Hobartian or Tasmanian Posters

What do we call ourselves?

Oct 11

Londoners, Parisians, Canberrians: inhabitants of a city generally create a common name for themselves, an easy tag. It’s an expression of pride and personality. When we hear the word Melbournian an image immediately pops into our minds.

Obviously, we are Hobartians.

Or are we?

In our interviews, we found you were split on whether or not you identify first as a Hobartian or a Tasmanian who lives in Hobart. When we write the word Hobartian, the global robot brain of spell check underlines it as an error.

This is more than a curiosity. As we design and build a city together, we want to understand what makes us … us. It begins with having a sense of what makes Hobart unique, what it means to be a Hobartian. It will guide much of what you read here, in the coming weeks.

No matter your specific suburb, you answered questions about your city as “Hobartians” whether you used the word or not.

Why do so many of us feel bashful about calling ourselves Hobartians?

“Maybe it’s because no matter where you are in Hobart, you can see Tasmania,” one of you said.

“I just think it’s a lack of confidence,” said another of your neighbours. “When I was a kid, I always told people I was born in Melbourne — like it was better, cooler somehow. I don’t do that anymore. Now I’m a Hobartian, even though I’m not yet sure what it means. Sometimes I think outsiders understand it better than we do.”

Many of you spoke of a historical “cringe factor” about living here, like you had to apologise for it. Is this dangerous, as the city grows?

Confidence is a theme we’ll explore with Only in Hobart. We are developing a new confidence as Hobartians. We’re beginning to understand and express what makes our city special.

Confident people make good decisions. They know how to build a city together.

Are you a Hobartian? Or a Tasmanian who lives in Hobart? Defend your choice!