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Rocky Cape Reclaimed 1991


Rocky Cape Reclaimed 1991

Object information

Physical description

Blue cotton t-shirt with 'ROCKY CAPE' printed on the front, above a silhouetted segment of the north coast of Tasmania, which is printed in the form of the Aboriginal flag. 'RECLAIMED 1991' is printed below the map. An Aboriginal flag and 'LAND IS LIFE' are printed on the back.

Statement of significance

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre collection no 2 consists of three t-shirts. The first, a black t-shirt, has a map of Australia in black, yellow and red. The words ?ABORIGINAL PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT? and ?OUR GOVERNMENT OUR LAND? are printed on the front and back respectively. The second t-shirt is blue background with a coastal map of northern Tasmania in black, yellow and red, with the words ?ROCKY CAPE? and RECLAIMED 1991? printed above and below the map. An Aboriginal flag and 'LAND IS LIFE' are printed on the back. The third t-shirt is white. The wording printed above and below the red, yellow and black Tasmanian emblem reads, ?TASMANIAN ABORIGINES CELEBRATE 8 "YEARS OF REOCCUPATION OF OYSTER COVE 1984-1992". A chain with the words, "FROM OPPRESSION TO REPOSSESSION" is printed on the back.

This collection was purchased from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC), Hobart in 1992. The
t-shirts were produced by the TAC for sale at various cultural festivals, such as the Rocky Cape festival, which were held each year to enable Tasmanian Aboriginal people to return to and to reclaim ownership of their traditional lands. Oyster Cove is significant as the place where Aboriginal people from Wybelana (Flinders Island) were sent by Chief Protector of Aborigines for Port Phillip (Victoria), George Augustus Robinson, in the 1800s to "save the last remaining Aboriginals". Formerly the Tasmanian Aboriginal Information Service, the TAC was established in 1973 and commenced to petition the Tasmanian Parliament in 1977 with what became known as the Aboriginal Land Claim. The t-shirts in this collection are associated with the land claim petition and were purchased in 1990 for inclusion in the NHC. The timing of their purchase, reflected in the wording of the first t-shirt, also coincided with the establishment of the Aboriginal Provisional Government, an organisation which seeks sovereignty, land rights and self-determination for all Aboriginal Australians. In 1995, following years of lobbying by the Aboriginal community, the Tasmanian government passed the Aboriginal Lands Act, which acknowledged the dispossession of, and sought reconciliation with, Tasmanian Aboriginal People, by returning twelve parcels of land of 'historic and cultural significance'. The Act provided for an elected Aboriginal Land Council to own and sustainably manage these lands. Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell later pointed out that the land returned comprised under 0.001 percent of Tasmania.

Object information

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