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TOTEM AND ORE

TOTEM AND ORE


A PHOTOGRAPHIC COL LECTION by B. WONGAR
For René Böll and Thomas Shapcott CONTENTS

TOTEM AND ORE Commentary 1

TOTEM AND ORE Photographic collection expedition one 1960s 19

TOTEM AND ORE Photographic collection expedition two 1970s 78

Contributors 111

Bibliography 113
TOTEM AND ORE Commentary

They are taking me to cave The photographs in this collection were taken in Northern and Central Australia in the late 1
1960s and early 1970s. They portray tribal Aborigines who were badly affected by a
Where my track ends
dual nuclear tragedy – the mining of uranium and subsequent British nuclear testing, both
– my poor body, my broken soul
of which took place on their tribal land. A smaller portion of the collection features the
ABORIGINAL TRIBAL CHANT impact of mining development that followed, with devastating consequences on tribal
communities and their traditional culture.

Only the dead have seen the end of war The collection, at first titled Boomerang and Atom, was renamed Totem and Ore in order
PLATO to avoid the scrutiny of the Australian Atomic Energy Act and its draconian power. It
originally consisted of about 5,000 still negatives taken in the Australian outback under
difficult climatic conditions and a depressing social environment, undertaken with meagre
individual resources and without any funding or outside contribution. Much of the
material, especially negatives from the first expedition of the 1960s, suffered from dust
and extreme desert heat which damaged the films’ emulsion. Some 1,700 negatives
survived the harsh desert elements. From these, about 100 negatives were selected and
printed for the first exhibition of Totem and Ore held at the Adult Education Centre in
Melbourne on 31 May 1974, organised and curated by Harold Baigent and opened
by Gordon Bryant, the then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in the Australian government.
The collection had several subsequent showings throughout Australia and internationally,
including the ill-fated mounting at Parliament House, Canberra, where it was banned by
government authorities. Prior to that showing the collection was hosted by organisers for
National Aboriginal Day at the Australian National University in Canberra, during which
Yami Lester from the Yankuntjara tribe of Central Australia gave an account of his
experience with nuclear testing. Other guests at the gathering, including Roy Marika from
Riratjingu tribe of Yirrkala, spoke about the inroads made by mineral development on
tribal land in Arnhem Land.
URANIUM MINING During World War Two the area south of Darwin to Adelaide River and even further
A considerable number of photographs in the Totem and Ore collection feature the impact along the Stuart Highway was dotted with airstrips and military camps. The large influx
of mining on tribal Aborigines during the first uranium boom of the 1950s. Little has been of young white men into the area weakened Aboriginal traditional life and often
said in the Australian media or recorded in history about the lethal consequences of decimated tribal communities. The whites roamed through the bush in their jeeps seizing
prospecting and mining for uranium, in particular the horrific impact on tribal life in West Aboriginal women, many of whom never returned to their tribes. When the whites left at
Arnhem Land and adjacent areas. It was the period of the Cold War. Politicians at that the end of the war, the opportunity arrived to restore the traditional way of life.
time were on rampages, making “patriotic” speeches about the “Yellow Peril” and Unfortunately along came uranium fever which for the local Aborigines turned out to be
possible Chinese invasions from the North, urging all Australians to join the search for even more tragic than the war.
uranium to help produce the nuclear arsenal necessary to “defend our democracy”. The
young Queen was brought from England to tour Australia and foster moral support. In the The uranium at Rum Jungle was rediscovered in 1954 by bushman John White at the site
process, scores of Aboriginal tribes were alienated and their culture destroyed – the of an old copper mine that had operated briefly during World War One. For his
longest living culture on earth, which had sustainably existed in the area for more than rediscovery White collected £50,000 reward from the Australian government, which
50,000 years and had the most just and democratic social system in the world – a culture was a fortune at that time. The news immediately generated uranium fever – every second
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far beyond the white man’s ability to fully comprehend. man in the streets of Darwin had a Geiger counter and was heading for the bush to
search for precious uranium ore. The fever even caught up with Ross Annabell, editor of
The Aborigines’ encounter with uranium is sad and tragic and for the last fifty years has the Darwin newspaper The News, who quit his post and headed for the bush. At that
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been the direct cause of the destruction of tribal life in Central and Northern Australia. time uranium was badly needed by the British for the development of their atomic
The story of uranium began in 1869 when the Surveyor-General of South Australia, G.W. programme. Even before John White’s rediscovery, a team of geological experts from
Goyder, was dispatched to the northern shore of Australia with a party of 154 men to England was sent out to tour remote areas of the Australian bush in search of uranium.
