Lia Pootah people have continuous unbroken ties to Trowerner (now
called Tasmania) the land of our ancestors, including continuous unbroken
Totemic and Dreamtime ties to the land of their birth.
Our history flows unbroken from the present to beyond the beginning time,
when our Storytellers tell us the sun was born.
To the archaeologist it is a predetermined time span of 30,000 years to
fit into their theories of who we are. To
us, who have always been here, it is forever.
Our community members follow the now urbanized traditional ancestral
patterns of the past. These
traditions have been preserved within individual family groups, rather than the
large Kinship Groups of the past. Our
grannies integrated and assimilated into the broader nineteenth century
community that was the birth modern Tasmania.
They retained their cultural heritage in shame and fear, passing it down
to us in secret.
The Lia Pootah Community are descendants of Tasmanian Aboriginal
women from a variety of Kinship Groups, mistakenly called tribes, and European
men both free, military and convict who arrived at Van Dieman's Land from 1803.
Our community is representative of almost every past Kinship Group, and
today is significantly represented by two main groups the people of the
Waddamanna or big rivers, commonly called “the Big River Tribe and those of
the Huon”. Our cultural heritage
defines these ancestral Kinship Groups as Teen Toomele Menennye (Big River) and
Tahune Linah (Huon) respectively. Some
are descended from those found at Bruny Island and the Toogee of Tasmania’s
West Coast. Other community members are descended from women whose
ancestral Kinship ties are unknown but the descendants know their grannies came
from areas like the East Coast, and Central Highland areas
Over the last decade the Lia Pootah history has been deliberately
woven into the myth of Governor Arthur’s “Black War” and G A Robinson’s
“round-up” by academic papers and books.
Unfortunately this lack of historical inaccuracy has been encouraged by
the biased research into the modern Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Modern academic historians have elaborated the theme of total removal
from the mainland of Tasmania until a distinctive fabrication has developed.
Historians have gone into print claiming Lia Pootah are from “a
supposed lost tribe”. Nothing
could be further from the truth.
This type of claim has marginalised our history.
The nineteenth century historian wrote a politically sanctioned history
of Tasmania, which only referred to the European “settled” areas,
reiterating the round-up and removal to Flinders Island of the captured
Aboriginal Ancestors. This is
despite evidence within the Colonial Secretaries papers discussing “wild
blacks” and the fear in the colony in 1847 when they were returning those at
Wybalenna to Oyster Cove, would “join up with them and start the troubles
again” To achieve these ends a
political solution of count down to extinction was devised.
Possibly the most significant event ignored by modern historical
writers is that only “full bloods” associated with “settlement” areas
were subjected to removal from towns. These
orders ignored those “full bloods” living on isolated properties or who were
recorded as living free until 1853 and beyond.
Governor Arthur’s orders of removal also ignored the inclusion of the
numerous “half cast children” living the settled areas, the result of
cross-racial unions. The present
biased inaccurate history has developed by writing micro accounts of
Tasmania’s history rather than a broad overview.
If a proper historical geographical accounting is attempted then the
ludicrous assumptions of complete removal of the Tasmanian Aboriginal become
apparent. Robinson walked along the
coastline and not inland as to a large degree it was impenetrable bush that was
not surveyed until the latter parts of the nineteenth century.
Only the narrow margin of “settled” land between Launceston and
Hobart including small isolated European community whaling or farming groups and
townships were part of his round-up.
The historical truth about the Tasmanian Aboriginal is quite
different to that currently available within historical accounts.
Historians allow it to be presumed that the entire landmass of Tasmanian
was “settled from almost the beginning, and that the “Black Line” went
across Tasmania, from coast to coast, forcing the Aboriginal population towards
the southeastern Forestier Peninsular. Geographically
80% of Tasmania was “unexplored” or “settled” until the 1870s, 1890s and
later, this documented evidence shows a different scenario.
As does the fact that until 1852 Huonville did not exist because it was
still impenetrable bush, even from the water.
Mistakes in history come about when writers either a university trained
historian, or amateur historian, archaeologist or anthropologist publishes a
partial history of the Tasmanian Aboriginal. The documentation of our Lia Pootah
history is there for all to see.
The Palawa is constantly telling the world at large that we are white
and only pretending to be Aboriginal. That
the Palawa want this to be the truth does not make it a fact.
Even by denying Lia Pootah people the right to vote in elections, access
services set up for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, and forcing ignorant
white bureaucrats to initiate policies that exclude us will not stop us being
who we are.
Palawa enforcement of racist discriminatory polices along the
lines of Neo Nazi fanaticism will never remove who we are. This situation is allowed to exist by the Tasmanian
Government and Councils despite the fact that we have validated our heritage by
using the documentary evidence through the courts.
Some of our community has been through the courts twice, or three times.
We have one member who has had their Aboriginality verified at a
ministerial level. Other members
have Aboriginal passports which are now not accepted. We all have a multitude of
paper proclaiming our Aboriginal heritage that is recognised in every state in
Australia but not in Tasmania the land of our birth.
Lia Pootah, made helpless by Palawa lies, watch as Palawa are given
control of our ancestral land, determine who can access it and create friction
and hatred between the Aboriginal people and the broader community.
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