Maralinga – The Anangu Story

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“Then, without warning, traditional Anangu life – grounded in the Dreaming, measured by the cycle of the seasons – was disrupted forever.”

It was an incredible 34 summers before they became aware of the arrival of the walypala (whitefellas), this book documents the devastating impact of the arrival on Anangu land.  The Maralinga story, the nuclear bomb testing, is one most people know ‘something’ of – but this book provides so much more detail and an incredible array of information.

The inclusion of quotations and stories from the community themselves really portray a moving account of the real impact this period had – from the depletion of a major water source which had been maintained for thousands of years to the devastating personal stories of the horrific impact of the nuclear tests.

“I lost my sight and my life was changed forever.”

Through the reading of this book you will gain a greater understanding of the Anangu community – as it was, and as it is now.  As an adult I found this book to be compelling reading.  I’ll be reading it again and when my children are old enough I shall give it to them to read too.  Essential.

This is a featured title from Anita Heiss’ Black Book Challenge (BBC) – further details can be found here.

Comprehensive Teacher Notes in PDF format from Allen & Unwin, with background notes and suggested activities can be found here.


Yalata & Oak Valley Communities, with Christobel Mattingley
Yalata & Oak Valley Communities, with Christobel Mattingley
Allen & Unwin

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