survey the unknown bush for prospective white settlements. He made his first camp at a Simultaneously, the Australian government established the Bureau of Mineral Resources to
place which he named after the naturalist Charles Darwin and, moving further south stimulate prospecting and mining. The government took the Rum Jungle find from John
inland, began to survey the virgin bush and divide it into 186 -square mile allotments. White and later handed it over to Territory Enterprise, a subsidiary of the British mining
corporation Conzinc. A uranium prospecting plant was hastily erected at the Rum Jungle
Each land parcel was to be given to absent landlords in England as a freehold title for site from where drums of uranium oxide were transported to Darwin to be shipped
prospective development. It was thought that once the land was cleared, slave labour overseas. Thousands of men recruited from displaced camps in post-war Europe arrived
from Asia, Africa and elsewhere would be brought in to work the land for food and keep. in Rum Jungle to build and operate the mine and processing plant. They little knew of how
At the time, the British considered the original landowners, the Aborigines, to be sub- lethal the work would be both for the surrounding environment and their own health. They
human and not even capable of tilling the land. In one of his first dispatches Goyder worked and lived at the site for several years under assignment, hardly communicating
spoke of finding an iridescent green ore that looked like copper, although he failed to with the outside world. Rum Jungle operated under stringent rules laid down by the Atomic
identify the mineral positively. The sample was found near a quartz reef on an earthquake Energy Act 1953, according to which anyone found guilty of obstructing the production
fault at Giant Reef in the vicinity of Rum Jungle near Adelaide River. About one hundred and processing of uranium could be sentenced to a minimum of twenty years
years later, when a sample from that very site was analysed, the mysterious iridescent imprisonment.
mineral was found to be Torbernite – uranium ore.
Following the establishment of the nuclear processing plant at Rum Jungle, the Australian
In his field dispatch Goyder also reported that at Giant Reef his contact with local government quadrupled the reward for new uranium finds and allowed the development
Aborigines had been hostile and two men in his team subsequently died. However, he of privately owned mines. This accelerated the uranium fever; new mines multiplied in the
made no mention that while at the reef his men had trampled on a tribal ceremonial site, bush, stretching from about 400 kilometres inland as far south as Katherine. As they beat
forbidden even to tribal women and children, let alone intruding white strangers pegging their way through the unknown terrain, the prospectors used flame-throwers to set the forest
the ground. The Giant Reef incident marked the first nuclear conflict known to man. ablaze and thus clear away the growth. It was said that the burning of the bush would
expose the rocks and make the area more accessible; however the main purpose was to At the time the prospectors reached the Arnhem Land plateau, local Aborigines were
drive the tribal Aborigines away from the area and prevent them from hiding under the living their traditional way of life using stone tools and wooden implements; many of them
green canopy. The Bureau of Mineral Resources, a government body which supervised had had no previous contact with the whites. A group of prospectors came upon a
uranium mining operations, provided the prospectors with gelignite, maps, supplies, ceremonial ground while an initiation ceremony was taking place for tribal girls. The girls
transportation, food, information on how to treat snake bites and much else, but failed to were seized and taken to the prospectors’ camp where they were chained to a tree. Each
tell them that the tribal people who lived in the area were also human beings. was released for about an hour or so a day to sexually satisfy one prospector or another.
The tribal men, also seized at the ceremonial ground, perished without trace.
After covering the bush area south of Van Diemen’s Gulf in line from Darwin to Katherine,
the prospectors advanced frontally eastward towards Arnhem Land high country. Moving Out in the remote wilderness of the upper reaches of the Katherine and Alligator rivers,
through the unexplored vastness they checked every acre of the bush with Geiger the prospectors would often hold their Geiger counters against rock slabs covered with
counters; ahead flew aeroplanes carrying out geological surveys in order to determine Aboriginal paintings in caves and rock shelters. If a trace of radioactivity was registered,
the possible presence of uranium. Horrified by the white man’s push, the Aborigines fled the prospectors searched for the Aborigines to whom the site belonged and forced them
deeper into Arnhem Land. to lead the white men to the locality from where ochre, used in the paintings, had come.
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The paintings looked old, dating back thousands of years – some even as far back as
As the uranium fever peaked, a team of prospectors led by George Sleis who worked for the Ice Age. The Aborigines were tortured and sometimes died, but without revealing the
the Northern Australian Uranium Corporation, reached the upper Katherine River and location of their ochre pits. The prospectors were often briefed by men from the Bureau
TOTEM AND ORE

