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 Response to British Landing Party Aborted   Mercury 19 July 2003


 Of course there are 1803-2003 Bicentenary events.

Risdon Cove is the mouth of the Risdon Valley an area historically important to two cultures during the 200 year period.  The people of the Risdon Valley have every right to mark the event that is relevant to their area.  Lia Pootah and the Risdon Vale Community have a series of events planned to acknowledge 1803 from September.  Of course it was the point of invasion, but more importantly it was the point of friendly interaction between the Teen Toomle Menennye (Big River People) and those of Lt John Bowen’s party.  It is the Clarence City Council who are fully aware of Bicentennial events for 2003 and are supporting the Lia Pootah and Risdon Vale Communities in their program of events.  The Hobart City Council has no relevance, historical ties or connection with the area.

  The Bicentenary Committee set up by the state government and the Hobart City Council have become a nonfunctioning morass of Aboriginal politics that is sanctioning the Neo Nazi tactics of the TAC.  The government and the bicentenary committee have seen fit to step aside rather than sort out the political dictatorship they supported to the stage where nothing is functioning.  The Lady Nelson Group have been ordered to stay tied to the wharf and not venture onto the water on 12 September 2003 and may even yet be forced by the dictators to fly their suggested black flag.  For the 2004 events The First Settlers Association are now being told that they cannot have the plaque on the Collins monument in Hunter Street, because the TAC claims the monument is on Aboriginal land. Odd The land is reclaimed land and in 1804 was a tidal strip of water.

No ancestor of TAC members have ever lived in the Hobart or Risdon Cove area.  However this non-representative committee have been given the right by white bureaucracy to dictate how the bicentenary should progress because it is too hard to accept that the group they empowered are not representative of the Aboriginal community they claim to represent.

Michael Mansell’s move onto the Bowen Bicentenary is just as inappropriate as it is for the 2004 program.  The Aboriginal history of Tasmania has suffered under 200 years of historical lies and political falsities without the ignorance of Michael Mansell’s words being sanctioned as truth.  The Mercury archive shows how he changes his opinion and twists historical details.  Even the edition of 19 July in another article, demonstrates the inconsistency of Michael Mansell offering a different authoritative opinion and back stepping from his previous statements concerning Geoff Clark.  How can he ever be taken as a worthy spokesperson, while he can make such contradictions?  But, he should never be taken as the spokesperson of a community he does not speak for.  He is not the spokesperson for the Lia Pootah people, ITAC, CHAC and other Aboriginal Corporations not controlled by the TAC.

How can any reporter of the standing of Ellen Whinnett (Chief Reporter) write material that is misrepresentative when the exact opposite is well documented.  She completely ignores that the state government has chosen historical imbalance in celebrating these bicentenaries of Tasmania.  It is those sanctioning the Aboriginal consultative committee who are condoning such political distortions by one group, that will inevitably lead to another history similar to that of Governor Arthur’s government in the nineteenth century.  By allowing the uninformed or the deliberately misleading the power to select events we are cementing a process similar to that which led to the lie of the Tasmanian Aboriginal extinction.  Is this the correct consultative committee to be making such decisions about the Bicentenary Events Progams?

Ignorance is terrifying when one person is dictating and distorting the true events of history.  It is even more disturbing when reporters like Ellen Whinnett can not tell the difference between historical fact and political rhetoric.  The same person constantly held up as a figurehead does not make it so.  Perhaps the media should widen its area of opinions rather than offering the public a false standing of one person through the media which has no basis in reality.  Michael Mansell does not speak for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community he does and only ever has spoken for the TAC. 

Let us get at least one thing strait Michael is altering the truth when he links celebrating the bicentenary “to celebrating the work of Nazis”.  His cousin Jim Everett and the TAC have an event well underway for May 2004 that has already received at least $10,000 funding from the State Government and sponsored by Arts Tasmania.  Rumour has it ATSIC has come to the party with even more substantial funding as well.

It is a pity that Ms Bladel, whose son is working with the TAC for the 2004 bicentenary event with Jim Everett has not let this situation be publicly known. It is becoming a travesty that she has not formally contacted the Lia Pootah Community to discuss our events, for the 1803 bicentenary of which she has been fully appraised.

One cannot help but agree with Ms Bladel when she comments that “Mr Mansell’s views were extraordinary and with Alderman Briscoe in saying “HOW DARE HE SAY THAT?”!

by Teree Tee Lore/Kaye McPherson Spokesperson Lia Pootah Community


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