6. Tasmanian Aboriginal people
The historical background against which to best understand the extant Commonwealth record about Tasmanian Aboriginal people is divided by the 1967 referendum. That the documentation is concentrated after that date arises, firstly, from the fact that national responsibility for Aboriginal matters was acquired only from 1967. Secondly, that responsibility was embraced in Canberra only gradually in the final decades of the century. It also reflects an awakening consciousness among the descendants of what has been called the Tasmanian Aboriginal diaspora, the largest group within which began to take shape in the late 1830s on islands near the Aboriginal establishment at Wybalena on Flinders Island and later at Oyster Cove.