The History of Rooke Street

bass strait

The Bass Straight Maritime Museum is holding a guided tour down memory lane; Rooke Street Devonport to be exact. On the 20th of February, at 2:00pm they will take a group through the mall, highlighting and showcasing the old architecture and historical significance of Devonport’s buildings. Attendance is granted in lieu of a gold coin donation and the adventure starts at the corner of Stewart and Rooke Street. Anyone who is interested in the history of Devonport or has a story to share are welcome to come along and enjoy this fascinating slice of Tasmanian history.

For further information contact the Bass Straight Maritime Museum on

03 6424 7100


Tyler Martin

The 2016 Devonport Triathlon

dev tri

In its 31st year, the Devonport Triathlon, one of Australia’s oldest championship triathlons will be held this month, at the Mersey Bluff. The event is open to all and will feature both a kids and community “tri it” triathlon races. It boasts some legendary star talent in the form of Emma Carney, Brad Beven, Loretta Harrop and Craig Walton.

The event will take place on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of February, with gates opening at 7 am.

For more information visit:


Keagan Belbin

Waterlines: Artist call out

Tasmanian Regional Arts is seeking Expressions of Interest for our 2016 project WATERLINES.

Waterlines is a curated, state-wide arts project that invites Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) members to examine the concept of waterlines, the nature of water, retracing its path and revealing the interconnected and infiltrating nature of water at both the seen level above and the unseen level below. Waterlines aims to reveal common connections; woven threads of communities new and old, across Tasmania and across Australia.

Click on this link for more info:





Portal is a photographic art exhibition currently running through the Devonport Regional Art Gallery. It features 78 photos captured on January 2, 2016, by those living and visiting the north-west coast. Submissions have ranged in subject and time to build an intimate insight into life in Tasmania. This exploratory project is a celebration of our community’s identities and experiences.

Portal is a collective experience highlighting Tasmania’s unique land, and people through a microcosm of photographs.

For more information visit:


– Tyler Martin

Fires Rage Across Tasmania

Difficult to control bush fires are still raging across Tasmania with several communities at risk from falling embers and thick smoke.

What had started as several small fires have over the course of several weeks been pushed forward by strong winds, adding to the challenges faced by firefighter teams.

The state’s first ever four day total fire ban has been issued today, as currently more than fifty fires burn across the state and authorities are attempting to cut down any additional risks.
TFS chief officer, Gavin Freeman, today urged people to practice caution and good sense.

“We know it’s a long weekend and we know there will be people camping, but just gas fired cookers, they’re ok as long as the area around them is cleared, but no open fires please,” he said.

While many are being maintained and monitored across remote parts of the state, twelve are currently (at time of posting) burning close to communities and are at the “advice” alert level. No immediate threat is faced by these communities but they are advised to practice caution and remain ready for more news.

Two larger blazes however have recently been upgraded to the “watch and act” alert level, with firefighters issuing several advisements to residents in and around the areas of Nunamara on the Tasman Highway, with the between Bourkes Road and Binghams Road most affected.

All residents are advised to:
-Be on the lookout for falling embers, being scattered by strong winds.
-Be mindful of the danger of thick smoke.
-Take action to ensure your house and family are safe.
-If the premises is too unprepared, be prepared to leave, quickly.
-If you have a bushfire survival plan, use it now.

Firefighters have also issued a warning to anyone who doesn’t live in or near the Nunamara area to stay away and if travelling, find an alternate route.

A “watch and act” alert is also in affect for the Mawbanna area, with the blaze located next to Pipeline road.

The warnings issued to residents near this area include the same warnings as above but also include:

-Keep up to date on details of the situation by listening to ABC local radio or visiting for updated alerts.
-Residents are also advised to report any fire activity they believe fire services are not currently be aware of, specifically fresh sparks/embers.

-Drivers in the region are also advised to drive with their headlights on no matter the time of day, when driving through smoke, to avoid accident.

