Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Taswegians: one part soil, two parts weather


An island separate from the mainland, yet an integral part of the nation, Tasmania (named after the Dutchman, Abel Tasman, who bumped into it in 1642 and called it Van Dieman's Land) lies in the direct path of the Roaring Forties and is the port for our Antartic scientific fleet.


Famed for its salmon and trout, for its apples and its potatoes, for its timber and for its wilderness, Tasmania is fiercely defended by those born there and the increasing number of mainlanders who sea-change themselves down there.


The isolation, the landforms and the weather have bred a tendency towards conservatism, politeness and acceptance. The pace of life is slowed, the socio-economic standards are lower, but the happiness, conviviality and acceptance is heightened.


Noncommital rather than taciturn - until the conversation turns to logging old growth forests, or using waters from pristine waterways to power through pulp mills - Taswegians are the friendliest, most down-to-earth community that I have meandered through in many a year.

16 comments:

Benikos place said...

Such an interesting information!noone cant find it in any book or tourists guide about the real thinking and life of this island.
Your photos are very impresive :)

brattcat said...

Perfect title for this portrait-rich look at the Taswegians. Eager for more of what you've been thinking and seeing over the past ten days.

Bergson said...

Wonderful collection of portraits

altadenahiker said...

Now I'm chomping at the bit to go visit.

Leif Hagen said...

Great portraits! The top buy in the orange shirt and red hat looks like a real character! A barber would really have a job to do ...

Vogon Poet said...

Like your description of Taswegians (I didn't know this!) in images and words.

Per Stromsjo said...

Do they sea-change themselves to the mainland as well? For a job, perhaps. Or studying.

Lois said...

Remarkable shots Julie! I especially like the first one.

Julie said...

Friends, thank you for your kind words - on behalf of my subjects!

PS: Yes, there is a migration from Tassie, too. Mostly to Melbourne but also to Sydney. However, in recent years the balance has been restored in favour of the island. They have an excellent university in Hobart (UTas) and housing is cheapter there than anywhere else in the nation. My friend (whose house I stayed in!) moved from Hobart to Sydney in the early 70s but purchased in 2005. In 2006, my SIL moved to Surges Bay (google-map it!) from Perth.

Jacob said...

Wonderful portraits, Julie, and I appreciate the most interesting intro to Tasmania and Taswegians of whom I knew little or nothing!

Luis Gomez said...

Love your images, the faces, the information. Thanks for such a beautiful posting.

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a great selection of shots .. it's interesting to try and express the essence of a place through portraits of the people. The cold climate casual lifestyle and 'greenie' approach to life is seen here.

Virginia said...

Julie,
Bravo for this interesting series of photos and the wonderful portraits you shared with us. One looks like a stranger I"m featuring tomorrow! I taught with a young man from Tazmania several years ago. Small world isn't it!
V

Julian Davis said...

Wonderful selection of portraits Julie!
I didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Taswegians with us.

B SQUARED said...

Sounds like more than a nice place to visit.

raf said...

You do it all so well, Julie. I can't adequately tell you how impressed I continue to be with your abilities for writing and photography. Your blogs are simply outstanding!
Thanks too for your visit to the new blog. Yes, we have moved, so will slowly phase out the PT site as the files empty.