be viewed with dispatch and hope it will never be repeated.
Kaye McPherson
Lia Pootah Spokesperson

11 February 2003

A delegation from the Lia Pootah Community met with senior politicians and senior ATSIC officials recently in Canberra after a request from the Minister for Aboriginal and Torris Strait Islander Affairs Mr Philip Ruddock to meet with him concerning Aboriginal issues in Tasmania. The delegation took advantage of the opportunity to inform people of the plight of the Lia Pootah people and to offer recommendations for solutions to the current problems. The delegations meetings with senior members of both political parties including the Senior Advisors to the Leader of the Opposition Simon Creen, were fruitful and informative. The main submission for the delegation was the need for Tasmania to be brought into line with the rest of Australia on the definition of Aboriginality. Demands were made that all states and territories use the same Federal definition and that no single group or community be allowed to determine Aboriginality for people not of their community. At each meeting the delegation discussed ways of changing the practices in Tasmania which make a mockery of the current policies on Aboriginal issues.

Lia Pootah Elder, historical geographer and spokesperson, Kaye McPherson handed out a package of historical documents detailing the history of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people at each meeting. The package contained documentation of the historical discrimination instigated by the Palawa/TAC and how this discrimination appeared to be condoned by the Bacon Government through bureaucratic policies devised by the Palawa controlled Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The delegation was informed that it was an inappropriate for any government to force an Aboriginal community to conform to one line of descent, when this was contradicted by historical evidence. The delegation confirmed their belief in the sovereign right for Aboriginal communities to determine who is Aboriginal in their community, but requested that in Tasmania the historical truth of different lines of descent be officially recognised.

During the meeting with Mr Philip Ruddock the delegation were assured that he was fully aware of what was occurring in Tasmania. While acknowledging it was “not his style to become involved with state disputes”, Mr Ruddock offered advice on all issues.

Meetings with senior ATSIC officials were just as informative. The problems of Tasmania and the inappropriate interference of a government into Aboriginal affairs were discussed in detail. The problems concerning the difficulties of obtaining information from ATSIC Tasmania due to the entrenched employees having a biased alliance were another topic of discussion. The make-up of the Regional council and the undemocratic balance of representatives was also discussed in detail. Assistance was requested for strategies to enable the Lia Pootah to overcome problems of discrimination occurring against their people. Two members of the delegation met with representatives of the Tent Embassy for grass roots discussions on the problems facing Tasmania’s Lia Pootah people.

Photograph taken at Philip Ruddocks office in Canberra 11 February 2003.

From left Vicki Priest – Tereetee Lore/Kaye McPherson – Philip Ruddock – Arthur Priest.

19 February 2003

Land is fundamental to Aboriginal spirituality, land is what defines every Aboriginal dreaming. Aboriginal people are tied body and soul to the land of their birth nurturing their spirit.

Jim Bacon claims understanding of this most basic need and responds “the Labour Government is committed to land hand back”. True the Bacon Government has given considerable land back to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the problem is that the Palawa group are given control of land for which they have no Dreaming ties.

To be Tasmanian Aboriginal in Tasmania the TAC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) and it’s politically sanctioned government departments, demand that they must be Palawa. Descent from the Bass Strait Islands and Manalaganna, whose ancestral place was Cape Portland on Tasmania’s north east coast, or Fanny Cochran Smith who is Aboriginal by an Act of Parliament.

Jim Bacon ignores that the Lia Pootah people have blood Kinship ties to all areas of Trowerna (Tasmania) and have maintained continuous unbroken ties to their Dreaming Roads and Spirit Places in the land of their ancestors. The Lia Pootah are given no land. Perhaps because Mr Bacon is from the mainland he can be forgiven his ignorance on Tasmania’s history and this could excuse his gullibility to the pressures of the Palawa camp. The land given back to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people is for the Tasmanian Aboriginal people not just the Palawa.

An important year 2003 is the base of the 1803 arrival of the European. Perhaps ignorance or bullying or both can be used as an excuse why only Palawa are on the Bicentenary Committee dictating appropriateness of events they can claim no part in. How can you as a Premier condone such racist discrimination Mr Bacon. Turning a blind eye as the Bicentenary Committee sends out statements implying or threatening, to the Clarence Council that if they support Lia Pootah Bicentenary Reconciliation events program they will not support other projects is condoning blatant discrimination.

Historical ignorance cannot forgive Jim Bacon’s interference in allowing the Palawa to control his every move on Aboriginal issues. Jim Bacon’s historical ignorance was proved when he handed management control to the TAC for Risdon Cove in 1999. No consultation process occurred with any community group, Black or white, prior to the change in control of Tasmania’s most historical site. The change over was only made public through an obscure web page that can only be found by accident.

Risdon Cove is the only place in Australia surviving as open land and basically unchanged, where the invading point of contact by the Europeans on Aboriginal Land occurred. As such it is a place that should represent both histories Black and white, past and present. Instead it is a political football where the Palawa have been allowed to inflict their own brand of politics and guilt under approval of government.

Risdon Cove as been sanctioned and funded by Mr Bacon for the Palawa to hold “events” for the Bicentenary of the arrival of Lt. Bowen in 2003 and the arrival of Gov. Collins and the Aboriginal massacre in 2004. How dare the Bacon Government allow the Palawa to make such a mockery of the Lia Pootah ancestor’s history. How dare Mr Bacon condone the blatant Palawa lie and historical inaccuracies of Risdon Cove and fob them on the public as fact. Who gives the Bacon government the right to make a mockery of Aboriginal Sovereignty?

