Dual Naming Series

Royal Hobart Hospital

Dual Naming Series Unveiling Booklet (PDF)

Please visit the Department of Health Facebook page to watch the livestream recording of the unveiling ceremony. Note ceremony starts at 7 minutes.

Dual Naming Series Unveiling

Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist - Janice Ross

Sunday 8 November 2020

K Block, Royal Hobart Hospital


kani-mana-mapali milaythina-ti paywuta manta

Our language is in Country forever

About image

Artist - Janice Ross

The image of the watermark is a selected area from muka milaythina panupiri Saltwater Country Day watercolour painting that sits at the Wellington Court Hospital, Women's Antenatal clinic.

This image symbolises the significance of circles to our Ancestors, that we are deeply connected to as the continuing Palawa custodians of our Country, acknowledging our past, present and future.

There are nine circles representing our Ancestral connections to place within the nine nations lutruwita Tasmania and our significant rock art that hold our Ancient stories.

The blue and green crystal clear waters of our saltwater Island home nurtures our resources of kelp, our shell gathering and the continuation of our passing on of knowledges, our culture and our healing.

ya pulingina

(hello welcome)

Acknowledgement of Country

Today we are meeting on lutruwita (Tasmania) Aboriginal land, sea, and waterways. We acknowledge, with deep respect the traditional owners of this land, the muwinina people on which we meet.

The muwinina people belong to the oldest continuing culture in the world. They cared and protected Country for thousands of years. They knew this land they lived on and are no longer here due to impact of colonization.

For the muwinina people, the area around nipaluna (Hobart) was their Country and they called Mount Wellington kunanyi.

We acknowledge that it is a privilege to stand on Country and share journeys beneath the mountain, among the gums and waterways that continue to run through the veins of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

We pay our respects to elder’s past, present and to Tasmanian Aboriginal people that continue to care for Country.

We recognise the history of truth which acknowledges the impacts of invasion and colonisation upon Aboriginal people resulting in the forcible removal from their land lutruwita (Tasmania).

We stand for a future that profoundly respects and acknowledges Aboriginal perspectives, culture, language, and history.

Introductions RHH Dual Naming Series

pakana ningina milaythina nayri manta manta

Tasmanian Aboriginal People have cared for and protected our country for a very long time.

There are fourteen official Aboriginal or dual names in lutruwita (Tasmania). These names are in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Thirteen of these names were assigned under the Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy, which was adopted by the State Government in 2012 after many years of lobbying by Aboriginal people.

The names were proposed in separate submissions, with each list reviewed and put out for public comment by the Nomenclature Board (now renamed Placenames Tasmania). The first six names were gazetted in 2014, and another seven were gazetted in 2016. The names are to be shown on all official signage, maps and all official documents and publications (which is slowly but steadily occurring).

The format for dual names is: palawa kani word in lower case/English word after.

I wish to share with you, how we, the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, continue to connect with our Country and Ancestors, by continuing to use the proper names of places.

I also invite you to honour us, our Ancestors and Country by using them.

Janice Ross


putalina / Oyster Cove - 2016 – Janice Ross

Aboriginal stand – alone name gazetted:  2014


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #001

The fight for land rights to have putalina returned to our people, locals wanted it stopped. There is a bulldozer that was attempting to immobilise our Elders and Community protecting our significant Ancestral remains, by moving a large rock onto the site. The spirits must have stopped him, as the bulldozer sunk into the earth and the arm of the bulldozer broke down, the rock fell to the ground where it sits today.
J Ross 2018


watercolour - 55cm x 36cm #003

As I visit putalina often, I can hear the birds and see our Ancestors across the river, they appear in the mountains and in the trees…a place where fresh water meets the saltwater. There is sadness in this Country, but they are happy I am here as they let me know, I can feel it in the wind and through the trees. The trail of smoke drifts up into the trees, and the flag sings in the wind. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #002

Our putalina festivals each year are healing Country and Community. I can see the reflections of our Ancestors in the river contented that we are together as family with Country. The tracks from insects inside the bark are transpired through the trees. Our Community gathers on the rock to tell yarns and the music is drifting across the water. Our contemporary hand stencils with ochre, practising culture, show we are still here for many many future generations. J Ross 2018

Original watercolour paintings are framed as a triptych – 60cm x 140cm


kutalayna (Jordan River) - 2016 – Janice Ross

The original name for the Jordan River. Not dual-named.


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #004

There are many Tasmanian Aboriginal artefacts at kutalayana (Jordan River) area, this shows a large tool now cracked lying close to one of the pillars that are supporting the bridge across kutalayna that is part of the Brighton Bypass.  The construction of the bridge impacted on one of the largest Aboriginal heritage sites and cultural landscapes in lutruwita. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 55cm x 36cm #006

Our families and Community had set up camp to protect kutalayna, a big fire was going all day and night, bark shelters made by the men, women and children weaving, telling stories singing and dancing and plenty of tucker to keep us strong. Soon the construction work started, the skies get dark, there is more noise an emotion. The winds of our Ancestors the mumirimina people are very angry. Still our people remain strong.   You may see images of our Ancestors in the trees and similar features to the late John Glover landscape artist (UK) 1767 – 1849 – Tasmanian Aboriginal people dancing at Brighton, Tasmania. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #005

The procession of Community walking with hearts sunk low led by a Tasmanian Aboriginal brother and sister ochred for dance and the smoking of gum leaves to cleanse. Gathering together for Ceremony led by our Elder Uncle Jim Everett we protect him from the forces of police presence. Our Ancestors could feel our emotions on a day that ended a long campaign for the protection of Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage at kutalayna.
J Ross 2018

