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'Pakana Maleetye: art and the survival of indigeneity within the Aboriginal Community of Nicholls Rivulet, Tasmania'

posted on 17.05.2017, 05:47 authored by Birnie, Joel Stephen
In this thesis I have researched the evolution of the Indigenous community of Nicholls Rivulet, South East Tasmania between the periods 1850-1950. I have examined the recorded oral histories, academic publications and historical records to create an overall picture of how the community retained their unique Indigenous and cultural identity. Each chapter explores the foundation of Indigenous identity within Tasmania. The topics range from the creation of an ethnically mixed Indigenous community, to the depiction of Indigenous Tasmanians by academics and artists in the later years of colonisation and to the powerful and challenging response to historical and cultural lies by contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal artists. Armed with the knowledge gained by this research, I then express my personal response to this history within my artwork. From my experiences visiting the traditional lands of my family to my exploration of Indigenous identity from a cultural, familial and personal perspective.


Campus location


Principal supervisor


Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Fine Art


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture