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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

At last a letter to the editor published 

Although the letter was edited quite drastically the Mercury editor managed to maintain the intregity of the original letter. Thank you Merury for publishing it Sunday 12 March. it has been quite a while since one of our letters have been published.


Where do reporters get their information.

The article in the Sunday Tasmanian 5 March 2006 could have been so informative. What a waste of a double page spread. Bouvilaqua only seems to rehash his own old stories when it comes to the Palawa view of Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage. He could have written an article of encouragement to preserve Tasmania’s Aboriginal heritage, but no, once again it was the same rehash of Palawa need for retribution and Brian Plomley’s very dated view of the Tasmanian Aboriginal. Just because Plomley reinforces the Palawa view of a black armband history, does not make it historically true. And, as for Rocky Sainty threatening curses on vandals what a joke.

For a decade the Tasmanian Government has only funded the Palawa Lands Councils to protect Aboriginal Heritage. They also keep giving the land into Palawa care with appropriate funding and no care or respect has been given to any of the land under Palawa control. All the Palawa want to do is lock up the areas, they consider of cultural significance, as an exclusive theme park for their revisionist perspective of Tasmania’s Aboriginal history.

In the last decade under Palawa care our heritage places, especially our rock art sites, have undergone more damage than at any other time since they became exposed. During the last decade every time an issue relating to Aboriginal heritage needs to be made, or a parliamentary decision needs to be enforced, or land is demanded back, it is the precious art sites which are targeted. Something is very amiss with the government funded Palawa lands councils for such destruction to happen, there are abundant Palawa field officers available for preservation and care. Maybe the government should consider its own heritage laws by fining the lands councils for their lack of due care of heritage sites.

As for Robinson recording the motifs. What did he do dig them out from under compacted sand dunes. None of the motif sites visible today were ever seen by Robinson or any one else for thousands of years until the early twentieth century. According to his diary Robinson saw a motif inscribed well, where he drank water from a shell, at Native Well Bay, which has since disappeared, most likely either under dunes or encroaching tide. Nowhere in Robinson’s journals or Plomley’s edited versions does Robinson claim to have seen the motif sites visible today.

One hopes that the reporter was not being racist when he virtually ignored Peter Sims expertise in the area of Greens Creek. Why wasn’t Peter Sims given a better coverage, he is internationally respected for his knowledge on Tasmanian Aboriginal rock art sites. In today’s society cultural heritage is not just an indigenous view. Without all the non indigenous people preserving and recording our motif sites over the last hundred years little would have been preserved for our children.

Globally Peter Sims is an acknowledged expert on Tasmanian motif sites, and is recognised as knowing more about Tasmanian Aboriginal motif sites than anyone else. For over thirty years Peter has single handedly recorded, monitored and tried to preserve our heritage. It was his efforts which have seen the Mersey Bluff motifs protected. Peter’s view would have been of greater value in encouraging preservation than that of an ignorant field officer pretending retribution.


Kaye McPherson
Lia Pootah Spokesperson

What we want the Tasmanian Government to consider 

This is the letter sent to the politicians in the hope that at least one would contact someone in the community. Needless to say no person of any political party has contacted any member of the Lia Pootah Community. For a democratic country there is something very wrong when a government only has one advisor and has no interest in the truth or in justice.


JUSTICE IS NEEDED FOR ALL TASMANIANS

JUSTICE IS ESPECIALLY NEEDED FOR THE NEGLECTED GROUP OF TASMANIANS OF TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL DESCENT AND THEIR CHILDREN This group are the descendants of the Tasmanian Aboriginals who became part of the active colonial community before 1835. They and their descendants were never involved with Robinson’s round up - Flinders, Cape Barren Island or any of the Bass Strait Islander community.

THESE PEOPLE WORK WITHIN THE ORDINARY COMMUNITY OFTEN AT GREAT DISADVANTAGE AND HAVE BEEN NO PART OF ANY GOVERNMENT DECISIONS They are not part of the group sanctioned by this and previous governments. They are not the ones who constantly dictate their needs and wants demanding inappropriate compensation

THE BEST EXAMPLE OF TASMANIAN RECONCILIATION WAS IN 2003 When the Lia Pootah Community organised an event at the time of the Bowen Bicentenary to recognise a friendly interaction between two races. An event supported by thinking Tasmanians from all walks of life. Support of this type of reconciliation would build a much more effective Tasmanian Community.

OUR CHILDREN HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO EQUILIVANT EDUCATION Since January 2005 our people were removed from their jobs within Aboriginal Education through secretly negotiated policy changes. There has been no funding for our children to participate in our cultural events. Our children and their parents are not presently allowed to join educational department sponsored cultural camps or events. Is this acceptable tot he Tasmanian public?

WHY DOES THE LABOUR PARTY CONDONE THE DISCRIMINATION ENFORCED BY THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT Lia Pootah cultural heritage is not allowed in the school system from preschool to the university. Lies about who we are, are sanctioned by the government. Do all other candidates support these actions???

GIVING LAND AND SITES BACK TO THE TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL PEOPLE ENCOURAGES HEALING When access or input into how these sites are managed is only sanctioned by a minor group no healing can occur. Our Elders find it very difficult to continue teaching our heritage to our children because the Elders and the Community are no longer able to access sacred sites.

ALL PEOPLE OF TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL DESCENT HAVE A RIGHT TO EQUAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING All people of Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage should have equal access to all government funds and government funded programs. Is this not the right of all Tasmanians????

THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ALLOW BOTH ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN ABORIGINALITY The Tasmanian present and future Governments needs to show more understanding of the Aboriginality issue. Like the rest of the Australian Aboriginal Communities each Tasmanian Aboriginal group should be able to determine their own communities objectives according to the Federal three tier test of Aboriginality. Why has the Tasmanian Government to date sanctioned only one group to dictate who is allowed to be Aboriginal in Tasmania.