The Palawa do not have nor had kinship ties to the area. They do not have nor had any Dreaming ties in the area. They lost no ancestors or blood kin in the massacre in May 1804. Yet they are being supported by the Bacon Government to desecrate and abuse the memory of both the Lia Pootah and the invading Europeans, the majority of who were in chains and were forced to come to Trowerna.

It is the Lia Pootah and non-Aboriginal people whose history is irreversibly tied to the place called Risdon Cove. It was Lia Pootah Ancestors who were at Risdon Cove when the Lady Nelson arrived, and it was the Lia Pootah ancestors who were massacred at Risdon Cove in 1804. The Lia Pootah people’s Dreaming is tied in blood to Risdon Cove. The spirits of Lia Pootah ancestors are strong in the area of their death

The Lia Pootah Community is interacting with the broader community in September 2003 as a mark of recognition of two races, Black and white. Instead of holding reconciliation events in another part of the Risdon Cove area the Lia Pootah Community should be given control of their ancestral land of Risdon Cove to mark the beginning of Tasmania’s modern history.

If Jim Bacon is so committed to Tasmanian Aboriginal land hand back why does he not mark the Bicentenary 2003/2004 by giving Risdon Cove back to the descendants of the original owners the Lia Pootah. This would be the true mark of reconciliation and a fitting event for the Bicentenary of 2003.

When the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Mr Philip Ruddock, told the Lia Pootah Delegation last week, that Mr Bacon had inadvisably aligned himself too closely with one group and he was therefore unable to make a rational decision explains a lot. This is a statement which explains why the Palawa dictate on the Bacon Government land hand back on land that is not Palawa nor the TAC’s and never was.

2 December 2002

In Tasmania the white historians have a lot to answer for, without them we would have an accurate historical representation of our history and culture. For the whole of Aboriginal Australia white histroians have a lot to answer for. Everyone in the world knows that we all do dot paintings and play the didgeredoo. Our diverse culture and history has become an homogenous easily understood facet of Aboriginal Australians. Rarely are we allowed to take control of our lives and history where the truth is told for all to hear. In Tasmania we have academics who made their careers on the backs of our Ancestors and decades later “stand by their historical account” irrespective of it’s modern validity.

In Tasmania we have Cassandra Pybus who gives interviews and “stands by her historical accounts of the Tasmanian Aboriginal” and Lyndall Ryan who under oath “well I wrote it so”. History to many is a stagnant thing. Something gone forever. Something which happened in the past and is now unalterable. History is far more, it is a continuous discover of our past where we can correct the wrong of the white historian and allow the voice of our Ancestors to speak in the present. As an historical geographer I have learnt that history is an apparently never-ending continuous stream of knowledge that awaits to be told.

Thirty years ago when Rhys Jones, Lyndal Ryan and Cassandra Pybus wrote our history it was just emerging that our “extinction was a lie” that descendants had survived on the Bass Strait island of Cape Barron. An easily accessible people who tied into the writing’s of Brian Plomley’s Friendly Mission and Weep in Silience. Since then any writings have only expounded on the one group. Odd historical references have been either alluded to or completely ignored by nonAboriginal writers. Lyndal Ryan acknowledge the people of the Huon in her 1970s edition, but in court she dismissed it as not relevant. Cassandra Pybus jokes about a lost tribe. Both women made their academic careers on the history of my people. That they only told a partial history is an embarrassment they now wish to hide.

Enter the truth.

My history has never been that of the Bass Strait Islanders. Until 1996 our diverse history was, so we thought, accepted as we worked as a united community to set up the infra-structure for today’s Tasmanian Aboriginal Community. Little did we know of the hidden agenda of the Palawas. At a personal level in 1992 I began university “so I could get qualifications to tell the history of my Ancestors”. A decade later weeks from completing my MSc in Historical Geography I am beging to wonder why I have spent the last decade at school.

I take umbrage at the comment of page 11 when describing the Lia Pootah Community, “Who say they are descended from the mainland of Tasmania”. We have always known our history. We have never claimed descent from women who were captured by sealers and removed to form an island community. We are descended from women who became partners of white men who were loggers, convicts, shepherds, soldiers, bushrangers and the list goes on. Because the whole of Tasmania’s Aboriginal history has been told by whites blinded by their own pursuits of academic credibility, who only wrote the one story, does not make it the tru history of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Until 1996 as a united community we were encouraged by the “Tasmanian Aboriginal” community to become educated so we could get it strait and get our voices heard. For eight years we have been fighting for recognition of who we are. It is impossible to get media attention, educational input, or a voice when there is an infrastructure set up by whites on the policies of blacks with hidden agendas.

In the whole of Australia we the Lia Pootah in Tasmania can not be the only lost Aboriginal voice which is silenced by the raucous cries of those who, in times gone by, were once our Kin. Our history is documented but we cannot get it into the schools as the Palawas control the educational system in this state. We cannot get it into bookshops as the shop owners are bullied into not stocking our books. In Tasmania the ASSPA committees are controlled by the Palawa controlled education system. Faxes are sent to every school telling them not to buy or use our services.

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