CHAC rallies community

Tasmanian Aboriginal elder Aunty Patsy Cameron addressed the crowd at Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation’s reconciliation rally in Smithton on Sunday. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Change. Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation hosted its reconciliation rally in Smithton on Sunday with more than 200 community members turning out in support.

The event was an opportunity for locals to hear from guest speakers and voice their opinions on the reopening of recreational tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and dual naming within Circular Head.

“The rally brought together a group of people that have a vested interest, not only in the reopening of the tracks, but also the dual naming,” CHAC chief executive officer Di Baldock said.

“I felt the majority of the public that attended were very much supportive of what the rally was about and I am certain there will [be] further dialogues with individual parties and government representatives in due course.”

Among the guest speakers was Tasmanian Aboriginal elder, Aunty Patsy Cameron.

Having previously lived in Smithton and spent more than three decades visiting the region, she says it is a powerful experience to walk in the steps of her ancestors.

“To see some amazing, beautiful places where our ancestors once lived, to sit in the places they sat and see the same places they saw.”

As co-chair of the Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Communities Alliance, Aunty Patsy says it has become her mission to give Circular Head its voice back.

TRACA is represented by seven organisations statewide and was formed two years ago with the aim of representing the opinions and interests of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

The alliance has been rallying against the process of the proposed dual naming of several place names within Circular Head by the Tasmania Aboriginal Corporation.

“We want to review this policy so that people in the Circular Head area can claim their land and their culture connections to country in this area,” Aunty Patsy said.

Believing the prospect of dual naming to be a step forward in reconciliation, Aunty Patsy said the Circular Head community deserved to be consulted throughout the process.

“We will be doing everything in our power to change this policy.”

CHAC will now collect a circulating petition to present to the state and federal governments.

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