WITH A NOD to those jokes about Tasmanians (yes, you know the ones), it’s been said that as a Tasmanian girl I did fine community service by going offshore to find fresh genetic material. And not only that, I also increased the island state’s population by bringing the bloke back here to live. For better or worse my West Australian-born husband is a Tasmanian now, and it’s likely an irrevocable conversion. John can’t go home unless he wants to leave behind his wife and kids, his tractor and his acres, a share in a beach shack, and a big and colourful cast of in-laws. Besides, having been a Tasmanian wage earner for a decade he’d have to pull off a miracle to buy back into the bloated property market of mining boom WA.
John made a choice – and did so knowingly – but you can’t say the same for our three kids. We are making them Tasmanians, fitting their early years to the heart shape of the island and filling their horizons with all the privileges and problems that come with being of this place. It’s rare for me to think that this could be a mistake, but just every now and then I wonder, and worry, about the choice we’ve made on our children’s behalf. If my personal tipping point has a street address, then it’s 48 Liverpool Street, Hobart.
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