advanced upstream through the rugged terrain, scrutinising every rock in sight. The whites of Mineral Resources on how to interrogate Aborigines and blow up caves containing
headed towards Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve. They had previously swooped through prehistoric paintings. At the field camp men from the Bureau who worked on a
the Eva Valley area, a remote, almost inaccessible wilderness. Sleis had formerly radiometric survey of the new uranium field, kept a grim mascot on their mess table – a
prospected for uranium around the Orr Mountains in Germany during World War Two, grinning Aboriginal skull removed from one of the burial caves. A generation of national
but the terrain of central Europe was totally different from the Australian bush; however, fervour to find uranium was fostered – the key to “the preservation of Western
that made no impact on his drive to find the rock. It mattered little for which country one democracy”, as was so often said – at the same time inexorably bringing about the
worked – the Atomic Energy Act in Australia hardly differed from a piece of similar destruction of Aboriginal man in his tribal state. George Sleis and his team located rich
legislation brought about by the Third Reich. The team was pushed to human limits to find uranium finds in the hills of the upper Alligator River. However, the price for uranium on
uranium just as prospectors would have been in Germany during the war. The remote, the world market unexpectedly slumped and none of the newly discovered finds reached
rough bush country of the upper Katherine River was accessible mainly by foot. Supplies the stage of commercial production. Uranium hunters who struck it rich retreated from the
and equipment had to be carried on packhorses through narrow gorges and over steep remote bush of West Arnhem Land, back to civilisation to lick their wounds.
ridges. The horses were handled by young Aborigines recruited as slave labour; they
received no wages and worked on meagre food rations – clad only in tattered shorts,
they moved bare-footed through rocky bush. Some fled deep into the bush; others became The mining of uranium on tribal land was revamped again in 1974 during the world oil
ill and perished – some, like Bobbie Secretary of the Larakia tribe, survived to tell the story supply crisis with the news that a nurse from Adelaide, holidaying on Oenpelli, had
of horror. He was a lad when taken by George Sleis. Apart from handling packhorses, stumbled on a uranium mine. It was heralded as “the largest uranium deposit in the
Bobbie had to ‘test’ water and food before it was consumed by the prospectors who world”. The virgin bush of Arnhem Land was subsequently subdivided into a multitude of
feared they could be poisoned by local Aborigines. prospecting leases which were grabbed by greedy multinational corporations. The local
tribal Aborigines strongly opposed mining on their land and held on for years, but their
The whites built an airstrip at Birdie Creek on the upper reaches of the Katherine River to resistance came to an end when the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs summoned the tribal
ferry supplies of food and equipment to the prospectors. The surrounding bush country leaders to a meeting at Bamyili – a bush settlement about 100 kilometres from Katherine.
had abundant supplies of bush food on which tribal people had lived for generations. After their arrival, the police sealed off the only road connecting Bamyili with the rest of
However, prospectors feared that local food may have been poisoned. the world. The tribal men were held in the remote settlement for days without food and
water until they signed a paper which allowed the mining of uranium on their sacred Prior to nuclear testing, detailed surveys of scattered farming properties held by the whites
land. No journalist was allowed near the settlement to witness what the Minister called in the area were carried out. The surveys listed the numbers of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs,
“an historic occasion”. However, two young people from Sydney who were making a hens and other farm animals on the properties, but made no mention of the indigenous
documentary on the missionary outpost in Arnhem Land made their way through the bush people living in the area or the waterholes essential for life.
to film the “historic occasion”. Some years later when their documentary Dirt Cheap was
released, it showed the cruel duress used to force the Aborigines to sign the papers. After Throughout the prohibited area and the desert beyond, the whites built an extensive grid
the signing, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs shook hands with the distressed Aborigines of roads to get in and out of the desert so that they could monitor nuclear blasts and other
and presented each of them with a pen and writing pad as a gift – welcome to testing. They penetrated deep into the remote desert in order to round up tribal
civilisation! Aborigines. Special teams were sent out to comb the area; even spotting planes were
engaged in the search for a human presence in the dry wilderness. Where that failed,
A part of West Arnhem Land that fell outside the uranium mining leases was subsequently the whites set up ambushes at waterholes, which would trap those Aborigines desperate
designated the Kakadu National Park because of its rich wildlife and the importance of for water.
the ancient Aboriginal cave painting sites. Soon after, Kakadu was listed by UNESCO
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as a world heritage area in order to guarantee the Park’s protection and preservation. In The rounded-up Aborigines were hustled into cattle trucks and transported to various
1999, however, after the successful deployment of missiles using uranium and plutonium camps, most of which were outside the perimeter of the prohibited zone. Hastily set-up
by USA and NATO forces against Yugoslavia in a “humanitarian war”, the mining of camps were described as “Food and Water Rationing Depots”, purportedly to “help
TOTEM AND ORE