FROM 1996 TO 2006 THE MONEY FOR THE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY HAS NOT BEEN SPREAD EVENLY Will the Palawa groups getting the money be truly accountable to all Tasmanians on how this tax payers money has been distributed?

WHY HAS PREMIER LENNON AND PREVIOUS PREMIERS: BACON, RUNDEL AND GROOM ONLY BEEN ADVISED BY A GROUP WITH LIMITED POPULATION AND NARROW INTERESTS How does the government justify the fact that his advisor and his department of Aboriginal Affairs use a single representative group. Palawa. No Lia Pootah representative has ever given advice to the Premier or this office. Even our petition to Parliament was ignored by the Labour Government. Is this to continue with the newly elected government????

IT IS UNJUST THAT A SMALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT BEEN ALLOWED TO DETERMINE POLICY INTERESTS FOR A TINY PERCENTAGE OF ABORIGINAL TASMANIANS The Office of Aboriginal Affairs should be held accountable for the biased opinions and lies being circulated such as Tasmanian Aboriginal people of Lia Pootah descent are not Aboriginal – with claims of sensitivity to Aboriginal culture, people making enquiries are in fact discouraged talk to us – and virtually demand that people do not access our website as it is lies. Judgements inappropriate to their position.

WHAT HAVE THE PALAWA LANDS COUNCILS DONE WITH ALL THE MONEY does the Tasmanian budget actually show the total subsidy of the millions of dollars going annually to the small Palawa group ( in fact a total of about 450 persons). Millions of dollars of taxpayers money has been given to Palawa Lands Council to protect Tasmania’s Aboriginal heritage and yet they allow vandalism to occur. What areas do those Palawa trained as field officers work, if it is not with our sites. Our rock art is the heritage of all Tasmanians. Lia Pootah’s Nubatrone Lands Council receives no funding, no say, and not even access to our heritage. With no funding our field officers trained before 1996 cannot be employed. Is this what Tasmanian politics support???

ALL TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL ROCK ART AND HERITAGE SITES ARE PROTECTED BY ACTS OF PARLIAMENT. THIS PROTECTION HAS BEEN IN PALAWA CONTROL SINCE 1996 The Palawa Lands Councils are funded to protect Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage sites, so, why hasn’t the Tasmanian Government fined the Palawa lands councils for breaches of the Heritage Act for the vandalism at the Sundown Point and Greens Creek Motif sites and the destruction of Quaternary and Holocene middens at Dolphin Sands.

WHY HAS THE NUBATRONE LANDS COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE AND LIA POOTAH CULTURAL HERITAGE OFFICER NOT BEEN ASKED TO VISIT THE GREENS CREEK SITE. Political sensitivities to a bully group sanction discrimination and instill fear of freedom of speech. An integral part of the total genocide of the majority of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

FOUR MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE STOLEN GENERATION Until the mid 1990s Palawa were known officially as "hybrids" (multi racial descent with an Aboriginal ancestor (mainland Australian in some families not Tasmanian Aboriginal) and the records show that the removal of children is recorded as welfare issues. Australia’s national disgrace is that only Aboriginal children "white" enough to be assimilated were stolen and removed. Is Premier Lennon or future Tasmanian Governments going to compensate Lia Pootah for their children who were stolen and put into orphanages and "respectable" families in the nineteenth century by the then governments attempt of forced assimilation. It was this attempt at assimilation which has created the Aboriginal "problem" today.

PALAWA CLAIMS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE ONLY INVOLVES THEIR ISLAND HISTORY. If they had a mainland Tasmanian Aboriginal culture why did they sanction forestry to log the ancestors spirit trees. Indiscriminate logging has seen the sacred forest areas of Lia Pootah ancestral spirit trees destroyed for pulp.

TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL HERITAGE IS ABOUT SHARING Not about ownership – segregation – denial of distant cousins. We cannot turn the clock back. To be Tasmanian Aboriginal means having a dual heritage. If it wasn’t for our ancestors having children with the invader then the Tasmanian Aboriginal would really be no more.

LIA POOTAH GET MORE RECOGNITION FROM OVERSEAS. Our Community have attained international respect for their cultural knowledge and willingness to share. They receive positive help and commitment overseas in both academic and indigenous Communities. Yet are denied a voice in their own state.


LIA POOTAH ARE LOOKING FOR POSITIVE RESPONSES FROM ANY PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARIAN IN THE FORTH COMING ELECTION

AND ARE PREPARED TO PUBLISH ALL RESPONSES FROM ALL CANDIDATES ON THEIR WEB SITE WHICH IS RECOGNISED AND READ INTERNATIONALLY

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

WHAT IS TALC AND ALC UP TO? 

Forestry are allowed to destroy Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage and culture unabated. Mainland developers are allowed to come to Tasmania and destroy. We know that TALC and ALC have partnership agreements where they let the destruction of Lia Pootah heritage continue unabated. While the destruction is going onLia Pootah have been waiting to hear them say STOP you are destroying Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural heritage.

There is silence.

We know they are from the Bass Strait Islands and have no idea where Lia Pootah important land places are. But surely they could ask us and work with us to protect our heritage for everyone to share.

Ralphs Bay a major Lia Pootah heritage area is to be destroyed by mainlanders who know little and care less about Lia Pootah cultural heritage places. Why has the government given the Bass Strait Islanders exclusive rights to make decisions about land they know nothing about. Why doesn’t the government make them work with Lia Pootah to learn about the land they are allowing to be destroyed.

One of the biggest tragedies is that TALC is allowing the Blue Tiers to be logged a Lia Pootah place of cultural significance, both with Spirit Trees and rock art carvings.

Another place is Recherche Bay which is going to be logged, again silence. Lia Pootah ancestors interacted with the French at this place. Why is their silence from the government body paid to protect our heritage?

Rodney Dillon screams when he is caught poaching, claiming infringements on his Bass Strait Island culture. But silence on Lia Pootah cultural heritage. This is a man self proclaimed as the cultural heritage watchdog. But only when it suits his personal needs.

Brian Mansell at TALC has his say on irrelevant topics but nothing about protecting Lia Pootah heritage and stopping the devestation.

Clyde Mansell at ALC puts in his point for Bass Strait Island places but not about protecting Lia Pootah heritage.

Perhaps coming from the Bass Strait Islands means they are unaware of our important heritage areas, but aren't we all Tasmanian Aboriginal. ALC and TALC are paid to protect our heritage. Rodney Dillon is supposed to be the public voice of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people but he only worries about Bass Strait Island issues or self imposed fishing rights. ALC and TALC have policies on protecting our Lia Pootah heritage, the heritage of all the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Why are they allowing it to be destroyed?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

MAKING A PRIVATE EMAIL PUBLIC 

I have debated about making public a private email but I believe this piece of dogma should be made public. Lia Pootah are struggling to survive the cultural genocide by the Palawa/TAC/Office of Aboriginal Affairs call them what you will, they are all Bass Strait Islanders and have no blood links to us. Lia Pootah has only ever been a collective group of survivors from G A Robinsons Round-up and the myth of the Tasmanian Aboriginal extinction. The Teen Toomele Menennye (Big River) people have successfully completed a Bicentenary Program for the 200th Anniversary of the invasion of their homeland. This was done as a dual cultural activity as 200 years ago there was a friendly interaction between John Bowen’s party and Teen Toomele Menennye people. That 2004 is the anniversary of the massacre of our people is an event we face next year.

Lia Pootah recognise and acknowledge that death and tragedy occurred to our people by the invaders. The Teen Toomele Menennye are very proud of their warriors who fought to protect their homeland, just as they take pride in the ancestors who worked with the invaders. Anger and hatred carried on for two hundred years is a pointless exercise. We can not turn the clock back, we cannot change what has happened all we can do is make a path we are proud to follow into the future. That we have to fight to have our history recognised because of the appalling racist attitude of the Palawa who hold all the administrative and bureaucratic policy making positions is our on going struggle.
It is people like Glen Shaw who should never be allowed in any area where decisions concerning the welfare of a community are to be made. How can any member of the Lia Pootah receive a fair deal when this is what we constantly have to fight against.

To the email. On a personal level I consider this a racist attack. I do not know this person. I have never met this person. How could the Lia Pootah expect a fair deal when employees of ATSIC/ATSIS send such inflammatory rubbish during working hours through their work computer. I am led to believe that this is against the law to do this.

What I do know is that it is disgusting for someone, who I am told by community members is in a high position. I am told that Glen Shaw is the Tasmanian ATSIC Commissioner Rodney Dillon’s Policy Maker and research person.
This is the email

X-From_: Glenn.SHAW@atsis.gov.au Thu Sep 25 13:19:35 2003
From: SHAW Glenn
To: "'info@tasmanianaboriginal.com.au'"
Subject: Re: Articles published on the Internet
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 13:16:02 +1000
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-0.4 required=50.0 tests=SUPERLONG_LINE version=2.20
X-Spam-Level:

I have read many of your articles published on the Internet, and I find it
abhorant that you as a collective attempt to justify your so-called
Aboriginal heritage through courts, when in fact if you had any clear
understanding of Aboriginal Cultural Protocols, you would know all too well
that this is done by the community as a collective.

Don't fall into the common trap of "communities" as opposed to "community",
because by doing so, you are abandoning the notion of Nation and Sovereignty
or collective rights. I am an Aborigine from the Pyemmairrener people,
and I am proud of my Heritage and Culture and none is more important to me
as a human being than that of my Mother who was born on Cape Barren Island,
yet you see fit to deny the Aboriginality of my mother and attempt to
replace it with your own.

It is the diatribe of people like you who claim to be Aborigines with little
or no respect or perhaps even understanding of the Aborigines who came
before you that infuriates me to the degree that I must write to you.

I personally believe you have a heart felt (although misguided) belief that
you are an Aborigine, but I must make myself clear in that I cannot and most
probably will never accept you as being one, and I do not mean this with
malice, because of your genuine belief, but unfortunately rhetoric without
descendancy,passion and a true sense of being does you little justice.

I was born an Aborigine and I will die an Aborigine, because I have never
had to become one.

Glenn Shaw


"IMPORTANT: This transmission is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the IT Security Adviser immediately by telephone on (02) 6121 4726 and delete all copies of this transmission together with any attachments."

His ignorance on my history and knowledge about Lia Pootah is glaringly obvious. I was a recognised Aboriginal, as were the members of our community when Glen and all his community were still claiming their Islander Heritage not Aboriginality. If you are going to make broad statements then you must be sure that the debate on ancestry is not recorded in the media as this debate by the Palawa was.

The old adage “People in glass houses should not throw stones” definitely applies to Glen Shaw. Secondary sources defining Aboriginal heritage is not proof. Glen’s claim “I am an Aborigine from the Pyemmairrener people” is a theory put forward by Brian Plomley in the 1960s and theoretically validated by Lyndal Ryan in the 1970’s. Outside of secondary sources there is no historical evidence of their existence, the Pyemmairrener people I am assuming belong to Manalaganna who all, with the exception of Fanny Cochran Smith, Palawa claim descent.

In the 2002 Appeals Tribunal case we proved that Lyndal Ryan’s version of the Tasmanian Aboriginal history is not based in historical fact. Secondary sources are not fact they are only perceptions of other views to history.


