Boeing 737 named after Macquarie River

NEW TITLE: Rob Wood of Virgin Australia, Jonathon Duddles of Greening Australia, and Daisy Allan and Andry Sculthorpe of Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. Picture: Phillip Biggs
NEW TITLE: Rob Wood of Virgin Australia, Jonathon Duddles of Greening Australia, and Daisy Allan and Andry Sculthorpe of Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. Picture: Phillip Biggs

When Port Adelaide Power arrived in Launceston for its indigenous round game against Hawthorn on Friday, they fittingly disembarked from the newly named Tinamirakuna Boeing 737.

The Virgin Australia aircraft was given its new title in a ceremony at Launceston Airport shortly after the team had filed out.

Tinamirakuna is the Aboriginal name for Tasmania’s Macquarie River and was given to the vessel as part of a partnership between the airline and Greening Australia. Virgin Australia group sustainability general manager Rob Wood hoped the naming would bring Tasmanian Aboriginal culture to the rest of Australia.

“It’s an important recognition of the contribution indigenous people have made to the conservation of the land in Tasmania,” he said.

“We’re hoping it starts a conversation.”

The Macquarie River is central to Greening Australia’s Tasmania’s Island Ark program, which is being conducted in conjunction with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

It consists of working with landholders in the region to restore habitats for endangered species, including the Tasmanian devil, eastern bettong, eastern quolI and eastern barred bandicoot.

The program aims to restore 6000 hectares of habitat by 2030, while also establishing 1.5 million plants in the area.

Speaking at the naming ceremony, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre land and heritage project officer Andry Sculthorpe said the aircraft title served to “add value” to the landscape.

“Tasmania doesn’t have the Aboriginal language put out there in many places, so this helps to give a profile to it and gets people used to the words.”