For up to 70,000 years the island of lutruwita was inhabited by the Palawa people. In 1642 a European explorer called lutruwita, Van Dieman's Land. That name became synonymous with the word "prison" because the British State designated this island an antipodean gulag.
I think about the history of our island as I look out over sloping hills and valleys criss-crossed with blue bitumen roads, fences and industrial estates. When I admire the soft ochre convict-made bricks that make our cottage I remember that my ancestors were a part of the invasion and theft of this land; and complicit (by virtue of silence) in the ongoing degradation of the Palawa people. It is a hard pill to take. It is difficult to contemplate and is a harsh reminder that from the view point of history we are all complicit in unopposed state violence.
I take this moment to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land; just a small moment to remember the story of destruction, oppression and cruelty when this land was stolen from its custodians. For all its smallness, and too lateness, I say sorry. I am so sorry for what has taken place in the past. I want a better future for all of the people of lutruwita and to be a part of healing the sorrow and sadness in this land. I want to be friends respect with our beloved island home and with her people; I promise to join your struggles, to walk by your side, and to listen to your stories.