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Palawa still a problem 

LEAVE POOR MICHAEL MANSELL ALONE
To the people who are trying to find out what tribe he belongs to, how can anyone expect him to know when he claims (in Sunday Tasmanian, 11 February 2001) that Black Judy was his mother and denies he is descended from a negress.

An essay on “Halfcasts of the Furneaux Group” written in 1946 by Mr A.L. Meston (an educational reformer, an anthropologist and historian, who trained as a teacher at teacher’s college in Hobart, graduating as a Master of Arts with First Class Honours in English in 1922). It was published by the Government printer from the Records of the Queen Victoria Museum at Launceston.

In this book Mr Meston wrote – Tom Mansell from Sydney, usually called Sydney Tom, married Judy, a pure blooded Tasmanian Aborigine of the Oyster Bay Tribe but there was no issue (no children).

By a later union with a negress he had a son whom many Mansells of today descend.

Michael Mansell said Mr Meston was not regarded as a credible writer by the Aborigine Community or historians.

Makes one wonder who he is to question the credibility of such a great, well known, educated historian as Mr Meston

Milford Bones Nubeena.











Sunday, October 12, 2003

Palawa deny Lia Pootah Aboriginality 

LIA POOTAH IS DENIED THE RIGHT TO IMPLEMENT OUR CULTURAL PROGRAMS.


LIA POOTAH DENIED THE RIGHT TO PUT THEIR EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IN THE SCHOOLS.


LIA POOTAH DENIED THE RIGHT TO ACCESS THEIR SACRED SITES


LIA POOTAH DENIED THEIR ABORIGINALITY

The TAC have charged Mr and Mrs Richardson (members of CHAC) with trespass for accessing Premenganna an art site in the northwest of Tasmania. Mr Richardson is an Aboriginal person recognised by his community. Premenganna is a sacred place of the Lia Pootah people and is near the Circular Head Aboriginal Community (CHAC). The Tasmanian Aboriginal Lands Council headed by Brian Mansell (TAC) who until recently was a field officer for catholic education, claim no-one at CHAC is Aboriginal and Michael Mansell (his brother) claimed on the television news last night that all CHAC were “white imposters without a drop of Aboriginal blood”. This sounds like the pot calling the kettle black or in this case white. In recent times the Aboriginality of Michael Mansell has been brought into question with a number of people claiming to have documentation to prove he is not Aboriginal. It is time that members of the TAC proved their Aboriginality the same as everyone else is required to do.

Wallantanalinany Lydidder (Southern Traditional Aboriginal Elders Council for the Lia Pootah people) have CHAC Elders on the council. Lia Pootah recognises the Aboriginality of CHAC members. CHAC is recognised and funded each year by ATSIC which funds Aboriginal organisations. How can we discuss who we are when the only people spoken to about Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage and who are CONSIDERED Aboriginal are the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) accepted group who have to be sanctioned by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs (OAA) AND Jim Bacon Tasmania’s Premier. The current claims from the TAC continue making them the fools we know they are. Michael Mansell one hopes is a better lawyer he is an historian.

Just because we are not from the TAC line of descent does not make us white it just means we are not their people.

The lies currently being told about the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their heritage is bordering on criminal. Palawa history is not ours. Palawa are entitled to their own history they are not entitled to rewrite ours and make up stories not founded in fact. If the Palawa want family trees then let them produce their family trees that are made public so we can show them were they have no evidence to prove an Aboriginal ancestor in exactly the same way we have no proof. This is not because we are not Aboriginal it is because records were not kept. In the nineteenth century the Tasmanian Aboriginal was listed as vermin. No one records the name of vermin. Births deaths and marriages were not recorded until after 1850 and even then only those who could afford the cost were registered. The books written by Brian Plomley Friendly Mission and Weep in Silence do not offer proof of anything for an Aboriginal lineage. Nor does the tripe written by Lyndal Ryan in her book The Tasmanians, material that was proven wrong in court.

LIA POOTAH PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WHO THEY ARE

Grow up Michael Mansell NOT being Palawa does not make us white just a separate and very different Tasmanian Aboriginal group.







Palawa deny Lia Pootah Aboriginality 

LIA POOTAH IS DENIED THE RIGHT TO IMPLEMENT OUR CULTURAL PROGRAMS.


LIA POOTAH DENIED THE RIGHT TO PUT THEIR EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IN THE SCHOOLS.


LIA POOTAH DENIED THE RIGHT TO ACCESS THEIR SACRED SITES


LIA POOTAH DENIED THEIR ABORIGINALITY

The TAC have charged Mr and Mrs Richardson (members of CHAC) with trespass for accessing Premenganna an art site in the northwest of Tasmania. Mr Richardson is an Aboriginal person recognised by his community. Premenganna is a sacred place of the Lia Pootah people and is near the Circular Head Aboriginal Community (CHAC). The Tasmanian Aboriginal Lands Council headed by Brian Mansell (TAC) who until recently was a field officer for catholic education, claim no-one at CHAC is Aboriginal and Michael Mansell (his brother) claimed on the television news last night that all CHAC were “white imposters without a drop of Aboriginal blood”. This sounds like the pot calling the kettle black or in this case white. In recent times the Aboriginality of Michael Mansell has been brought into question with a number of people claiming to have documentation to prove he is not Aboriginal. It is time that members of the TAC proved their Aboriginality the same as everyone else is required to do.

Wallantanalinany Lydidder (Southern Traditional Aboriginal Elders Council for the Lia Pootah people) have CHAC Elders on the council. Lia Pootah recognises the Aboriginality of CHAC members. CHAC is recognised and funded each year by ATSIC which funds Aboriginal organisations. How can we discuss who we are when the only people spoken to about Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage and who are CONSIDERED Aboriginal are the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) accepted group who have to be sanctioned by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs (OAA) AND Jim Bacon Tasmania’s Premier. The current claims from the TAC continue making them the fools we know they are. Michael Mansell one hopes is a better lawyer he is an historian.

