Hobart Happenings May 2021
by James Marten
NEW KIDS GALLERY OPENS AT TMAG
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has recently opened an exciting new gallery space for children. Stephanie Williams had a chat with Andy Baird, Deputy Director, Engagement, to get the lowdown on the project.
Why was it important to create a children’s gallery? We’ve long recognised the importance of our younger visitors and our role in helping nurture the next generation. We’ve had a strong formal and informal learning program for many years and have had displays and exhibits specifically made for children. However we recognise the value in creating a space in which the approach was child-centred and worked with the diverse ways children experience the world – more playful, more interactive, using all the senses, and bringing together all the possibilities of TMAG’s vast collection.
What can kids expect to feel and do in the space? mapiya lumi | around here, the gallery for children 0-7 years old, offers a visually rich and physically engaging environment for children and their carers to explore the core theme of ‘little big home’. It works with the way children relate to the intimate and small scale of the world around them, so there are nurturing, nesting places for 0-3 year olds to listen to a lullaby, places to touch animal furs, little peep holes for slightly older children to explore the interiors of homes, the kitchens and living rooms of bygone times. Then for the older, more physical ages where children expand their awareness of the world, we offer experiences such as a tree climb and a mountain path through dolerite pillars, discovering along the way the animals and habitats of the natural world. There’s a cave area of fossils and glowing rocks, a slide down a waterfall – without the water – and even a rainbow generator.
What input has the local Aboriginal community had in the planning of the space? TMAG’s Aboriginal Learning Facilitators provided input throughout the gallery to give a deep time grounding to the gallery. TMAG consulted with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre on the name of the gallery and also worked with Aboriginal students from East Derwent Primary school and St Aloysius Primary school on the imagery for the creation stories revealed in an evocative sky screen animation. The lullaby is sung in palawa kani by singer and narrator Kartanya Maynard, a First Nations writer and performer.
Did covid have an effect on the project? Or in the decision making around the practical side of the space? We have been very fortunate in avoiding many of the COVID-19 impacts in the creation of the gallery and have been able to achieve our original timeline even with some challenges in freight and fabrication of specialist aspects. Obviously we have designed the gallery in a way that means we can regularly clean, and our booked session times with dedicated staffing ensures cleaning between each session and a COVID-safe offer. The ubiquitous hand sanitisers are present in the gallery, and while there have been some design constraints in implementing a COVID-safe approach, we believe we have achieved something that will allow visitors to still get that hands-on approach, in a safe way.
What do you think kids will connect to the most? One of the beauties of this space is it will connect with different aged kids differently, so picking a single winner is – impossible! But the yarning circle around the campfire looking up at the sky animation and listening to the deep-time creation stories of lutruwita is something I think will appeal to all.
Have local companies and people been involved in the project? Yes, the gallery has been fabricated by a Tasmanian company, Soda Projects, and employed many local tradespeople. We’ve also commissioned over a dozen local artists and craftspeople to create content ranging from wall graphics to little 3D dioramas, woven nests to tall tree furniture, soundscapes to stuffed animals, animations to individual artworks: a truly diverse expression of Tasmanian talent. These people include Kartanya Maynard, Jamin, Roz Wren, Alex Miles, Annette Day, Eve Howard, Matthew Fargher, Matt Daniels, Marcus Tatton, Chu Hang, Donna Ritchie, Edith Perrenot and Tom Sloane.
Capulus Espresso in North Hobart have moved…but they haven’t gone far! Their new cafe is open now at 279 Elizabeth Street. Trophy Doughnuts (2/137 Liverpool Street, Hobart) is opening soon. New eatery St.Js, has been described as a “sandwich delicatessen” and is opening in collaboration with DarkLab and The Hanging Garden, upping the humble sandwich game in the CBD. You can never have too many doughnut shops! Made By Mosaic (99 Bathurst Street, Hobart) is a new bricks and mortar social enterprise shop run by Mosaic Support Services. They sell handmade arts, crafts and jewellery made by all ability artists from Hobart. You can also buy their work online at www. madebymosaic.com.au. The Rivulet, a grand house at 391 Sandy Bay Road, has opened as a new accommodation offering. Owners David and Noellene Williams have remodelled the historic property over the past two years. Sip and Style Co (13-17 Castray Esplanade, Suite 1, Level 3, Hobart) have opened Australia’s first hair and beauty interactive masterclass – with bottomless champers – in Hobart. Each session is run by an industry professional. There’s a new playground to explore on Lucy Way in Rokeby. It’s designed for younger kids, aged 0-10, and includes a net climber, rock wall, slide, rockers, swings, monkey bars and more. There’s even a blackboard – BYO chalk and let the kids get arty. Kookaburra Books and Clothing (365 Macquarie Street South Hobart) has opened on the increasingly vibrant South Hobart strip.
CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING IN HOBART SCHOOLS UNCOVERED
During the recent election campaign the Australian Education Union released a detailed list of amounts of underfunding for every Tasmanian public school as a result of a Liberal state and federal government school funding agreement. The full table of funding shortfalls (you can punch in the details for your local school at www.vote4education.org.au) shows Launceston College in the north is the biggest loser with an $11.5 million shortfall over four years. Locally, some larger underfunding was found at Taroona High School – underfunded by $8.8 million, Sorell School by $6.3 million, Lauderdale Primary School by $5.35 million, Howrah by $5 million and Austins Ferry Primary school by $4 million. “Every school should be provided the resources it needs to ensure every child gets the best education, regardless of their background or circumstances,” said Brian Wightman, AEU Tasmania State Manager and former principal. “This underfunding is a huge failure from the Tasmanian Liberal Government – they’ve failed to stand up for Tasmanian children at the federal level and they’ve failed to meet the shortfall so our kids are missing out. This is not about capital funding or one-off expenditure, this is about every Tasmanian school and child missing out every year – on average, every school is missing out on $630,000 every year.” Let’s hope now the election is behind us that education and school underfunding is prioritised.
HOUSE PRICES JUST KEEP RISING
In great news for home-owners and likely terrible news for everyone else, Tasmania’s real estate market continues its ever-upward trajectory as it records its strongest growth since 2002. The Tasmanian Real Estate Institute’s latest report shows that Hobart’s median house price is up 8.5 per cent to $632,750 and Battery Point is still our most expensive suburb (with six properties going for more than $1.6 million). The North-West of the state is the real stand out in the report though – median prices there have shot up 28.5 per cent, with Devonport recording the most sales.
OFFENSIVE WILLIAM CROWTHER IS HAVING WORK DONE
The first of four artworks responding to the controversial William Crowther statue in Franklin Square has been launched. The first work, Truth Telling, is by celebrated Tasmanian Aboriginal artist Allan Mansell and features the transformation of William Crowther into 19th century Aboriginal community advocate William Lanne. Crowther was the 14th premier of Tasmania and is infamous for his cruelty, and for desecrating the body of Lanne. Last year, Hobart City Council launched the Crowther Reimagined art project to encourage conversation about Crowther’s statue amidst worldwide debate about how to deal with such public dedications to problematic figures from history. Mansell said he wanted his art to educate. “I’m driven by putting the wrongs right and telling the truth of our history,” he said. “I’ve spent all my life battling white bureaucracy and telling the truth of what happened, as it isn’t happening in our schools and libraries… What happened to Lanne happened to many of our ancestors as they fought to keep their lands. This is the truth of what happened.” The further three successful artworks will be produced by Tasmanian filmmaker Roger Scholes working with Professor Greg Lehman, Hobart-based artist and writer Julie Gough, and Hobart journalist and photographer Jillian Mundy. For more information about Crowther, head to our website to read the recent article “Why History May Not Be Kind to William Crowther”.
CSIRO JUNK FOOD ANALYSER
Nearly four in five Australians overindulge in junk food every day – eating the equivalent of 20 chocolate Easter eggs in discretionary calories per day – according to new CSIRO research. They’ve launched a new free online tool – dubbed the Junk Food Analyser – to help us better understand our intake of extra kilojoules. CSIRO research scientist Dr Gilly Hendrie said new approaches were needed. “Discretionary or junk foods are the number one issue affecting Australian diets today, with excessive consumption resulting in poor nutrition, high rates of obesity and an even higher risk of lifestyle diseases.” In Australia we get our bonus calories from alcohol (21% of total discretionary food intake), followed by cakes and biscuits (19%), sugar sweetened beverages (12%) and savoury pies and pastries (9%) (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). “While the elimination strategy is common in diet programs and can reduce kilojoules the most, the interactive Junk Food Analyser lets users explore a combination of strategies to reduce discretionary food intake, without cutting their favourite foods altogether,” Dr Hendrie said. “That might include choosing to eliminate alcohol, take a break from cakes and biscuits and halve confectionery consumption,” Dr Hendrie said. To take the new Junk Food Analyser quiz, head to www.junkfoodanalyser.com
Finalists in a bus shelter design competition the City of Hobart run last year are now on display. 120 entries came in from all over Australia and the world and include ideas for weather-protection for passengers, LED lights to signal drivers, mini urban gallery spaces, swivel chairs and mini edible gardens. You can view the top 40 designs at the Council Centre (on the corner of Davey and Elizabeth Streets) until May 18 and vote on your favourite for the “People’s Choice” award. Five are selected to move to a detailed design stage. Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said “while we’re not the operators or funders of public transport (state government is) we’re keen to see it get more love in Hobart.”