uranium prevailed against the cultural heritage and UNESCO ambassadors were Aborigines during drought”. The camps often consisted of a bare patch of desert with an
persuaded by the military establishment to authorise the mining of uranium in Kakadu artesian bore sunk into the ground and an improvised dwelling for the white administrators
National Park. Subsequently a part of Kakadu was pegged and gazetted as “off limits” who supervised the rationing of food and water and controlled the movement of the
for tourists and local Aborigines. The local people of the Mirrar tribe, who wandered into inmates. The Aborigines brought in were provided with a blanket and a spot on the
that area of their ancestral land, were seized by the police, prosecuted and gaoled. The ground to dig a hole, where they huddled with their families in order to survive the cold
UN agencies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other ‘humanitarian’ desert winds at night. There was no wood to make a fire, no running water, no proper
organisations showed no interest in the fate of these Aborigines. toilets or other amenities. Before retiring for a night’s rest in a sandpit, the Aborigines
would stick a spear into the ground next to the sandpit, so that if a windstorm occurred
NUCLEAR TESTING during the night, it would be known where members of their family were buried. During
The uranium oxide obtained from tribal land in the 1950s was shipped abroad and the the rounding-up and transportation, tribal families were often broken up; children were
by-product returned to Australia for British nuclear testing, thereby creating a second separated from their parents, never to find each other again if they were sent to different
nuclear tragedy to strike the Aborigines. The Australian government assigned large destinations. Most of the children were placed in government and missionary institutions
portions of central Australia to the British government without much concern for the in which abuses and rape were common practice.
Aborigines and their environment. The area contained scores of tribal territories where the
people had lived for thousands of generations, since the Ice Age, and had developed The whites kept no proper records of who was sent where; the camp authorities did not
their unique culture, social structure and beliefs in harmony with the desert environment – even know the names of the inmates and barely knew their estimated number. Often
thus being able to sustain life even during severe climatic upheaval. According to the people brought into the camps were from different tribes, not sharing a common
Aborigines, the land was created by their tribal ancestors who made boulders, hills and language or tribal beliefs. They shared only the same skin colour and fate. These people
ranges from a featureless plain of sand. They made occasional waterholes and created were prohibited from leaving the camps and returning to their tribal country. Stranded, far
plants; before departing for the spirit world they instructed their tribal descendants on how away from their hunting grounds, sacred tribal sites and waterholes, they were in despair
to look after the land and sing to summon rain in times of drought. That same land was – everything they had ever known in their entire lives and the lives of their ancestors had
gazetted by the Australian government and overnight declared a prohibited zone – to be suddenly perished – bare existence was left. Some with will and courage fled the camps
accessible only to personnel engaged in the British nuclear testing programme. The and headed back to the prohibited areas, but were never heard of again.
prohibited area was larger in size than England.
Scattered bands of tribal people remained in the prohibited areas. They had managed radiation might be properly assessed. He was concerned that a large area of the
to avoid being rounded up, or perhaps they were intentionally left behind by the whites continent had been contaminated. As the nuclear testing proceeded, Marston was asked
to be used as an example of how effective nuclear testing was on humans in the area. to prepare a report on the impact of radiation on the civilian population. He commented
(A secret document prepared by the British Nuclear Testing Authorities was discovered in of the nuclear testing authority: “Some of those boys qualify for a hangman’s noose.”
2001 in the Library of the University of Dundee, Scotland. It was a report on the rounding-
up of desert Aborigines in Australia and states that about 40 per cent of the Aborigines In his report Hedley Marston found that the presence of Strontium 90 from the nuclear
who might have avoided being caught, were left behind to the perils of nuclear testing.) testing is 5 times higher in the bones of children than in adults. This derived mainly by
drinking milk from cows fed on contaminated pasture and will likely cause leukaemia and
As nuclear testing proceeded, some Aborigines found in close proximity to the explosion cancer. “Whitehall and Canberra think that the people of Australia are expendable”:
sites were covered with dust from the blast. They were immediately taken away by Marston published his findings in the CSIRO scientific Journal of December 1957 but no
nuclear testing authorities, never to be heard of again. A tribal family was found dead in daily paper deemed it proper to mention it. Marston was accused of subversive activity
a crater made by the nuclear blast – people who had wandered around and stopped to but went on with his work, monitoring the effects of 6 of the total 12 British nuclear blasts
camp in nuclear-made craters during the cold desert nights, huddled against rocks still in Australia. Two of those blasts went dreadfully wrong. Due to Marston’s efforts 21,000
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warm from the explosion. body samples were taken from people effected by the nuclear testing, mainly children
and still-born babies. The samples are housed in a Melbourne laboratory and constitute
Fifty years after the event an Aboriginal survivor, Eileen Kampakuta Brown, was the largest collection of samples from victims of nuclear radiation in the world. No
TOTEM AND ORE