Just because we are not from the TAC line of descent does not make us white it just means we are not their people.

The lies currently being told about the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their heritage is bordering on criminal. Palawa history is not ours. Palawa are entitled to their own history they are not entitled to rewrite ours and make up stories not founded in fact. If the Palawa want family trees then let them produce their family trees that are made public so we can show them were they have no evidence to prove an Aboriginal ancestor in exactly the same way we have no proof. This is not because we are not Aboriginal it is because records were not kept. In the nineteenth century the Tasmanian Aboriginal was listed as vermin. No one records the name of vermin. Births deaths and marriages were not recorded until after 1850 and even then only those who could afford the cost were registered. The books written by Brian Plomley Friendly Mission and Weep in Silence do not offer proof of anything for an Aboriginal lineage. Nor does the tripe written by Lyndal Ryan in her book The Tasmanians, material that was proven wrong in court.

LIA POOTAH PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WHO THEY ARE

Grow up Michael Mansell NOT being Palawa does not make us white just a separate and very different Tasmanian Aboriginal group.







Monday, September 29, 2003

Subject: Legislation before Parliament (Land Grants) 

Uncle Des is tired of not having his letters published in The Mercury Newspaper.


Dear Reader,
Recent publicity concerning the above-mentioned legislation and statements by a member of the Aboriginal Centre (T. Maluga) leave a lot to be desired and add nothing to the possibility of any reconciliation of the aboriginal communities of Tasmania.

It appears that the Aboriginal Centre management has no intention of allowing mainstream members of the aboriginal communities to have any say in the proceedings with the Government and the Government is allowing this to happen. The Aboriginal Centre management have for too long been able to dictate to the Government on the consideration of matters that are of concern to the whole Aboriginal community. i.e. land rights and the acknowledgment of those who have obtained recognition of their Aboriginality by the Australian Arbitration Tribunal. The latter point seems to have been completely ignored by both the Aboriginal Centre and the present Tasmanian Government.

The day the Tribunal’s decision was handed down, a group of people consisting of a small number of adults, and a large number of school age children where allowed to enter the Courtroom and throw abuse at the people assembled there. Do these people have immunity to any form of discipline? Since the Tribunal decision, those people who were recognized as having been of Aboriginal descent, have had to endure verbal and written abuse accusing them of being frauds, cheats and liars, as well as the latest label of imposters.

I consider these accusations to be an insult to my integrity and also insulting to all the other participants in the fore-mentioned Tribunal. Trudy Maluga has stated that the members of the Lia Pootah community should be ashamed of themselves. They should be ashamed of what? Perhaps she means they should be ashamed for standing up for their rights. I urge all of those people affected by these statements to stand up and be counted. We have been ignored for long enough and its about time we made ourselves heard. When any statement degrading our community and our claim for recognition is issued by the group that think they are the only Aboriginal people in Tasmania, we should protest both verbally and in writing in an effort to be heard. I have personally corresponded with local daily newspaper on a number of occasions, only to have my correspondence ignored. If enough of our people protest, it will be more difficult for the media and Government to ignore us.

The 129 people who were successfully recognized by the Australian Appeals Tribunal had to provide proof of descent from the Aborigines, but the people opposed to this recognition did not even take the trouble to provide any evidence to counter this proof. The only challenge made was through the committee set up to vet those who made application to be included on the electoral roll of indigenous people. These challenges were considered too spurious to be accepted due to the lack of any real reasoning on the part of the challengers. Some examples are:

(1) I am an Aboriginal Elder, and I do not know the applicant
(2) He is not Aboriginal. The content of these challenges was remarked upon by the Judge when he handed down his decision.

I would suggest to the Premier, that he consider withholding any further land grants until the Aboriginal Centre agree to recognize these people who have received insult after insult from members of the Aboriginal Centre. Iwould also suggest that any agreement to land grants be signed by representatives of all those of Aboriginal descent, rather than a select few who seem to have gained the favor of the present Government.

The Aboriginal Centre is managed by a cartel of people made up of members of three families and an enquiry should be made into this before they are allowed to cause more damage than they already have.

You may have noticed that I have never referred to the Centre as being Tasmanian. This is because the people that the members are descended from have only ever been referred to as half castes in any historical document. The description of Tasmanian Aboriginal is completely out of context and does not apply. Please consider the fact that documents pertaining to the decision of the A.A.T. state that the applicants are descendants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders not specifically Tasmanian Aborigine.



Uncle Des Berry
Elder, Lia Pootah Community
October 2003

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

FACE THE TRUTH JIM BACON

Mr Bacon is at this very moment in talks with the leaders of the Aboriginal Community. One can only wonder who in the community he is talking to. Even without an educated guess it would have to be the same old same old.. Jim Bacon is nothing if not consistent with his limited consultative process when it comes to Aboriginal issues. It is a no brainer to claim his consultative group are Bass Strait Islanders/Palawa/Tac all of whom claim their bona fides from his own government department the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. As usual Bacon is definitely not consulting with the broader community. Even his rhetoric on the ABC Tim Cox’s Breakfast Show 24 September 2003 he noted that he was not talking to “those who claim to be spokespersons who do not speak for the community as a whole”.

To any thinking person that type of statement continues to make Jim Bacon a long running puppet. As is typical with the blinkered Premier he has not approached anyone in the Lia Pootah Community. No one person or individual group speaks for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community or any other Aboriginal community Australia wide. Wake up to cultural protocols, being a Victorian means that you should be more aware of Aboriginal protocols or did you never mix with Koories when you were a union rep.

Can anyone be called ignorant on a permanent basis without them becoming racist. Bacon’s platitudes when dealing with the Aboriginal Community of Tasmania combined with his actions show that he is so one eyed that he is becoming a Cyclops. His continued diversionary actions within the community, if not so pathetic towards reconciliation would be a joke.

