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Times When Tasmania Made Global Headlines

Tasmania had its fair share of global attention, regardless of its isolated status within Australia. In matters of importance, Tasmanians made sure their worries and voices are heard on larger platforms.

We managed to gather world media to report our tragedies, share our concerns, and celebrate our personal victories on numerous occasions.

Here’s a look back at a few, including the most recent tragic incident that happened on Tasmania’s west coast.

Times When Tasmania Made Global Headlines

Whales Stranding
In September, about 470 pilot whales got stuck in Macquaire harbor, which is believed to be the largest mass stranding recorded. After days of operation, rescuers could save only a hundred of them. The heartwrenching visuals of pilot whales fighting for their lives left the world in distress.

The 2016 bushfires throughout Tasmania was termed as a global tragedy. In month-long bushfires, 18,000 hectares of the world heritage area was burnt to ashes.

It alerted environmentalists and led to several debates over climate change worldwide. The conservationists warned that the alpine ecosystem could be wiped out within a few years unless governments do more to protect it.

Oil Spil- 1995
Tasmania had its worst environmental disaster in July 1995 when the bulk carrier ship Iron Baron piled on Hebe Reef and spilled hundreds of tonnes of oil near the mouth of the Tamar River.

Luckily, a series of fortunate events stopped the occurrence from becoming a bigger catastrophe.

Times When Tasmania Made Global Headlines

Franklin Dam Controversy
In the ’80s, a national movement took place against the proposed dam to preserve Tasmania’s wilderness areas of national and international importance.

A blockade of the dam site was done by thousands of people attending from all over the country and overseas. The movement played a huge role in 1983’s federal election after Bob Hawke vowed to stop the dam, bringing him and his party a vast majority.

The whole movement had the world media’s attention as it is led to thousands of arrests and UNESCO intervention.

Times When Tasmania Made Global Headlines

LGBT Rights – Tasmania
Tasmania grabbed the attention of international media for its intense socio-political hostility towards LGBT rights in the ’90s. The Island state was the last jurisdiction in Australia to have decriminalized homosexuality even after an intervention by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

But socio-political attitudes in the state changed rapidly post decriminalization and introduction of anti-LGBT discrimination laws. Soon after, Tasmania went on to make headlines for its noteworthy LGBT law reforms.

Story Of Our Fellow Tasmanian, Saroo Brierley
The 2016 film Lion starring Dev Patel, is made based on a Tasmanian’s true-life journey. It was premiered at several film festivals worldwide and scored six Oscar nominations at The 89th Academy Awards.

A large portion of the film was shot in several locales of Tasmania, and its huge success brought pride to our state.

David Walsh- MONA
The professional gambler, businessman, and art collector has put Tasmania on the world map. His Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart remains the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting global tourists.

It is featured in various publications so far, increasing Tasmania’s popularity internationally.

We are not leaving behind the fact that famous personalities from the land like Ricky Ponting, Richard Flanagan, Simon Baker, and others have also made Tasmania hit the world headlines on several occasions with their achievements.


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