Our Dark Past

Nov 20

In the film The Hunter, a villain refers to the thylacine as “the rarest, most elusive creature on the planet.”

When we asked, you told us that the last known thylacine died in captivity at Beaumaris Zoo in 1936.

Yet in modern day Hobart, the thylacine is everywhere: on our beer labels and state government business cards, on buildings, on books, on ties and scarves, on aprons and T-shirts, in art galleries and museums. On our license plates it goes with the words “Explore the Possibilities” and “The Natural State.”

How about “Remember”?

We hunted the thylacine to extinction, for money.

In our interviews, you often referenced the state’s dark past, from convict history to settlers’ monstrous treatment of Tasmanian Aboriginal People.

You talked about errors in your city’s development. While there are instances of gorgeous architectural heritage and beauty in the city, enormous sources of pride, you also spoke of regrets and abominations.

When you spoke metaphorically you often called Hobart a jewel, a gem, something precious and fragile. You’ve already lost too much, in seeking short-term gains. A city like this is rare. Now that the world has noticed Hobart, now that change is in the air, you want to be patient and careful — to say yes to the right ideas.

What parts of our history must we remember as we move forward? How can we avoid similar mistakes in our future?