Year 9 History class visit TMAG

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Newsletter

We would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community as the traditional and continuing custodians of this land. We would also like to pay our respect to Elders past and present. 

As a part of our studying of colonisation and the impact this had on the Aboriginal community, Year 9 undertook an excursion to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery right here in Hobart. This excursion focused on how we could view many sources and artifacts directly from the time to allow us to have a better understanding of the land we live on today, whilst taking into account both perspectives to create a bigger picture on the overall impacts and ideologies of both groups.

In the museum, two main exhibitions were explored, Dispossessions and Possessions and Parrawa, Parrawa! Go Away. Dispossessions and Possessions are full of colonial work dating back to the early 1800s. This exhibit included renowned early colonial artists like Benjamin Duterreau, who was known for his portraits of leaders and members in the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community alongside George Augustus Robinson. As well as, John Glover who is more well known for his landscape works which arguably, are seen as less accurate depictions of the Tasmanian landscapes.

Parrawa, Parrawa! Go Away tells the story of both the Aboriginal people and colonists after the invasion with a major focus on the Black War. It features all sorts of different texts and sources, including films and audio clips containing quotations, and also objects from the time, like weapons and machinery. One of the most confronting sources from this exhibition is Governor Arthur’s Proclamation to the Aboriginals, the primary source itself was an idea to create peace and end the Black War. However, future events after the publishing of this source convey that it was used to stop the Aboriginal people from disrupting the production and development of the colony while other ideas were being discussed on how to eradicate them and take them from their homelands. This exposes a huge layer of understanding around the perspective of the colonists and how they viewed the Aboriginal Community.

It was a lucky experience, during this year of 2020, to be able to leave the classroom and go out on an excursion to allow us all to learn more creatively. This excursion enabled the entire cohort to learn about these significant issues relating to the impacts of colonisation and the history of Tasmania, the land we all live on today.

Hannah Korn
Year 9

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