Dave finds out ‘Into the Heart of Tasmania is a powerful and gripping detective story about Tasmania’s deep and recent past and why it matters today.


Rebe Taylor has researched and written about a  1908 English gentleman Ernest Westlake who packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities and unwittingly documented what he could not perceive: an Aboriginal people with a complex culture and a deep past.

Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and the enduring controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race.

It reveals that despite the repeated failures to recognise this, to look into the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.

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