Having advisors who are mothers, fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts and Australian Aboriginals not Tasmanian to make his advisory group are incestuous not representative of the community. The power players who control this mono structure of advisors continue to make him a standing joke blind to reality. It is definitely not a case of “pulling the wool over his eyes” it is more a case of controlling a Premier . History will show that Jim Bacon was a willing participant in voluntary shutting himself in the dark, accepting the claims that he is a mushroom and willing mulching the TAC ‘fodder’.

Wake up Premier Jim Bacon and put your action where your mouth is. Work with the whole community not the tame crew who devised and instigated all the problems now within the community. During the Select Committee of 1999 dealing with land handback members of the Lia Pootah Community proved that your process was biased and racist. Since 1996 when the other group committed the genocide against the broader community we have constantly won in court and continuously prove our Aboriginality and ancestry.

If the Palawa, Office of Aboriginal Affairs or the TAC want to believe they are the only ones then so be it but that does not make it a fact. Just because white historians too lazy to accurately do any research into the true Aboriginal heritage for Tasmania and constantly prop up the TAC view it does not make it an historical fact. Historians in many cases are notoriously limited visionaries especially those who are paid by the TAC to write their history.

If the TAC want to be the survivors of the second genocide that they created then let them return to the place where they survived, the Bass Strait Islands, they have no claim to the land our ancestors called Trowernna. They have no right to accept land handed back by ignorant white men no matter what their position and claim it as their own. Aboriginality is more than being what the TAC claim. Aboriginality is about retaining your heritage and culture and passing it into the future to your children it is not about making a heritage from scraps of Aboriginal culture in Queensland or borrowing instruments like the digadredoo and pretending they are yours. The TAC has an island heritage that has little Aboriginal culture in it at all.

From the 1970s onwards when I first started meeting these usurpers from the islands claiming Tasmanian Aboriginality and waving white man’s papers showing a mission survival of their Aboriginal heritage.

They knew less about our cultural heritage than any of our isolated family groups with ties bonded to the land for more than 60,000 years, who were maintaining and preserving our Aboriginal heritage. The greatest number in our community are those descendants of the Teen Toomele Menennye (Big River) and the Tahune Linah (Huon River) people. We are a people who have been forced to reveal our cultural heritage and cultural secrets, in having to prove who we are, just so we can exist in public and claim our ancestral heritage. Like fools we believed in the unity of our survival. Like fools we worked together sharing our heritage with these late usurpers from the islands. Like fools we believed the positive carrot of unity for our people as we set the infrastructure in place. What was set in motion in 1992 when we were united was destroyed in 1996 when Clive Mansell and the Koori Consultancy acting as the instigator of the second genocide, delivered his paper on the definition of Aboriginality.

Wake up Jim Bacon. Stop being such a blinkered racist and acknowledge what the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community has to offer, two diverse heritages where no single group or person can be a spokesperson. Get rid of the mushroom food supply and breath the clean fresh air that the Lia Pootah people offer.


Monday, September 15, 2003

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 

There has been a lot of controversy relating to Bowen's arrival - some rational and some questionable. What is the one persistant factor is that he arrived in Tasmania. Unrefuted. As to the date, that may continue to be questioned for centuries to come and will become an urban myth as time passes.
As to the controversy concerning the impact on the Aborigines of Tasmania at that time - again some comments rational and others questionable. But history is just that - history. It cannot be redone, whitewashed or forgotten. My Irish ancestor came to Tasmania, fought with the Aborigines, left for New Zealand, and upon his return married a Tasmanian Aboriginal women. Ironic. But that is my history and one I feel supports the fact that history is something than cannot be changed, and can sometimes be almost fictional.
Michael Mansell wants Tasmania's history to be whitewashed (excuse the pun) and expects European Tasmanians to respect Aboriginal feelings. He is trying to exclude the fact that Bowen landed and only wants a black history celebrated. Quite a contradiction to what Michael has been quoted as claiming previously. He has continually lombarded the education system for only teaching white history, to the neglect of the Indigenous Tasmanians. He is always professing how unfair history has been to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania.
Now he has an opportunity to act like a mature, intelligent person and say - history is in the past - it is something we can learn from and build upon - reconcilliation at this controversial and painful time can be a tool to move on into a bigger, brighter future.
In The Mercury (10/9/2003) Michael said that the state had missed out on a perfect opportunity to conciliate. To my mind, Michael is the only person not interested in these opportunities, instead using this time to make inflammatory, racist and nonsical comments.
Janene Hancock
Chairperson
Lia Pootah Community


Monday, September 08, 2003

THE TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL CENTRE LIES  

By Tereetee Lore Elder Auntie Kaye McPherson BSc Hons. Historical Geographer and Cultural Historian Lia Pootah Aboriginal Community

In Hobart the only newspaper that is delivered to anyone’s house is the Mercury, and to say at times it is biased is an understatement. In the last three years on many occasions the Mercury has given no right of response to the Lia Pootah community or any other Aboriginal organisation who disagrees with either Michael Mansell and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC), before it goes into print. Often if other Aboriginal groups are given the right of response it is a limited edited answer compared to the TAC’s response to our comments. As an Aboriginal people we do not need the likes of Michael Mansell or the TAC to tell us if we are Aboriginal.

The Mercury edition Sunday Tasmanian for 7 September 2003 shows even more bias than usual. Mansell once again spouts his rhetoric about everyone being white except his family relations and those approved of by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs who uses the policies and definitions dreamed up by Michael’s cousin Clive Mansell in 1996 and formulated by the TAC hierarchy. That these definitions of Aboriginality suit only the Bass Strait island family group is demanded by the TAC, who prefer to write their own definition rather than follow the federal guidelines for the rest of the Australian Aboriginal population. That any other form of Aboriginal documentation is declared by Mansell and Co as bald faced lies for the rest of Tasmania’s Aboriginal community. That our Aboriginality has been proven in Federal Court time and again, means nothing to the Mercury, the Tasmanian Government and the TAC.