NOT MADE IN TASMANIA
Nick Haddow, of Bruny Island Cheese Co, recently called out the world’s largest food and beverage company – Nestle – for piggy backing on the good name of Tasmanian fresh produce. Nestle released a new Tasmanian Mint dark chocolate Kit Kat, but as Nick pointed out on his company Facebook page, it’s not made in Tasmania and includes 99.9% non-Tasmanian ingredients. “Nestle still thinks it’s fine to leverage our Tasmanian brand on a $3 Kit Kat,” Nick said, before suggesting a list of local chocolatiers for consumers to choose to support instead.
WHISKY OFFSPRING WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD
If Bill Lark is the whisky king of Tasmania, then his daughter Kristy Lark-Booth must be the whisky princess or, perhaps queen in the making. Kristy recently won the Australasian Whisky of The Year 2021 Award in the international The Wizards of Whisky awards. Killara is the first Australian distillery to be fully owned and operated by a second-generation distiller and a woman. Kristy started working in the distilling industry 20 years ago and started Killara Distillery in 2016. She is now establishing 26 acres in Richmond to grow barley for whisky, grapes for brandy and herbs, spices and fruits for gin and other liqueurs.
KINGBOROUGH INDEPENDENTS WANT YOUR OPINION
Kingborough Thrives* is seeking 100 local people who’d like to talk about how they’d like Kingborough to develop. Be kinder? Safer? Greener? More commercial? More family friendly? More local employment? Better public transport? There will be 10 different streams of conversations through the event and you can jump from one group to another to add your say. Everyone participates as individual local citizens, not as representatives of any businesses, organisations, political parties or other interest groups.
It’s being held at the Main Hall, Kingborough Community Hub, Goshwak Way, KIngston on 22 May 2021 1-5pm. There’s a $10.00 fee to cover costs, wit any surplus being donated to SLiK (Sustainable Living in KIngborough) for community development projects. Free for unemployed, under 18 and pensioners. *Kingborough Thrives is a working group of engaged local residents who are seeking to increase active involvement in local democracy. Some of the members will stand in the Kingborough local government elections in 2022 as a network of independent candidates.
WIN FLIGHTS FOR TWO TO CANBERRA ON US!
Did you know you can now fly direct to Canberra from Hobart? To celebrate their new route, Link Airways have teamed up with Forrest Hotels and Apartments to give away a massive $2550 prize to
The Hobart Magazine readers. The winner will win two return airfares from Hobart to Canberra, three nights’ accommodation at the very lovely Forrest Hotel and Apartments and two tickets to the National Gallery of Australia. You can Botticelli to Van Gogh exhibition at the enter a few ways. Check out the competition post on our Facebook or Instagram.
TAG your flight buddy, or the person who you would use the flights to go visit. FOLLOW The Hobart Magazine, Link Airways and Forrest Hotels and Apartments. If you’re not into socials, head to www.linkairways.com to enter there.
Hurry though, the competition closes on 30 June, 2021 at 11:59pm. You can enter as many times as you like. We’ll contact the winner via direct message on 2 July, 2021 and announce it in the July edition of The Hobart Magazine. T&C’s apply.
COCK YOUR RIFLES
Did you know that you can book tickets to hunt anterless deer at many conservation areas across Tasmania? DPIPWE run the public land hunting program and tickets can be booked through Eventbrite. Each ticket entitles the holder to one week hunting, with dates available from now until November. It covers up to four hunters and there’s a bunch of conditions that need to be met, including wearing hi-vis gear. Word is some people use the sessions as an opportunity to stock the freezer while assisting in managing wild fallow deer populations.
ICE RINK ON THE BRINK
American figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan has recorded a video in support of Tasmania’s only ice-skating venue, which is at risk of closing for good. The iconic Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink was put on the market last year, and now local skaters are worried the family-run rink might go to a developer. Kerrigan’s uplifting message has been posted to the Save Tasmania’s Ice Sports and Recreation page on Facebook – a page set up by members of the tight-knit Tassie skating community to raise awareness of the potential loss. The group are appealing to the Tasmanian Government to save the rink from development and consider building a new Olympic-sized facility.
