Family Celebrating Christmas

Welcome to Hobart

Nov 8

Some of you like to say it takes twenty years to be accepted here. It does hint at the uniqueness of the city and its culture.

Others ask, “Can we please stop saying that?”

As we lure talented people and tourists to Hobart, we don’t want them to feel isolated and alienated — unwelcome. We don’t want to set up unrealistic expectations either.

Hobart is not for everyone. Neither is Melbourne or Shanghai or Wollongong. But for some people — our people — this place is exactly what they are looking for.

Some of you became uncomfortable discussing how well we welcome people who look or act or think differently.

An influx of tourists and new residents are arriving in Hobart and, although we are glad our city is becoming more diverse, we remain quite conservative. “You can’t get away with that here – it’s not Kings Cross!”, one of you said.

We heard many of you describe it as our ‘island-mentality’.

At our best, we are caring people. We look after each other. We want to make sure this endures, as we grow. We worry about the wrong kind of change. We do not want one of our greatest assets — our connectedness — to come with coolness and indifference to new Hobartians, who have ultimately chosen this place because they understand what makes it special.

One of you spoke about setting up new traditions, like inviting an international student to your home for Christmas dinner. Another talked about putting together a small book of Hobartian slang, or creating networks for new residents based on the concept of Mother’s Groups. One of you carries photocopies of a map of kunanyi / Mount Wellington for lost tourists, another shares stories about the day the bridge went down with Uber Passengers.

What are some ways to welcome new students from afar, new immigrants, and new migrants from the mainland into “Hobart-ness”?