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Tasmania's Multicultural Heritage: Northern European Migration


The Tasmanian Heritage Council is currently considering several Collinsvale places for entry in the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Entry in the Heritage Register will help ensure that the heritage values of these significant places are properly managed and protected. Identifying and registering places of heritage significance are the first steps in protecting and managing those places that we as a community want to preserve. Registering places valued by the community provides a legal framework for managing the heritage values of these places. It ensures that the significance of the place is considered during any new developments.

These Collinsvale places are important to the history of Tasmania. Collinsvale, or Sorell Creek as it was originally known in the nineteenth-century, is a small valley surrounded by mountains and hills to the north of Hobart. The first settlers to the community were predominantly British. This changed though with the arrival of the first immigrant ships to Hobart in 1870-71.

Migrating largely from northern Europe, especially Germany and Denmark, in 1881 the area was proclaimed a town and was named Bismark, owing to the origin of the settlers. Many settlers were farmers or labourers such as vinedressers, or trained as carpenters, blacksmiths, maidservants and bakers. They were attracted to the area by the cheap land and the reliable and clean water supply. The valley also offered them the opportunity to achieve independence and to live near others with a similar background and language. However, with the outbreak of World War One, anti-German feelings intensified and the name Bismark was changed to Collinsvale. Descendants from these original settlers still live in the area today.

These places are of heritage significance because they demonstrate the evolution of rural settlement in Tasmania, notably a settlement of predominantly non-British immigrants, a rare occurrence in nineteenth-century Tasmania. Throughout Tasmania, there are many ethnic communities that have made a rich contribution to our history and character. These communities have all played a role in determining the character and landscape of the society we live in today.

For more information about this, or other cultural heritage matters, email the Heritage Office.
Rural outbuildings, typical of this farming area.
The Collinsvale Cemetery, the resting place of many of the early settlers.


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