Original watercolour paintings are framed as a triptych – 60cm x 140cm.


kunanyi / Mt Wellington - 2016 – Janice Ross

Dual naming gazetted: 2014


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #007

Immersed in Country slowly climbing the mountain kunanyi I sense our Ancestors are travelling with me. I take a photo and find a Spirit showing himself through the trees, a warrior man, holding his spear and shield telling me his story as he is standing high on the rock. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 55cm x 36cm #009

From the top of the mountain I look out across the waters and sense the story of kunanyi. Robinson's journals tell us our Ancestors thought the boats were white spirits in the distance, falling from the clouds into the water. The three distant white clouds that touch the water represent the first fleet of ships that arrived. We could be heard calling out on a quiet day to the cave across the water. This is a significant place where our Tasmanian Aboriginal Spirits travel to for our next journeys ahead. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #008

As I sit amongst the She Oaks at Kangaroo Bluff, gazing at kunanyi, I watch the lights dancing in the water below the mountain. I see with my spirit and sense the Ancestral fires that signal to other families – fires that have since become the modern house lights of nipaluna that resemble a midden from across the water. J Ross 2018

Original watercolour paintings are framed as a triptych – 60cm x 140cm.


laraturunawn / Sundown Point 2016 – Janice Ross

Dual naming gazetted:  2016


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #010

As I reflect upon the times our Community have walked together to the petroglyphs at laraturunawn, I am reminded of the lack of understanding by others, as they walk past without noticing our ancient communications on rock. We are reminded of how much we want to protect the very few and fading inscriptions corrupted by vandalism and the threat of ever evasive western weathers. The patterning from our Ancestors within the rock speaking to us. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 55cm x 36cm #011

As we gather around the markings made in rock, we remember our Old People who, although are no longer physically a part of this landscape, remain in our memories. Government policies allow four-wheel drive access to these areas in which many significant sites are becoming destroyed within this cultural landscape. The rock shelters us from our pain and the wind pushes us closer, our Spirits push us closer, they want us to be here. We are all here together. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #012

The ocean is strong and heavy, the clouds show a calmness after today knowing our Community is safe together, but with sadness we think of our Old People pirapi tribe northwards of nungu /West Point (who are no longer with us today).  I look back in the distance where the fresh water meets our saltwater and from the sky to the mountains to the ocean. Washing away the patterning of tyre marks from the four-wheel motor bikes that recently travelled through. J Ross 2018

Original watercolour paintings are framed as a triptych – 60cm x 140cm.


truwana / Cape Barren Island - 2016 – Janice Ross

Dual naming gazetted:  2014


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #013

This painting is of an old photo taken on the date and month I was born 24th November, but in the year of 1890. A Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group, Part three, Cape Barren Island. The land area is now known as The Corner and shows the old schoolhouse and two people on the beach. One of the figures is Mr Ed Stephens the teacher from the Furneaux Mission Station meeting a scientist on this expedition.
J Ross 2018


watercolour - 55cm x 36cm #014

The painting of Cape Barren Island honours our Sealer women and Straitsmen showing the first families who lived on the islands in the Bass Straits from around 1798 to 1872. 1798 Sealing expedition at Sandford Bay. 1810 Settlement between Thunder and Lightning Bay and Neds Point. 1831 Establishment of fourteen sealers at Kent Bay. 1872 John Smith and Family. 1872 John Maynard, with Thomas and James Mansell. (Mollison and Everett 1978.68). It also shows where other families lived on Long Island, Big Dog and Little Dog Island, Clarke Island and Vansitart Island. My family has strong and continual connections to truwana through the Armstrong Channel. J Ross 2018


watercolour - 27cm x 36cm #015

Tasmanian Aboriginal people celebrate the return of Cape Barren Island and Clarke Island, on Cape Barren Island, 10 May 2005.
This painting shows Elders Uncle Ronnie Summers and Uncle Dougie Mansell, and Merinda Sainty playing Island music at our celebrations. Elders Aunty Hilda Thomas and Aunty Furley Gardner receive the title from then Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon. When painting this I endured lots of emotions.
J Ross 2018

Original watercolour paintings are framed as a triptych – 60cm x 140cm.

Message from Susan Gannon

During 2020 the RHH is celebrating its 200th anniversary, which is a small period of time when you consider that Aboriginal history dates back over 40,000 years.

NAIDOC week provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the history and contributions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  As part of our NAIDOC celebrations the purchase of these watercolours, by artist Janice Ross, is a significant event for our health service, as it highlights the connection the Aboriginal community has to lutruwita/Tasmania; and continues the ongoing education of our staff, our patients and their families in recognising the history of where the RHH is located, nipaluna/Hobart, and how we can work together to reconnect.

This is the first time that the RHH has purchased dual-named artworks, and I look forward to seeing them proudly displayed in our health service, to be enjoyed by those who pass through our halls now and into the future.

Whilst the paintings highlight both the natural beauty of lutruwita/Tasmania and the enduring struggle of the Aboriginal community to ensure their heritage is preserved and protected, the dual naming draws the viewers’ attention to the Country’s original inhabitants and asks them to consider and appreciate this history and how we can collaborate in our continuing journey of reconciliation.

putalina/Oyster Cove

kutalayna/Jordan River

kunanyi/Mt Wellington

laraturunawn/Sundown Point

truwana/Cape Barren Island

Susan Gannon
Chief Executive Hospitals-South

The Royal Hobart Hospital Executive would like to thank you for attending the hospitals opening event for NAIDOC week and celebrating the unveiling of Dual Naming Series by Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist Janice Ross.