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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.

Mr Shelley, the founding Managing Director of salmon farm, Tassal Ltd, and Dr Cameron were made Officers of the Order of Australia (AO).

Mr Shelley, who lives in retirement at Margate, was recognised for distinguished service to business, particularly aquaculture, and to Australia-Japan relations, to professional associations and to the community.

Mr Shelley was the Managing Director of Tassal during the salmon industry’s developmental years between 1988 and 1998.

Subsequently, he headed up Tasmanian Quality Foods for a decade.

Mr Shelley, who was awarded a Decoration of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Government of Japan in 2012, was Honorary Consul-General for Japan in Tasmania and has recently stepped down after 20 years as Vice-Patron of the Australia-Japan Society.

He described his award as "a big surprise and very special.”

Dr Cameron of Tomahawk in the north-east was recognised for distinguished service to Tasmania’s Indigenous community through the promotion of educational participation and achievement and the preservation of culture, custodianship and traditional knowledge.

During 45 years working for her community, Aunty Patsy, as she is known, was Deputy Head of the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education at UTAS for a decade and was the first Tasmanian appointed to the National Aboriginal Education Committee.

“I have a lump in my throat because I am overwhelmed by this beautiful surprise,” Dr Cameron said.

“I share this honour with others who have passed before me. Aunty Alma Stackhouse (OAM), Aunty Molly Mallett (AM) and Aunty Ida West (AM).

Dr Cameron was born in Launceston and grew up on Flinders Island. She left school after year nine and only launched her university "adventure" 30 years later.

Nine Tasmanians were recognised in the General Division (AM) and a further 14 received the Order of Australia (OAM).

Two Tasmanian educators — Karen Gee and Lynne McDougall — were recognised with Public Service Medals in the Meritorious Division, which acknowledges outstanding service by employees.

Tasmania Police Commander Glenn Keating, who is in charge of Education and Training at the Tasmania Police Academy, was awarded the Australian Police Medal.

Tasmanians recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017

Officer in the Order of Australia General Division (AO)

Peter Shelley, Margate — Service to business, particularly through aquaculture and Australia-Japan relations

Dr Patricia Ellen Cameron, Tomahawk — Distinguished service to the Indigenous community of Tasmania through the promotion of educational participation and achievement, and to the preservation of culture, custodianship and traditional knowledge

General Division (AM)

Professor John Biggs, Sandy Bay — Service to tertiary education

Michael Brown, Rose Bay — Service to the community through fire and emergency management

The Honourable Jim Cox, Launceston — Service to State and local government, the people of Launceston and road safety

Dr David Daintree, Colebrook — Service to education, particularly to tertiary colleges and as a scholar

Jody Heald, New Town — Service to music education as a teacher, mentor and administrator and to professional associations

Dr Timothy Mooney, George Town — Service to medicine, to doctors in rural and remote areas and communities

Gail Richey, Hobart — Service to fishing and aquaculture industry

Dianne Snowden, Hobart — Service to the community as an historian and genealogical researcher, to higher education and heritage groups

Sheree Vertigan, Devonport — Service to secondary education, professional leadership and educational administration and to youth

Medal (OAM) in the General Division
Brian Baxter, Pipers River — Service to natural resource management

John Cameron, St Helens — Service to the community through a range of roles

Gary Carr, Prospect Vale — Service to community health and to sport

Wendy Charleston, Wilmot — Service to heritage preservation and to the community of Wilmot

Alan Dyer, Devonport — Service to community history

Gordon Ellings, late of Devonport — Service to rowing, to youth and to the community

Matthew Jacobs, Blackwall — Service to marine rescue organisations

Mary Knowles, Rossarden — Service to the community of the northern midlands, and to local government

Barry Lumley, West Hobart — Service to seniors’ education, and to the community

Graeme Manning, West Hobart — Service to veterans and their families

Donald Ryan, Lenah Valley — Service to veterans and their families

Susan Shea, Riverside — Service to the retiree community

Barry Smith, Glenorchy — Service to the community of Hobart

Robert Harry Wilsdon, Sandy Bay — Service to people with disabilities, and to the community of Tasmania

Public Service Medals

Karen Gee (Tasmania) — Service to primary school teaching, special education and psychology

Lynne McDougall, Tranmere — Service to special education and student disability at both State and national levels

Australian Police Medal

Tasmania Police Commander Glenn Keating, who is in charge of Education and Training at the Tasmania Police Academy.

Image courtesy of The Mercury

4 July 2017, Edition 185

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Facts about 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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