interviewed by Nancy Haxton on A.B.C. Radio National. She recalled the Nuclear samples, however, were collected from Aboriginal victims from Central Australia. Being
Horror. Members of her family, walking in their traditional homeland saw a strange colour in far closer proximity to the nuclear testing ground and living in contaminated semi-desert,
in the sky and in the days that followed, suffered the effects of a radioactive mist their casualty rates were far higher but it seems that no authority was concerned with that.
spreading through the bush. Speaking through an interpreter, her grand-daughter Karin
Lester, Ms Brown states: “We had lots of eye sickness, like sore eyes, lots of phlegm, No persons were officially held responsible for such human destruction or “qualified for
people were vomiting. There was diarrhoea happening and there was a lot of skin rashes the hangman’s noose” as Marston suggested. Indeed, the man most responsible for it,
as well …so, when that mushroom happened, people starting getting sickness.” Ernest Titterton, was knighted by the Queen for service to “science and peace”. He saw
the entire Australian continent as a testing range, ignorant of the fate of local Aborigines
During one of the tests at Emu Field – Totem 1, Wing Commander E. W. Anderson, with and the fragile environment. Titterton had a history of incompetence some years earlier
two of his officers, was ordered to fly through the atomic cloud only a few minutes after when in charge of nuclear testing in the Nevada Desert (USA), resulting in more human
the bomb bursts. They all died later from radiation after-effects. Before he died the and environmental destruction. Marston was right – a noose may have been more
commander wrote a chilling account of the flight. appropriate than a medal from the Queen.