Once again the Mercury allows for incitement of political intimidation to rear its ugly head with claims that “there is going to be a nasty incident at Risdon Cove as whites pretending to be black converge on the site to commemorate the invasion of Tasmania”. How typical of the TAC bullying tactics when the Mercury quotes statements from Michael Mansell “The site of Tasmania’s first settlement under Aboriginal control will be closed, that it will “be shut for fear of a “nasty incident”. “The concern however, is not with racist whites” “The problem is with a handful of whites who claim they are Aborigines”. The TAC is going to “mourn the anniversary of an Aboriginal massacre”. This is an event which did not occur until May 1804, which is to be the year of the TAC celebrations. As usual Michael stirs up animosity in the broader community with his ignorance of Tasmanian History and Aboriginal Historical Events.

For Risdon Cove Michael Mansell claims that “there’ll be such emotion there, it could turn nasty” as his excuse for closing an area which could have been used for reconciliation for both Aboriginal communities and the non Aboriginal population of Tasmania.

No one in the community CARES IF THE TAC closes Risdon Cove the small area the government gave to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania, not the TAC, which is recognised today as the landing site of Lt. John Bowen’s party. 200 YEARS AGO RISDON COVE was more extensive and the LIA POOTAH ARE USING THE TRADITIONAL AREA of the Teen Toomele Menennye People (Big River People), that today is the valley of Risdon Vale and was once part of the Aboriginal land of Risdon Cove. Risdon Vale is also part of what was once Lt. John Bowen’s Risdon Cove. To my knowledge no member of Lia Pootah has claimed that they are going to Risdon Cove on 12 September 2003. Alderman Richard James who is of Anglo descent has always stated he is going to the site as a mark of respect for his history as has Reg Watson and his commemorative Bowen Group. These people are not protesting but carrying out a personal pilgrimage to a site of significance to their own heritage. None of these people are of Aboriginal descent. So as usual it is Michael stirring up trouble.


So much for a response to a newspaper article, NOW FOR THE TRUTH.

It is historical fact that Risdon Cove was the first permanent camp set up by any of the boat people who had been coming to Trowernna since the 1770s, but in all probability they had probably been coming since 1642, in the hunt for seal and whale. As a general rule the Tasmanian Aboriginal people knew that they were in no danger from the people who arrived on a seasonal basis, chopped down trees, collected water, killed birds and animals for food and harvested long grass. Except for the occasional foray along the East Coast of Tasmania these seasonal arrivals tended to visit the island now called Bruny Island and in particular Adventure Bay. Over a period of years the Teen Toomele Menennye people had seen these boat people accessing their land. They always went away when the season changed, why would they think this would not always happen.

This year, 2003, is the bicentenary of the invasion. It is historical fact that you can only invade an already occupied country. It is also historical fact that Lt. John Bowen arrived on 11/12 September 1803 at Risdon Cove on the Derwent River (naval time is midday to midday). The 48 members of his party: crew, military, free and convict disembarked from the Albion and Lady Nelson and set up camp at the settlement they called Hobart.

It is historical fact that IN 1803 THE FIRST FRIENDLY INTERACTION OF THE INVASION OCCURRED BETWEEN LT. BOWEN’S PARTY AND THE TEEN TOOMELE MENENNYE (BIG RIVER PEOPLE). However the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) who use Neo Nazi tactics on the general public, Tasmanian Government, local councils, religious orders and every other organised body in Tasmania by bullying them into kowtowing to their warped perspective of history. In Tasmania people are force fed on a steady diet of ignorance and historical dogma that is now a rhetoric falsifying Aboriginal history, aided and abetted by misleading commentary in the Mercury. The TAC cry “we are the only ones” and everyone stops and listens to their cry too frightened of being called racist, ignorant, or insensitive not to do their bidding. The government and population of Tasmania know they are being coerced into a situation they do not want. Sadly predetermined politics demand surrender to the Neo Nazi bullying tactics of the TAC as they perform their racial genocide on 14,000 Tasmanian Aboriginal people because they are not of Bass Strait Island accepted families.

In Tasmania since 1996 a war has raged within the Tasmanian Aboriginal community that is now more open to the general public with the bicentenary of Bowen and Collins. Historical fact is that white academics defined the Tasmanian Aboriginal community at a time when the politicians and academic decreed that the Tasmanian Aboriginal people were extinct. Those making an academic name for themselves on the backs of our Aboriginal ancestors conveniently ignore that this was never a truth. It is a distortion of history that is condoned by the TAC as they clamber for singularity.

Aboriginal culture is quite specific
 no other Aboriginal group can speak for another Aboriginal group.
 no other Aboriginal group can claim land not of their Dreaming.
 no other Aboriginal group can determine who is Aboriginal in a community not their own.
 Yet the TAC have claimed the land of the Teen Toomele Menennye people at Risdon Cove.
In Tasmania we have the TAC dictating to a government deliberately kept ignorant by policies implemented and advisors controlled by the TAC. That at the time this was set up in 1992 the TAC was the accepted spokesperson for 14,000 people who as a united group set in place the infra structure of today’s TAC. After the coup in 1996 the TAC only spoke for less than a thousand people, as all not of Islander descent proclaimed as not Aboriginal even though many had TAC Aboriginal passports and had been recognised for decades as Aboriginal. It was a coup. It was about money and power. After this time those dispossessed found they had no recourse to appeal as unbeknown to the community as a whole the TAC hierarchy had long planned the take over and non recognition because they were having to share with too many people. This same TAC mandate in action today is enforcing Lia Pootah racial genocide deserves to be remembered by the general public.

