Tasmanian Aboriginal Leader Urges Removal of Colonial Monuments

Tasmanian Aboriginal Leader Urges Removal of Colonial Monuments

Hobart, Tasmania — Nala Mansell, a prominent member of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, has called for the removal of more colonial statues following the toppling of Hobart’s William Crowther statue. Mansell, the campaign manager for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, believes the vandalized monument should remain as it is, serving as a reminder of the impacts of British colonization on Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples. Tasmanian Aboriginal Leader Urges Removal of Colonial Monuments

Tasmanian Aboriginal Leader Urges Removal of Colonial Monuments

Last week, the statue of Crowther, a controversial colonial-era surgeon and former premier of Tasmania, was cut from its plinth and left face down in Hobart’s Franklin Square. The plinth was defaced with graffiti reading “WHAT GOES AROUND” and “DECOLONIZE.” The Hobart City Council subsequently decided to leave the plinth in place after removing the statue.

“I think it would be perfectly symbolic to leave it the way it is,” Mansell told The Mercury. She suggested that statues of other colonial figures should also be removed and called for greater recognition of First Nations peoples through new monuments.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Leader Urges Removal of Colonial Monuments

“The public are starting to rethink these types of statues, rethink what it means to celebrate these types of people. Now the Hobart City Council and other councils have a perfect opportunity to rethink their monuments and statues. Let’s start taking more down,” she said.

Mansell’s comments come amid global movements to remove statues of colonizers and figures associated with historical injustices. She advocates for monuments that acknowledge the enduring presence and history of Aboriginal peoples in Australia.

Crowther is widely condemned for the 1869 mutilation of the body of William Lanne, a Tasmanian Aboriginal man. Historical records indicate that Crowther stole Lanne’s head from a Hobart morgue and sent it to the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

Following the statue’s toppling, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) confirmed a decision to replace the statue with a sign. “The proposal will change the monument and its appearance by removal of the statue and placement of an adjacent sign,” TASCAT president Malcolm Schyvens stated, emphasizing the positive impacts of fostering understanding through appropriate signage.

Former Hobart City councillor Jeff Briscoe, who had appealed the decision to remove the statue, condemned the vandalism as “sheer vandalism of activists who don’t believe in the rule of law.” He urged the Hobart City Council to repair and store the statue safely.

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds also condemned the act of vandalism but affirmed the council’s commitment to preserving the statue. “At the moment, the statue is being kept in a safe place, and we will continue to care for it. Our goal will be to reunite the feet with the rest of the statue and preserve it in a respectful manner,” she said.

The council plans to install temporary signage to explain the history and significance of the statue’s removal, with the intention of replacing it with permanent signage in the future.

As the debate over colonial-era monuments continues, Mansell’s call for broader recognition of First Nations histories highlights the ongoing conversation about how public spaces reflect Australia’s complex past and present.

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home.
We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news.
If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us!

Visit our page: https://nicc.org.au/
Tony Clemenger.
Chief Executive Officer.
Tel: 0419431649.
Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141.

Source: https://nit.com.au/22-05-2024/11539/lets-start-taking-more-down-nala-mansell-calls-for-further-colonial-moment-removals-following-toppling-of-crowther-statue

Write a comment