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Journeys : Apr May 2011
My slice of the island Jacqui Street Jacqui Street is a reporter for ABC News. She is currently based in Hobart but her work takes her all over the state. It’s Federal Election time. A gaggle of 50 reporters strides off the bus, blinking in the too-br ight Tasmanian spring light. “ Where are we?” sniffs one, removing her heavy Canberra jacket. “This is Devonport,” I say in the sort of serious tone a dentist might use to conceal his delight at your unfortunate but lucrative root canal. “Oh,” s ays another. “It’s actually really nice here. I always thought Tasmania was a hole.” “ Well don’t tell anyone,” snarls one of the local cameramen who’s been standing, apparatus at the ready, waiting for the Prime Minister for at least an hour. “ We don’t want any more of you lot coming down here and r uining the place.” I’m not going to defend my profession here. I guess my affection for jour nalism is similar to the way I feel about Tasmania. It’s an odd collection of family members, or a hand-knitted jumper that you can’t bear to lose, no matter how unseemly or thread- bare. I can criticise my island home, roll my eyes at the lack of warm summer weather or the discover y that my favourite cafe is closed on a Sunday, but I cannot bear to hear anyone else speak a bad word about it. I have tried to leave the island. I lived in Melbour ne for three years. I sipped chai lattes and skidded across tram tracks on my bike with the best of them, but I ached for that breathless feeling of emerging from a plane at Hobart Airport, stung by a breeze from somewhere deep in the Antarctic. I will probably try to leave Tasmania again, but I hope when I retur n, the walk from the plane to the airport ter minal remains uncovered. JacquiStreetChookBrooks In Tasmania today 40 April / May 2011
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011