As the radiation from the testing ground in the desert spread, it affected the major At the time of the British nuclear testing about 15,000 Australians were enlisted into the
populated area far away in the eastern part of Australia. The Australian scientist Hedley Australian army to take part in the project. According to some of those servicemen, after
Marston who was monitoring radioactive fallout received information that even in the the nuclear blast, codenamed “Totem”, had caused the death of a considerable number
coastal areas of Queensland the Geiger counter was “running red hot”. This was about of tribal Aborigines, the army engineering units refused to bury the victims because of the
a half continent away from the testing site at Maralinga. The radiation detected in animals high level of radioactive contamination. The range commander of nuclear testing was
registered 400 times higher than expected; major Australian cities – Adelaide, subsequently relieved of his duties and there was a likelihood that the world might hear
Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – were effected. The people who reported red dust of the Aboriginal casualties and contamination of such a large area of the Australian
clouds engulfing their area were misled with assurances that the cloud had nothing to do outback. The Nuclear Testing Authorities hired a certain Joseph “Rocky” Maine – a civilian
with the nuclear testing. “I go mad when I think of it”, Hedley Marston commented. He bulldozer operator working for the 17th Construction Squadron in Kingsford, NSW – a
urged the Nuclear Testing Authority to hold over any further blasts until the danger of man from uncertain background and without next of kin or relatives. In the middle of
1955 he was flown several thousand kilometres from the east coast to Central Australia Yami Lester, blinded by nuclear testing, later travelled to England to see the Queen and
to dig mass graves and bury the Aborigines at the Quandong Tree site, about 30 miles plead for justice. The Queen declined her responsibility towards the victims of nuclear
north of Maralinga. In the years that followed Joseph Maine visited the nuclear testing testing even though the Royal family was used to promote uranium mining and nuclear
area on several more occasions to dig more mass graves for Aborigines. His visits testing in Australia. In the 1980s, after fragments of plutonium and other radioactive
stretched into the 1960s. One of those mass graves was located at the edge of the local debris were found at an Aboriginal camping site, the Australian government eventually
airstrip, Hendon, about 43 miles north of Maralinga. In the semi-desert area of Central set up a Royal Commission to enquire into the British nuclear testing and its impact on
Australia, local Aborigines traditionally move around in small family groups due to scarcity local Aborigines. The British government refused to cooperate with the Royal Commission
of bush food and water. They would normally have kept away from the testing area and withheld information about the testing despite the evidence that Aborigines in Central
overrun with white people. The dead Aborigines buried in mass graves may have been Australia were dying as a result of the nuclear tragedy brought about by the British. Also
held as detainees and placed in the proximity of the nuclear blast to test the effectiveness dying was a generation of Australian ex-servicemen who were enlisted to assist with the
of the nuclear weapon. Joseph Maine used to boast to his drinking mates at the canteen testing.
that by digging the mass graves he had “buried the evidence” and saved the Nuclear
Testing Authorities from embarrassment and worldwide condemnation. After the nuclear Whether they were removed from their land by uranium mining or by nuclear testing, the
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testing ceased Joseph Maine was given free lodging at the army barracks at the School loss to the Aboriginal people was catastrophic. They have suffered more than any other
of Military Engineering for the rest of his life. When he died in 1995 the bulldozer driver people in human history. While on their own land they had a self-sufficient lifestyle and
was taken to his grave followed by a military cortege, with the pomp and honour usually were free to choose their destiny; they enjoyed economic and cultural independence.
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reserved for a great soldier. With their land taken away from them in the white man’s quest for nuclear power and its
elusive benefits, all that perished.
The camps in which the Aborigines were held were never visited by the Red Cross, the
United Nations, or any other human rights organisation – the Atomic Energy Act had After completing their atmospheric nuclear testing in Central Australia and after signing
prohibited any knowledge about the camps and the Aboriginal inhabitants confined in the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty in the 1960s, the British (jointly with the USA)
them from being made public. At Ernabella, a mission settlement adjacent to the nuclear secretly carried out a series of nuclear “trials” to perfect weapons that would have less
