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When Europeans started arriving in Tasmania a little over 200 years ago, they found it already populated by people who had been here possibly 40,000 years, possibly 60,000 years. Think of it as a few thousand generations, living, socialising, and passing down stories of deeds and happenings, of a way of life in a particularly comfortable and picturesque corner of the world. Few of those early European arrivals thought of the Aboriginal inhabitants that way. Instead, they closed the book on Aboriginal history and wrote their own. History from the point of view of the victor is not good history, as important Tasmanian voices today such as Henry Reynolds and Nick Brodie will tell you, and their efforts to tell the truth, as disgraceful and painful as it sometimes is, are signs of more enlightened times. Some things can not be undone, however, including the loss of so much Tasmanian Aboriginal history. When the early Europeans waved their superior weapons and waged war on the indigenous population, they didn’t just kill people, they killed a culture, and they killed their stories. This magazine tries to tell Tasmanian stories from all places and all times, but we can’t, because so much knowledge as been lost. Who were the heroes of this land 20,000 years ago? Who were the leaders and thinkers? What did their children do to differentiate themselves from their parents’ generation, as all children have done before and since? We would love to tell such Tasmanian stories, but we can’t. The book is closed. The stories are dead. Perhaps this is why people like Geoff King and James Dryburgh see enormous importance in events such as the return of land to its traditional owners, events which have real consequences in the present and symbolic consequences for the past. Geoff King and the property Kings Run are the subjects of this story, and James Dryburgh is the writer. This is a Tasmanian story for the ages, and one we are proud to tell.

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