Across the state, the effects of the numerous ongoing blazes are being felt in a very real way with a blanket of thick white smoke covering much of the state, moving across towns and even reaching the cities. Visibility ranges from hazy to very obscuring with many drivers across the state using their headlights to avoid risk of accident.

While temperatures have dropped slightly across the state this week, lack of significant rainfall and strong winds have meant that Tasmanian fire crews have been stretched thin, maintaining such a large number of blazes.

With more than forty two thousand hectares burnt in the past ten days, the decision was made to call in reinforcements from interstate, to alleviate some of the stress on Tasmanian fire crews and help regain control. More than one hundred remote area fire fighters are being flown in from New South Wales and will be joined by more than thirty support personnel.

Emergency Management Minister Rene Hidding said that this reinforcement boost combined with expected cooler weather approaching next week is a welcome wave of good news.

“With interstate back-up to arrive tomorrow and more favourable weather conditions forecast, I am advised that substantial progress can be made by early to mid next week,” he said.
For any details or queries about the current fire situation near you,

please visit

Human rights commission and Muslim Australians

A new report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has found that Muslim Australians suffer discrimination and abuse on a daily basis. Since the Lindt Cage siege last year communities say that the discrimination has been particularly noticeable. Research finds that the Racial Discrimination Act has only a limited ability to protect Muslim Australians because “religious identity” is not covered under the act.

Many claim hostile treatment towards Muslim Australians is impinging on people’s freedoms. There are reports that many Muslims were changing where they shopped, and that a group of Muslim musicians had cancelled a performance due to fears that they would be attacked on public transport.

The Human Rights Commission found that there is little distinction between religious and racial discrimination for many Muslims. “Being on the receiving end of anti-Muslim sentiment is often described in terms of racism.”

Despite this, the Racial Discrimination Act still only has limited ability to protect Muslim Australians because it only covers discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin, or immigrant status — not religion. This is different from the protection that is granted to Jewish Australians however, as the Federal Court has found that they have a common ethnic origin.

Mariam Veiszadeh, the founder of Islamophobia Register of Australia, said there had been an increase in reports of verbal and physical violence against Muslims since the group began tracking cases a year ago. The cases include attacks on Muslim women targeted for wearing Hijabs, Niqabs, and Burqas, assaults on public transport, online threats, property damage, and graffiti.

Australia has an extremely long history of racially fueled violence and hatred; often spurred on by propaganda spread by groups such as Reclaim Australia, and through the ignorance of politicians looking to widen the gap between Australians and immigrants.

Jakob Barrett

Prime Minister speaks about gender equality

Malcolm Turnbull’s ideal cabinet would be a 50-50 split of men and women, Mr. Turnbull remarked recently, following the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gender-equal cabinet announcement on Wednesday night.

“This standard won’t be met in Australia until women have better representation in Australian politics,” Mr. Turnbull said on ABC radio on Thursday. “In an ideal world you would have 50-50 but we don’t have an even ratio of men and women in the Parliament. The fundamental problem at the root of the issue is this: there are not enough women in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.”

More parties need to be more proactive to encourage women to stand for pre-selection; Mr. Turnbull also pointed to the importance of female role models, whether they are politicians or sports stars. Women have long been under-represented in the media and politics as role models and because of the disparity in the number of men and women that lead our country.

Mr. Turnbull’s cabinet includes women in their respective roles for the first time in our country’s history including Marise Payne as the Defence Minister, and Kelly O’Dwyer as the Minister for Revenue, the Assistant Treasurer.

More still needs to be done better represent the minorities in Australia, including the members of the LGBT+ community, and members of racial groups such as Indigenous Australians.

Jakob Barrett

Health and wellbeing in Latrobe.


The town of Latrobe is set to play host to a refreshing festival at the end of this month with the Total Health and Wellness Festival.
Events include physical health checks and life tools, presentations on holistic therapies, nutrition and skin care. There will also be plenty of stalls offering a wide variety of retail and handmade goods.

The festival will be held at the Latrobe Memorial Hall, on the 28th – 29th of November

For more information please visit:

Keagan Belbin.