What awaits us in Tasmania?

Prior to their departure, students were invited to share their imagination and thoughts on what lay ahead for them in Tasmania.

“Based on your work on ecocriticism, discuss how you expect your Tasmania experience to challenge your ideas about nature and the physical environment.”

Here are some of their pre-expedition expectations:

Gabriella Fitzgerald: “The island is filled with untold stories ready to be told and I am more than happy to listen.”

Jack Holden: “Ultimately I think that this trip will most likely increase my appreciation for the beauty of nature and in turn will increase my determination for its protection against any further exploitation of the land and sea by corporations who do not respect nature for its own sake.”

Hugo Aguilera-Mendoza: “I’m glad that I will have an opportunity to observe the natural wildlife of Tasmania before it’s gone.”

Andreja Despotovic: “My views on the environment are very positive and I will try my hardest to do whatever is in my power to take care of the environment, nevertheless, I think that there is so much more out there that I have yet to see and learn about.”

Jake Barbouttis: “I believe that the trip to Tasmania I going to have a strong impact on my views and ideas about nature and the physical environment. While there, I will be asking myself a lot of questions about ecocriticism.

“Some of them will be, what do we mean when we say ‘nature’? What is and isn’t part of ‘nature’? Consider plants, animals, parks, gardens, bushland, national parks and other. How have people related to nature in different ways at different points in history? What has this got to do with evolving technologies, industrialisation and post-industrialisation? What are the different ways that we see nature? Pure and unspoiled? Mother Nature? A resource to utilise? A victim? A responsibility for humans to preserve?”

George Catt: “As my trip to Tasmania approaches I am forced to reflect on my position within not only nature but the natural environment as a whole. I will be immersed within a more rugged and raw landscape than what I am accustomed to, and I believe that this will change the way I see the natural environment and humans’ effect on it.

“Furthermore, I will be able to reexamine my own role in the natural world and reflect on what I am able to do to aid the environment. I believe that following the completion of my trip to Tasmania I will have a newfound understanding and appreciation for nature and I will be able to utilise this later on in my life.”

Chloe Walsh: “I think that a change in the environment I’m in will alter my writing and change my perception of things and how I write and photograph them. New locations and experiences as well as leaving your daily routine can allow for inspiration and more creativity.”

Morley Goodchild: “I believe that Tasmania will make me respect nature and care for the environment more. Seeing the beauty of Tasmania will make me wonder how much time is left until this incredibly rare and protected ecosystem will disappear.”

Andree Mackenzie: “Spending a week in the natural environment will hopefully help me understand more of Australia’s heritage and show me a new way of seeing the world around me. Hopefully after my time in Tasmania I will be able to appreciate the country I am so lucky to live in.

“I believe it will question the way I consider issues like climate change and overpopulation. Feeling connected to the land is something I have had little experience with. Hopefully this trip will challenge my relationship with nature and give me the opportunity to explore what nature is to me.”

In addition to this task, students composed poetry and created an extended piece of work which differed among the groups, i.e. travel journals, films, photo essays, short stories etc.