Reporters for the Mercury apparently never read previous editions of the paper they are writing for. If they did they would know how they are encouraging lies to be fed to an unsuspecting public as they publish the inflammatory rhetoric of Michael Mansell and the TAC. Michael is a perfect example of someone who is trying to claim a heritage of Aboriginality in recent times like the thousands of others he accuses. The Mercury quotes him as claiming John Shinal and later Manalaganna as his ancestor. John Shinal is no ancestral relative of Michael’s but he is an ancestor of those of Teen Toomele Menennye descent. As Michael has never shown anyone his family tree and he is known as an adopted Mansell surely it is a case of “people in glass houses should not throw stones”. The family trees that the TAC insists on for their community are a laughing stock with anyone who does genealogy.

The TAC accepts secondary documentation based on false premises that construct unproven theories of heritage. To the TAC family lines are all that matters, and if you are not part of that family then you don’t belong, you are a liar and white. The TAC insists that everyone else have primary documentation to prove their heritage. Precious little documentation was recorded for Tasmanian Aboriginal people, free settlers, bushrangers, children and in many cases even convict documentation is no longer existent from before 1840. No one disputes that the Bass Strait Islands housed an Aboriginal mission or that Fanny Cochran Smith was declared Aboriginal by an Act of Parliament, but please, lies of being the only ones for power and money do not make a truth or historical fact or even a person Aboriginal.

Lia Pootah has become an umbrella name for a number of community groups all of whom have their own family history and historical stories about their ancestry and survival. White academics have never corrupted the Lia Pootah communities history like they have of the TAC, encouraging them to believe they were the sole survivors. If Michael wants to believe his own rhetoric that is fine but his intimidation tactics on the broader public should cease.

Michael Mansell claims that the TAC is “battling thousands of Tasmanians who say they are descended from Aborigines and claim Aboriginality” “Most haven’t a drop of Aboriginal Blood”. Those who have just discovered an Aboriginal ancestor but for generations claimed to be white can’t suddenly say they are Aboriginal. One has to ask does this include members of the stolen generation who are still finding their heritage.

Fabrication and scaremongering for 12 September 2003 will not stop it being the bicentenary of the day Lt. John Bowen and his party landed as being the day Tasmania was invaded. It was 200 years ago and the world has moved on. In Tasmania the Aboriginal people have moved on from the need to make whites feel guilty for existing. Lia Pootah know it was their white ancestors who are partly responsible for their survival. Recriminations served their purpose in our early struggle for existence but now it is time to heal. By accepting the pain and sorrow of the past as part of the history of our ancestors we can move forward and celebrate the life they have bequeathed to us

The time for the attitude of the TAC was the 1970s the world has moved on it is a shame Michael Mansell hasn’t.






Friday, August 22, 2003

SORE LOSERS 

My, aren’t the TAC sore losers.

On Monday night 18 August the Hobart City Council voted that they wanted a representative Aboriginal panel to assist in all Aboriginal issues, not just those Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC )accepted who were put onto the Hobart City Council’s Aboriginal committee. The Aldermen were furious when they realised that the members of the advisory committee were chosen by someone’s email list and not adverts for expression of interest. Many of the Aldermen considered they had been made look foolish by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs (OAA) and Alderman Jeff Brisco demanded and received an apology in the Mercury from Greg Brown the OAA manager.

Shown for what they were, a non representative group, they immediately started ranting their rhetoric on Aboriginality. As is their way the TAC began decrying the Aldermen and laying accusations at them for racism. The TAC immediately sent out propaganda material denying the Lia Pootah Aboriginal recognition with scathing and venomous attacks on the Aldermen. How long does it take for the racist dictators to realise that Lia Pootah do not need the TAC to validate their Aboriginality or the Palawa to confirm who they are.

The next morning the Aboriginal flag was flying at half mast and flowers laid at the base of the flag pole. Histrionics win no medals. We win in court, and we are recognised Federally, when will the TAC and its hard line radicals come to term with the fact that we exist despite their best efforts to remove us and our history from Tasmania.

At the present time they are busy once again tightening their control on Jim Bacon’s government and their definition of Aboriginality. As much as they try to deny history and force their lies on bureaucrats and the ignorant public history will win out and Lia Pootah people are fully documented as surviving the historical lie of the Round-up.
















Tuesday, August 12, 2003

cultural genocide 

Once again the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) is hotting up its actions against the Tasmanian Aboriginal people who are not from the Bass Strait Islands. They have the Office of Aboriginal Affairs (OAA), which is part of Premier and Cabnet, on side and therefore control Jim Bacon the Tasmanian Premier. To be Aboriginal the OAA have to verify you and to do this they demand a family tree that shows you are from the Bass Strait Islands, Fanny Cochran Smith and Dolly Dalrymple. In Tasmania it does not matter that you are recognised by the Federal Government as being Aboriginal or that your have been to court to prove who you are. All that counts is if the TAC accept you. The TAC are insidious with their policy of slurs and lies all done as whispers that you rarely hear about so are unable to fight.

On the 11 of August 2003 Jim Bacon told several Clarence City Council Alderman that there were problems with the Lia Pootah Community being bonifide Aboriginal and that their spokes person Kaye McPherson was not an Elder and not Aboriginal. Kaye was not given the right to respond and she only found out about it because a friendly Clarence Alderman told her.

Someting has to be done in Tasmania about the TAC. The control this one group has is actually quite terrifying and very similar to the way Hitler was in WW2. The TAC do not represent the Tasmanian Aboriginal people but they collect every penny both State and Federal that comes into Tasmania. This is in excess of $10.5 million dollars a year for 16,000 people and they recognise less than a 1,000.

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