ARE YOU PUSHING YOUR LUCK RUNNING RED LIGHTS IN HOBART?
Back in 2002, two red light and speed cameras were installed in Hobart (and one in Launceston) but were switched off in 2004, citing technical issues at the time. There are currently 10 permanent speed cameras operating across the state, but with increasing accident and traffic woes, is it time to turn the red light cameras back on?
In NSW for example there are 201 red light speed cameras in operation including in smaller regional cities. According to Transport for NSW, red-light speed cameras play a vital role in reducing road trauma. They share that speeding leads to an increased chance of a crash as well as increased risk of death or serious injury. Running red lights can lead to serious T-bone crashes or vehicles crashing into pedestrians. According to their website, reviews of the speed camera program in NSW consistently demonstrate a reduction in the number of crashes and injuries at intersections after the installation of red-light speed cameras.
In Victoria, their traffic slogan is “cameras save lives”. Red light cameras have been operating in Victoria since 1983, where there are 175 cameras in city and regional areas. Victoria Police share that the aim of speed and red light cameras is to change driver behavior. “Since being introduced, road safety cameras have contributed to a significant decrease in the number of fatal and serious injuries on Victoria’s roads,” according to their website.
So why don’t we have them? A State Growth department spokesperson shared that they are “always open to the use of technology when it is clear that would make a real difference and reduce serious injuries and deaths on Tasmanian roads. There are no plans to introduce red light cameras at this time and any change would need to be irmly backed up with evidence that it would be effective for Tasmania’s road network and traffic. While enforcement is an important tool used to address high-risk driving behaviour, it is up to every road user to take responsibility for their own actions and to keep themselves, their passengers and others on the road safe.”
Knowing it’s unlikely to get busted, do you sneak through?While most people do the right thing, some don’t which puts innocent road users at risk. A simple deterrent like a decent fine generated by an automatic system surely would stop a few extra accidents and traumas from occurring, contributing to less traffic woes and lower emergency room waits. Is it time?
NEW PUBLIC SPACE FOSTERS FREE SPEECH IN HOBART
For the next six months Hobart will trial its very own Speakers Corner for public free speech. The new space, at Salamanca Place, is available for any lawful and peaceful public address and for local creative writers to share their work. Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said she hoped the legacy of famous speakers’ corners, such as that in London’s Hyde Park, could bring a vibrancy to Hobart. “We hope to encourage people to bring back the art of public speaking and the concept of stimulating debate and discussion through the spoken word,” she said. The new Speakers’ Corner is available for public speech between 10am and midday, Monday to Friday. Speakers can book a 30-minute session online at hobartcity.com.au/speakerscorner or by phoning 6238 2711.
BREATH OF FRESH AIR AGAIN
The Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air film festival is on again this month. Last year they became Australia’s first online and free film festival and they’re continuing the online options this year, streaming 18 films from 12 countries, all different to the in-cinema program. The festival comes to Hobart from 28-30 May, and the online version is available from now until May 30. www.breath-of-fresh-air.com.au
OVERLAND RUN FOR TASSIE CHOPPER FUNDRAISER
Eight members of Tasmania’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew will run the Overland Track on May 28 to promote a fundraising campaign for vital equipment. They have set aside the month of May to raise $30,000 to buy life-saving equipment and pay for specialist training for crews. To raise awareness for the “30K for the Month of May” campaign, the crew members aim to run the entire 65-kilometre trail through the wilderness in just 14 hours. To donate, head to www. westpacrescuetas.com.au
DARK MOFO FLIPS AN ABORIGINAL INPUT
Dark Mofo has announced new Tasmanian Aboriginal art funding and the appointment of cultural advisors. In March, the winter festival received world-wide calls for a boycott over the plan to soak a British flag in blood donated by First Nations people. This year’s winter fest advisors are palawa man and visual artist Caleb Nichols-Mansell and Gumbaynggirr and Dunghutti man Dylan Hoskins, who will advise specifically on music and art. DarkLab Creative Director Leigh Carmichael has announced a $60,000 seed fund for Tasmanian Aboriginal artists to develop proposals for future Dark Mofo festivals. The fund will be entirely managed by a yet-to-be-appointed First
Nations cultural advisory group. Leigh Carmichael said there was more to come. “This is just our first step, and we hope this announcement demonstrates our commitment to Tasmanian Aboriginal people,” he said. If any Tasmanian Aboriginal people with cultural experience wish to make contact, email creativedirector@ darklab.net.au.