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Historic apology

 UTASField

The historic whitewashing of Tasmania's dark past in relation to its Aboriginal people is a step closer to being healed, following an historic apology by the University of Tasmania this morning. 

Indigenous community members from Burnie and Launceston joined hundreds of others in Hobart to hear the University's leadership apologise for past crimes, including violation of burial grounds and human remains.

Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black told those gathered at Domain House the truth must be told, however uncomfortable.

"For too long the histories we taught hid the true story of war and genocide, and the denial of human rights," he said. 

UTASRufus

Vice-Chancellor Black also spoke of the particular significance of the Domain site. 

"Our university was built from the proceeds of war and dispossession, from stone taken without permission from Aboriginal country and built on one of their special places," he said. 

"We know that this was a special place, because very recently we have uncovered archaeological evidence: the Muwinina Peoples here brought great meals of shells up and sat, overlooking the great waterways and in the shadow of the mountain." 

UTASapology

The apology

 

You are standing on lutruwita (Tasmania) Aboriginal land, sea and waterways.

 

This is Aboriginal country, inclusive of the land, sea and river that you see from here.

 

The palawa people share a sacred link with nipaluna country of Hobart and possessed these lands for sixty millennia.

 

As you pause to reflect on the depth of culture, history and wisdom on this island, and you connect with the place, kunanyi above and the river below, remember and honour those that came before.

 

The University of Tasmania acknowledges the deep wrongs committed against the palawa people in our name and unreservedly apologises for them.

 

Palawa presence will be forever imprinted on these lands and waterways.

 

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nina takamuna lutruwita-ta, kuntana, muka, layna, milaythina pakana,

 

milaythina pakana nika, muylatina kuntana, muka, minanya nina lakapawa manta lumi.

 

palawa nuritinga nipaluna takila-ti, nara-mapali ningina milaythina mimara lurini paywuta.

 

nina makara, tunapri tunapri, rruni nika

 

wingani nara, kunanyi takamuna withikitha, timtumili minanya panitha,

 

tunapri pakana ngini prungi paliti.

 

the university of lutruwita acknowledges the deep wrongs committed against the palawa people in our name and unreservedly apologises for them.

 

palawa lumi paywuta manta rri, langana, takila, muka, minanya-mapali milaythina-ti.

 

Top: Chancellor Michael Field unveils a stone and plaque commemorating the apology in both English and palawa kani

Middle: Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black addresses the crowd

Bottom: Aboriginal people assembled to hear the apology (Alex Jackson)