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Learn in Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to studying in Tasmania

Wilderness weeders win award

Volunteers in a 10-year weeding program in Tasmania’s remote south-west coast have been recognised with a Froggatt Award, named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt who was a lone voice against the introduction of cane toads in the 1930s. Tasmania’s Sea Spurge Remote Area Teams won their award for a decade of successful work eradicating sea spurge from the wild and beautiful coastline. The 150 volunteers were dropped in by helicopter, boat or fixed-wing aircraft and spent between eight days and three weeks removing pest plant species. They supplied their own gear and relied on food drops, working without pay to remove 14.2 million sea spurge plants from 600km of coastline. As a result, 99.5 per cent of the treated area is sea spurge free. Areas have also been cleared of marram grass and two of the region’s only blackberry infestations. The volunteers contributed a total of 6,000 hours and their work has been valued at over $1.4 million.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Shell documentary goes global

A Tasmanian-made documentary about the ancient art of Aboriginal shell stringing, kanalaritja: An Unbroken String, has been selected to play at four film festivals around the world. Co-funded by Screen Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), and based on an award-winning TMAG exhibition of the same name, the Roar Film documentary has received invitations to the Red Nation Film Festival and the Tribal Film Festival in the United States, to the Barcelona Planet Film Festival in Spain and the Eurasia Film Festival in Russia. The TMAG exhibition on which the film was based won the Australian and New Zealand Museum and Galleries Award for Best Indigenous Project.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Ten new cockroaches found

Ten new species of cockroach have been discovered in Tasmania since 2014, three of them in the Launceston backyard of Natural Sciences Collections Officer, Simon Fearn, from the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Mr Fearn said only about five out the 5,000 known species of cockroaches were pests, contaminating food and spreading disease. “Most cockroaches never come into your house, they just live in the bush and they play a vital role in breaking down nutrients and leaf litter, and pollinating plants,” he said. “Just a handful of urban, introduced cockroaches are giving the whole group a bad name, whereas the majority are actually doing us a service.” Mr Fearn said the new Tasmanian species have yet to be formally described by a taxonomist, a lengthy scientific process. Mr Fearn told The Examiner he had identified 700 different species on his cockroach-rich quarter-acre block.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

UTAS unveils Inveresk vision

Edition 186_Concept drawing of the Inveresk campus

UTAS unveiled its masterplan for the $260 million redevelopment of its Inveresk campus in Launceston in July and also released a report on its $400 million STEM proposal for Hobart’s CBD.

1 August 2017, Edition 186

Queen honours salmon pioneer

Edition 185_Shelley

Aquaculture pioneer Peter Shelley and Aboriginal elder Dr Patsy Cameron were among 28 Tasmanians recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

Long-term plan to stop fruit fly

Tasmania’s first long-term fruit fly free strategy was released in June in a move to protect export markets valued at $50 million a year, as well as supporting the State’s brand. Existing biosecurity arrangements are working and Tasmania has successfully maintained its international status as an area free of Queensland fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly over recent decades. The Premier, Will Hodgman, said: “We need to keep it this way in coming decades in the face of challenges posed by a changing climate and increased tourism and fruit export and import volumes.” The first five-years of the strategy, which has been developed in collaboration with fruit growers and the industry, includes research into the pests’ lifecycle and behaviour under Tasmanian conditions. This data will then be modelled against projected climate change. The strategy also includes developing alternative preventative treatments for fruit fly host material and mitigating risks to Tasmania through a sterile insect program. Copies of Maintaining Tasmania’s freedom from fruit fly: A strategy for the future 2017-2050 is available at: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

4 July 2017, Edition 185

Convict hijackers reached Japan

A sailing ship hijacked by Tasmanian convicts reached the southern Japanese island of Teba in 1830, but left after being fired upon by samurai. Cyprus, a supply ship that transported goods between Hobart Town and the feared penal settlement of Macquarie Harbour, had been seized by its convict crew in 1829. Eighteen convicts overpowered the officers on board, landed them ashore and sailed the hijacked ship off to New Zealand, before heading north. An amateur British historian Nick Russell, who has a surfing shack on Teba, recently uncovered old Japanese descriptions and drawings that revealed the Cyprus’s Japanese encounter for the first time. A local artist posed as a fisherman to get a closer look at the foreign ship and produced sketches of the exotic vessel and its strange crew. Japan had closed itself off from the outside world at the time and local samurai told the Tasmanians to leave and backed up their message with several cannon shots. Cyprus sailed off to China where its skipper William Swallow and his crew were arrested. Swallow told his accusers that he had visited Japan, but they didn’t believe him.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

Fico serves Campania with Love

Edition 183_Rossi

Hobart culinary couple, Federica Andrisani and Oskar Rossi, have become the first Tasmanian chefs invited to participate in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

1 May 2017, Edition 183

UTAS alumni show design ‘clout’

Edition 183_Designers

A leading house-design website has suggested the emergence of a Tasmanian craftsmanship brand value similar to that of Denmark.

1 May 2017, Edition 183

$3.72m to create ‘Harvard of dementia’

Edition 181_Wicking Centre CoDirectors Professors Vickers and Robinson

Tasmania’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre received a $3.72 million grant in February that its Co-Directors believe will enable it to grow into a global "Harvard of dementia.”

9 March 2017, Edition 181

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

Brand Tasmania

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