Saturday, April 4, 2015

In defence of home.

Home. It's a word that brings a warm glow to my heart, visions of smiling family members, a warm wood stove, and more recently, the THUMP THUMP of toddler feet running around.
MY home isn't where we use harsh words or call names. Home is where we rest our hats and share our news.
Today my heart isn't glowing warmly with visions of my home. I'm mad like a Mama Bear whose kid got pushed at daycare. I've just read an interview with Leo Schofield in the Sydney Morning Herald and I want to make a few things perfectly clear to Mr Schofield.

On behalf of our narrow-minded Liberal government, I'm sorry that the Baroque Festival funding went the way of SO much arts funding. It's unfortunate that it happened and I completely understand your reasoning for taking the festival elsewhere.
"Tasmania's such a beautiful place," he says. "It's blessed as no other area in this country is blessed, and yet they can't wait to dig it up, chop it down, sell it to the Chinese..."
I agree with this loosely as a whole. The landscape in Tasmania is like nothing I've ever seen. The wildlife is stunning and again, it's unfortunate that since the mid-20th Century there's been a push to make the land work for man, not man work for the land. I've sat in forest in the Florentine Valley one year, only to return the next to find the trees missing and a massive logging road in it's place. Plantation forestry has a place - after all, where does your toilet paper, newsprint etc come from? But old growth? There's no reason for that.

Again, unfortunately Mr Schofield goes on in the same sentence to say "All the young people leave, and the only ones left are the dregs, the bogans, the third-generation morons."


In one sentence Leo Schofield has derailed any respect I had for his forward thinking ideas. In one sentence he has clearly revealed himself as those who he is attempting to defame.

I am a young person. I guess. 32? I'd still call myself young. I was not born here. I moved here by choice ten years ago. Five years ago I chose to buy a house and make a home in a very special part of Tasmania. I have a Masked Owl living in the trees behind the house, a mating pair of Wedge Tailed Eagles in the bush behind our block, tens of varieties of amazing birds, quolls, bandicoots, possums, wallabies, pademelons, and more rats and mice than we can catch. 

I'm quite disappointed that Schofield had, in his view, a soured experience of living in Tasmania and sees fit to use his cultural standing to speak ill of a very special place in generalised terms, instead of recognising and stating that this was HIS experience.

Mr Schofield, I'm sorry that you experienced such a hard time that you experienced mental health issues. I only hope that you've received the necessary and available help. I also wish you well with your future projects. I also hope that in time you can recognise and perhaps remedy your public views with those that Tasmania is a beautiful place, filled with kind and gentle people who do care about their home.

Sunrise, Narawntapu National Park, 31/3/15.
(c) Andrew Smyth Photography


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