SLOVENIAN COMMUNITY IN HOBART
Members of communities who are culturally and linguistically of diverse background are getting older. However the younger generation are far too busy to be active in the bi-cultural world, as too are the Slovenians in their community.
It is apparent from the records that as time progresses, different people tried to bring the Slovenians in Tasmania, together to have some quality times: Maria Mavric and her husband Joseph who in 1960’s, had a dream to create a proper Slovenian Club. Actually no club was “registered”, however, Joe was the President, Mr Ladic was treasurer, Peter Slana was secretary, and later Mr Ambrož was a very active member of the group.
Many thanks are extended to Jessie Ambrož for the records of Slovenians under the Tasmanian History section on the web.
Many years ago, Slovenian dances took place at the Polish and Hungarian Clubs in Hobart and gatherings were popular.
A trip to Russell Falls National Park is still vividly remembered . There are also fond memories of the visit by Slovenian Ansambel Slak, and how the children greeted the ensemble: Tanya and Mary Mavric and little Ms Golez dressed up in national costumes made by Maria Mavric.There was a photo in the newspaper The Mercury (Tasmania’s s largest-circulating daily newspaper), of little Tanya and Mr Slak - 19/2/1972.
Mr and Mrs Ambrož and Mr and Mrs Mavric, were especially active with participation and contribution to the International Wall of Friendship Project, receiving Certificates of Appreciation.
Over the 20 years, reporters from Slovenia came from Radio and TV Maribor and Ljubljana to record a documentary from Slovenians Anka Makovec, Danijela Hliš, Mr Faletic, living in Tasmania. They highlighted their involvement in environmental issues involving the Gordon River National Park. Often, Danijela Hliš received music or documentary films from Slovenia depicting various aspects of Slovenian culture, history and its tourism. These were viewed and enjoyed by other Slovenians living in Hobart.
In recent years there have been gatherings of Slovenians attending picnics, celebrating Slovenian Independence day and now occasionally coming together for lunch to enjoy each others company.
As most of our older Slovenians do not have a computer, Danijela would try to send them by post some news about multicultural happenings ; Maria and Danijela represented them at an official multicultural ceremony, Joe and Danijela participated at the Multucultural consultations on Power and Powerlessness in Aged Care, a few attended meetings of the International Wall of Friendship committee etc.
It is fair to say that our small group of Slovenian Tasmanians tries to maintain a friendly contact and get together from time to time; we are all getting old and that is all we can manage at present. We organised a BBQ in November 2012, where the Slovenian visiting conductor Marko Letonja joined us. Some of us have put up our stories on the Immigration Bridge site. And this, basically is all that our tiny minority can do…
Danijela Hliš, October 2012