The Lord Mayor's Welcome

As the Lord Mayor it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Hobart.

Hobart was home for the Mouheneenner Aboriginal people for hundreds of generations, before Europeans arrived in the summer of 1804 and changed their world forever.

Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city – established when Sydney was only a couple of decades old. It is older than Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Hobart was a thriving small city when they were still little more than struggling bush camps.

From the very beginning, residents and visitors marvelled at Hobart’s spectacular location – houses growing away from a sheltered cove, which faced out on one of the world’s great deep water ports with a skyline of forested hills and dominated by the magnificent bulk of kunanyi/Mount Wellington with its blunt face of dolerite columns known as the ‘organ pipes’.

Our history is important to us. So much of the past lives in our streets with their rich collection of colonial buildings not matched anywhere else in Australia. Local sandstone, convict labour and government investment has left us with imposing public buildings, Georgian and Gothic churches and elegant small cottages.

We have been welcoming visitors for much of our history. Hobart began as a busy international port which provided shelter for storm-tossed ships and their cosmopolitan crews. We attracted travellers from our earliest, years and people seeking relief from mainland heat in our cool forests and fresh air.

Cultural traditions have been passed down to us as well. We produced Australia’s earliest literature, opened the nation’s first public library and in 1836 the spectacular Theatre Royal, which is the country’s oldest operating theatre. 

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens founded in 1818, are still in their original location. 

Painting flourished, often at the hands of convict artists, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, founded in 1846, has a fine collection of colonial art.

Cultural vitality lives on. Today the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries. Local writers have established international reputations; there is a vigorous publishing industry and specialist bookshops. 

We have a galaxy of fine craftsmen and women who work in almost every medium – wood, leather, glass, ceramics, metal work and jewellery. 

A new generation of chefs have opened excellent restaurants, revelling in the quality of produce from our neighbouring farmland and waters. We have a highly regarded wine industry and, more recently, the success of our local whisky, gin and vodka.

Our environment embraces our city. The Derwent estuary, bush-clad hills and much loved mountain are just a short journey from the city and can be explored on many tracks. We are regularly reminded of the bracing influence of the great Southern Ocean and Antarctica on our island home, as wind and weather rolls over the city. 

I invite you to get a taste of what we love about Hobart at one of our festivals and many events – here you will experience the lively and interesting city that we call home.

 

Councillor Anna Reynolds

Lord Mayor of Hobart