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177 Nations of Tasmania podcast project gets some unexpected media attention

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

About a month ago I started a podcast with the idea of doing interviews with at least one person from every nationality represented in Tassie's last census. According to a governmet webpage I saw somewhere, there are 177 in Tasmania. Hence the title - 177 Nations of Tasmania, which you can list to here..

So far I've done 5 interviews, with 4 already published. I'm still very much on a learning curve with it, mainly with some of the technical aspects, and I haven't been totally satisfied with the sound quality so far, but I have made progress and I will get better at it I'm sure.

However, for all the flaws, it's received some encouraging responses so far, and somehow a reporter from The Examiner newspaper got wind of it and contacted me for an interview last week. You can see the story below and read a bit more about it. My goals with it are really manifold. One is just to have something to keep myself busy in a kind of constructive way. It will also help me learn new skills I hope. I've been involved in multicultural communities and issues in many ways over a long period of time now, and so it made sense to do a topic related to this. I want to show that although Tasmania has a reputation for being rather homongenously white, Anglo-Celtic, there is a fair bit of diversity out there and it's time someone recorded some of those stories. Many we just don't hear from, and I think personal stories can be important for helping to breakdown barriers and reduce the tendency to stereotype about ethnic and cultural groups. I'm hoping that over time it may foster a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures and peoples living in our community.

I'm also hoping to get a sense of why people come here and what there experience of living here is. I suspect that the reasons for many migrants settling here are quite different from those settling in mainland capitals, and I don't think such migrant experiences have been documented sufficiently.

Of course there will be quite a few challenges other than the technical ones I'm already facing. One is to find some of the more obscure groups on my census list such as Cook Islanders, Manxers, Montengrins or Paraguayans. But that's half the fun I think. As I've thought about it more though, another problem emerged in my mind. What to do about some of the bigger groups ? Should I treat them slightly differently ? English and Scottish born, in particular, are so predominant here that I feel I have to find some rather special candidates or do a few interviews to properly reflect the experience of these nationalities migrants. Similar might apply to New Zealanders, Chinese or Indians who are relatively large and diverse groups.

For someone from the Cook Islands, their birthplace is enough, but for some others I feel that there needs to be something more to their story. Food for thought anyway. Certainly if anyone reading this has any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Also, you can join the Facebook page here

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