A Statement from the Aboriginal Community
Aboriginal people have lived on the islands that make up Tasmania for upwards of 40,000 years, living interdependently with the land throughout that time.
Many of the values Aboriginal people hold as important exist within and across the wider landscape, and respect, management and protection of those values is seen as a broad Tasmanian community responsibility.
The whole landscape is part of the story. All Aboriginal sites are important in that each one is an integral part of the country.
In recent times, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community has progressed from being dispossessed of land a little over 200 years ago to having a small amount of that land returned (in 1995). Other areas of land have been purchased by the Aboriginal community. With the return of land, a number of land management problems, resulting from historical and contemporary European land management practices, have been inherited by the Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal land management knowledge and practices have been increasingly acknowledged by sections of the wider community. Aboriginal people have strong physical and spiritual links with country. Land management expertise of the old people has survived. Today’s Aboriginal community is also developing knowledge and skills of contemporary land management practices.
The aim of this statement is to promote the views, needs and aspirations of Tasmanian Aborigines in relation to sustainable natural resource and land management that ensure protection and enhancement of Aboriginal culture and heritage values throughout Tasmania.