Personalising the History Wars
Warriors in the history wars’ do battle over the accuracy and portrayal of Aboriginal history in Tasmania, but for the descendants of the traditional people this contested field is also the site of our families’ stories. This paper juxtaposes, via the woven narrative of Woretemoeteryenner, a personal perspective against the history wars sterile dissection of official records. Woretemoeteryenner’s story serves as a personalising frame for Tasmanian colonial history. Born before the beginning of European colonisation, by the end of her life fewer than 50 traditional Tasmanians remained. Her story also shines a light on the lived experiences of that small group of Aboriginal women who form the link between the traditional people and present Tasmanian Aboriginal communities. Most critically, Woretemoeteryenner’s life is a personal story of a life lived through these now disputed and debated times.