62. David Gough Reclaims Stewardship of Tiagarra for Aboriginal Tasmanians
Welcome to museum. Archipelago. I'm Ian Elsner. Museum archipelago guides you through the rocky landscape of museums. Each episode is never longer than fifteen minutes. So let's get started museums on the Australian island of Tasmania are a microcosm of museums all around the world. They struggle with properly interpreting their colonial past the exclusion of first peoples from telling their own stories in major museums, and having a large privately owned art museum reshape a small town this month on museum archipelago, we're taking you to Tasmania over the course of three episodes were conducting a survey of museums on the island and exploring how each of them relates to the wider landscape of museums today, we visit the TR cultural center and museum in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. The museum is situated on mercy bluff, a traditional aboriginal sacred site that now hosts a nature trail and a caravan park, the museum was built in nineteen seventy six to promote aboriginal culture and cultural tourism. But the displays were put together by nonindigenous citizen. Fans and scientists David Goff of the local Devonport Latrobe aboriginal community remembers visiting the museum when he was younger and seeing offensive words on the plaques and on the walls, younger looking at stuff. And so he came out. There's things here that words really inappropriate Woodstock about us in longer race of people able Levin, writing, my family and ask stories, and running know why that suited them arrival as savages in medic, and all these things that they write things that were like, we didn't have may file. So we're going to all these things that we were really limited people. But we live straight to Osei ges today Goff is the chairperson of the six rivers, aboriginal corporation, and the manager of TR. When of the first things he did his manager was put masking tape over those words, you know, as soon as I got the, the case and the dole back, I put masking type IVA woods sticky TAC. Yeah. Put type I really. Inappropriate words written on the Mike. Beautiful people rather than some of the words were under that slits and said, we're now we can put ourselves in here. I'm rather than this place. Told stories about it sort of left us as we Don exist anymore because we're not, we don't have out our stories in here, offensive, racial language, covered up and written, over by the very people at describes is the perfect metaphor for what t- Agora was in the past, and what it's going to be in the future. Hello, my name's Dave mangoni gov. Antiga Tig our coach who center museum, Devonport Tasmania, g guards and ritual nine pains to keep this sought is a significant sought with caravan park. His just there was where there was hots and a village aboriginal Tasmanians lived in Tasmania for at least sixty thousand years, often completely isolated from mainland Australia by rising sea levels, European colonization of the island and a violent. Guerilla war between British colonists and aboriginal Tasmanians from the mid eighteen twenty s to eighteen thirty two known as the Tasmanian war was devastating to aboriginal Tasmanians for much of the twentieth century, including when Kiara was constructed the Tasmanian aboriginal people were widely and their own the Asli thought of as being an extinct, cultural and ethnic group, those around about people at a massive the Jim saw that people impacts colonization displacement, as my able to focus on chopping wood to make money to survive and cultures changing shift that growing up in schools, some kids go original, what does that mean that I'm not that I really grow up nine a lot about whether it's his or what, what happened to, to the families because the United States it's pretty will specially here a families went through griped trauma. That still is affects us. I was saying young kids growing up in the Justice of traumatic patents that happen to a series of careful museum upgrades, teaching aboriginal culture to his wide and audience as possible, and activism, golf plans to change this. So it's important for, for our families to Putin for the other the other kids in the areas as well. This will go to the schools is United State help were without kids side. The other Keats in builds his mutual respect and understanding about who we all think understanding way, apple podcast will give them. I've flee y full it's golf took me through the museum as it is today, except for the masking tape, and some offer handprints, the museum looks almost exactly, as it did in nineteen seventy six, we enter through the front door, a fake cave that opens a description of the land bridges across the Bass Strait. Which today separates Tasmania from the rest of Australia. Since it's pretty pretty. We have got some money to do some changes and upgrades into this museum the section but with very mournful. But actually now this plice Tom captial and is actually becoming a museum of museums side of really coach about making changes to. I'm this, this panel here talks about twelve thousand years, par to us ideas, where we will connect to Astrada and have that allowed you know, what people would say migration and people in animals. We neither actually came close to here, and this is a great like people lived around this, like wasn't just people walking backwards and forwards, and we've got a lot of average heritage saw in rock shelters, a London eighth, what went over and kids for here and spend an hour within the talk about living sites, and we use caves as living thoughts, and we have several different kinds in our country, that some leaving kinds, and some ceremonial caves, and the ceremony kinds week. We try to keep quiet from my, so the public because I get van lost a have visited a lot of thoughts because I was on the beverage heritage count. For quite a few years, and obeyed very heavily involved in protecting heritage around the country. What happens is when someone comes across damage is something that was signed that realize what it was. So then it gets thrown back, and she sang will if I had a nine I wouldn't have done that is. That's why went on the council already or sunshine, djing that act about protecting it. Her teach Tyke out that the ignorance goals and to some ju diligence around prices, they're going to dig somewhere, the guy to do something in an area. They need to contact heritage and find out this through something they had that would damage the gallery continues through detailed dioramas golf says visitors specifically school groups of children that come through our fascinated by them. But he says that without proper interpretation without stories being told in the voice of aboriginal Tasmanians, the dioramas true, meaning is lost and the lasting impact is lessened in today. That they will meetings. The way of meeting think, mafia Latin nine for rob a sh- unite, and it's because that's what by soared as but people drive up full were drives and destroying them, and we constantly trying to make get protection trying to get would heritage listing of various because some of these about four times as high as building. So when you're standing there, and you're looking at ever line shells on, on that, and you save the hot United though, Fady in a eighty bets. How old these places is many thousands of years old. And they we have rock patriots RAF markings in those areas to which probably five times out of the Spinks. There's a lot of ceremony that happens around these, these living solids babies born in the elders Apostoli in buried, there reminded there, so for us these not rubbish tips that they're there. You know, hospital with church of everything their gripes, there, everything, family members of that, too, with before, drives, and reburied people. So exposing people's reminds really, really young said when you're out there trying to stop people that they're now saying it's their culture to fold drive on on these areas, golf sees the public education, as crucial not just to protect the sites, but also to protect the stories. So this place going through this with kids and getting to understand maybe change some concepts and understanding about what, what, what's around them and what a landscape actually made. So when you say something like this, you can sit around to someone else inside genome of the seats, then you become the educator, and then you can pass on the raisins about why you would look after it because once it's removed the story can go the museum is currently closed only open for prearranged tours consisting most. The of school kids and the occasional podcast or even the ownership of the museum has been contentious up until recently, the Devonport city council rescinded the lease from the six rivers, aboriginal corporation in two thousand fourteen and did not hand back the keys until twenty fifteen Sammy Howard, fellow board member of the six rivers, aboriginal corporation, explains that the museum has been hampered by red tape every step of the way to our which fees drawn those Nonni a the only museum caving, pice in stri, figurative stike funded on today's of what she added governments set us up to file. You don't give didn't give us the training and the things that way knighted on starting to sink it would become a collection of who jumps because every time we get through one hope there's another one put in front of us. The white governments have got to be silliness with phone. Welcome a money issue don't working when you're trying. To deal with these things people want what they told could talk about. Matings of may was return on investment. And it's a difficult spice when you when you talking about sharing culture and having applies to your community bay is plice means a lot to families in this area. But both Howard and golf are optimists about the future of tiara the corporation hopes to bring some, high tech exhibits like touchscreens into the museum and build the resources to maintain opening hours with staff and guides from the community all will centering their own story, a number of factors contribute to their optimism. The museum can now apply for specific funding sources from other Tasmanians there's an increased interest in understanding the land in its people, and the greater understanding of British colonization of the island, we sort of feeling that this is a year where we'll get the spice opened again over just bring school gross right now with this business plan, what we're doing is to get out to spend some, some of this money and upgrade some of the interpreted here and put ourselves and ask stories into this spice. This is really important. It could be an option of having a self God into with they walking around, and as they come to different sections, getting told the stores wanted to tell, but everything costs money, and it's not just upgrading the museum all over Australia and indeed all over the world, the practices of welcome to country and acknowledgement of country are slowly becoming more common as a way to open the vents school, assemblies, and conferences is a difference as an acknowledgment to country and I can be done by anyone is to acknowledge the land and the traditional papal land. And that can be anyone in it should be done by people to site where you do a speech form. Former function is firstly decided after knowledge, the traditional this land. If United nine of is to mention the nine of them into college the land, we made on his is they land in Besser, thinks a welcome to country be done by someone who's from that country. It's basically welcoming balloon to. Up land and for people to understand why affiliates repulsive and opaque guitar stand to beat about who we are what land, they're on. And, and Linda hitt about the traditional papal custodianship, rather than undershoot, Gough, describes visiting native American nations in the US state of Zona and realizing that the challenges that members of first nations face all around the world, including developing museums, that simultaneously served their own people and the wider public are similar, and so are some of the solutions, dude. Wave they're doing that war on, I consider my friends and Harrison. Mc knowledge minutes coming up around universities with I see it at seven, that's, that's a great feat when we're doing things here. I'm getting things in support from my friends will have been gone through similar things conversation on their loss weight, which was around knowledge moments that people not what? We do is always, I would comment on that. And then pay backwards and forwards. There is some support in. Which is really, really positive. Hi, it's in again since you've listened to all the way to the end. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're a fan of museum archipelago join other fans by subscribing to club archipelago. It's not so secret club that gives you access to special bonus features like longer versions of some of my interviews. My take on the museum industry, an inside a tours of museums all around the world all with the same humor and quality you've come to expect from us. Eum archipelago. Join today for two dollars a month on patriot dot com slash museum archipelago and get museum archipelago logo stickers mailed straight to your door. That's patriot dot com slash museum archipelago to join club. Archipelago. This is. Compelling. You'll find a full transcript of this episode along with shown up that museum archipelago dot if this is your first show. Don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcast player. 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