The Convicted Ireland in Van Diemen’s Land


Footsteps Towards Freedom by Rowan Gillespie

“You know child, these sculpture is about our great great great grandmothers who was convicted into this island years ago.” a granny spoke to me when I was standing and admiring a sculpture in the city of Hobart. I looked at her and smile, feeling still not so good with English conversation, I nod and said that I was curious about it.

“You could read it one the bases, those are their names. Uh, I’ve got to go now, enjoy the weather dear.” the she left with her red bike, I told her to enjoy her day and got back to my camera, tried to capture the sculpture.


I’m not so great.

I am also not a great artist and seeing these somehow made me feel a little jealous. These sculptures made me feel sad alongside with the red bike granny short tale. The next thing I did surely to google these sculptures and found a way to their website, I learnt that it called Footsteps Towards Freedom. It was made by Rowan Gillispie, an Irish sculptor that inspired by a historical even where thousands of women was convicted and stepped into their unknown future along with their children in Van Diemen’s Land or what we called today Tasmania.

This story was happened in March 2018 during an artist residency program in a little town called Cradoc, 30 minutes from Hobart. I wrote this as a form of encouragement of what I’m doing these day. Stepped into unknown future in a land where is not belong to my country with I think a much better circumstances than what those women had.

This is my footsteps toward freedom.

Urang Sunda In Adelaide



City of Adelaide.

I remember clearly how I know that there is a city called Adelaide. It all start by reading Raditya Dika’s Kambing Jantan, a freaking hilarious book that I read in senior high school. This book led me to start listening to Aditya Sofyans’s song, called Adelaide Sky, this song just made me wondering what it looks like sitting in the middle of parks beside the city where I grew up. Those time in senior high school was a very intense time when my mind keep wandering and wondering how would I feel if I go travel the world and somehow those wishful thinking had been led me into Adelaide in November 2018.

I’ve been in Adelaide now for about 3 months exploring this city using Work and Holiday Visa. Sitting in the middle of a park, yes. Strolling around, biking thru the cities, lost to a suburb, swimming in the beach, watching a whole bunch of people go fishing, making friends, and definitely working so I could make a living in this beautiful city. Do you know what do I feel after this 3 months ? That it felt so much like Bandung, the city where I grew up.

Adelaide that I see is a laid back city full with a bunch laid back people, just like Bandung. Everybody is so nice and it happened that I met a whole pack of Sundanese people. I even live with 3 of them and almost every week got to taste Bandung’s street food that I thought I cannot lose in my life. What’s incredible again about this city that it have one Indonesian store called BAKULAN that sell every single snacks that have been my medicine for my feeling of homesick even though I think I’ve never felt one. LOL. So believe me, Indonesian, you would love to live in Adelaide.

Apart from those nostalgic Indonesian things, Adelaide is known as one of the city that have so many festival held in it especially in February and March. This city also have many pop up Sunday markets that sell almost anything. From fruit and veg to vintages, crafts, shoes, soap, even I can found Jamu in here. But my favourite Sunday market so far is Stirling. It held every last Sunday of the month in Stirling, a little town in Adelaide Hills where I think it have the most nice and kindest people across Adelaide.

Adelaide also can be freakishly crowded around public holidays like Christmas, New Years, and of course Australia Day. Those are days when you wonder where are these people come from, because you can occasionally bump into the same stranger in this city and it kind of makes you think that Adelaide is a pretty quite city.

For what it’s worth, Adelaide is a great city for a people who don’t really like crowded place like Jakarta or Melbourne but sometimes love to be standing in a crowd and be part of some exciting events. For me, it makes me feel like I’m not the only Indonesian who love to live in Australia with endless Indonesian food supplies.