testing area, Aborigines were dying en masse due to the radiation. The settlement visible impact, but even more lethal consequences. The Australian military authorities
provided a “perfect opportunity” for the Nuclear Testing Authority to monitor the lethal who assisted them published Nuclear Handbook: Part 1 in 1960, a manual for their
effects of radiation on humans, but no help was provided to the victims to alleviate their officers in the field on how to handle testing of “dirty bombs”. A cocktail of uranium,
suffering. plutonium and other radioactive elements was packed into a projectile or missile and
fired from the Woomera testing range at a target many kilometres away in the Australian
Separated from their land, children and traditional way of life, the Aborigines lost wilderness. A grid of newly built tracks stretched across several tribal countries – from
continuity with their culture. The will of a people who had stewarded the land for more Woomera to the Macdonnell Ranges – so that “military experts” and “scientists” could
than 50,000 years with enormous skill and determination to survive in the dry and arid follow their nuclear toys throughout the Australian vastness and monitor their lethal
Australian interior, was crushed under the white man’s ignorance and brutality. The losses potential. Numbers of artesian wells were drilled in the semi-desert and depots set up for
were immense, not only for the Aborigines, but for the entire world which lost the the distribution of food and water to Aborigines, in order to keep the tribal people out
opportunity to learn from a unique culture and its beliefs, as well as from the people who of their usual hunting grounds and traditional waterholes. There was also a medical team
had lived through the calamities of the Ice Age and subsequent climatic upheavals. on hand to “help” the humble natives, but its main purpose was to test the effect of the
Neither the British nor the Australian governments accepted responsibility for the senseless new weapons on humans. The testing fell within the Finke River catchment area and the
destruction of this great cultural heritage, nor did the UN agency show any concern. river’s tributaries which had sustained so much life in the arid Australian interior. Some
Those Aborigines who miraculously survived the nuclear tragedy never received rightful nuclear testing sites were located only a few kilometres away from the river, in close
compensation, except for a few token handouts. proximity to sacred Aboriginal sites and ochre pits from which colours were obtained for
ritual body decoration and traditional paintings.
(In 1995, during the filming of A Double Life, John Mandelberg and his crew came FALLOUT
across one such site at Osmond Gorge, hidden for years in the ranges. Part of a hill had During the British nuclear testing, the only man allowed to keep a photographic camera
been blown out by an immense explosion that had melted the rocks. Devoid of any sign in the Central Australia testing area was Clive Campbell, who was in charge of security.
of life, the radioactive site was not signposted and during the years Aborigines from the Clive Campbell was directly responsible to M.R. Thwaites, whom the British brought to
neighbouring settlements of Papunya and Hermannsburg must have, undoubtedly, Australia to be in charge of overall security of uranium processing and nuclear testing.
stumbled upon it. The site appears symbolically in paintings by Aboriginal artists Kaapa Clive Campbell photographed installations, equipment, British scientists and military
Tjampatjimpa, Tim Leura Tjapaltjari, Dinny Nolan and Michael Nelson Jagamarra.) officers who were conducting the tests. He took photographs of the nuclear bomb
explosions in Central Australia as well as of the devastation left behind. Also
The nuclear missiles were meant for the Vietnam War, but that war ended before the photographed were Australian soldiers conscripted in thousands to build and maintain the
testing was completed. The actual deployment of the missiles had to wait for decades – testing sites. Many of them were used as “indoctrinees” – a word which some 45 years
for the Gulf War and the bombing of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Perfected after initial later was revealed to mean “guinea-pigs”. The soldiers were positioned in close proximity
testing in Australia, the new weaponry later became known as “depleted uranium” (DU), to the nuclear explosion to record its impact on humans. When he retired, Clive Campbell
also known as “dirty bombs”, chiefly made up of Uranium 235 – a waste product of left most of his photographs to the Atomic Ex-servicemen’s Association, formed by
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Uranium 238 used for nuclear reactors and for the production of nuclear bombs. Dense demobilised soldiers who survived the nuclear testing. Many of his photographs were
and more penetrating than lead, DU has immense destructive power; it burns on impact, later published in Atomic Fallout, the quarterly journal of the Atomic Ex-servicemen’s
thus dispersing radioactive particles into the air and soil that will destroy life for millennia. Association – its pages of obituaries list the names of the many men who died from
TOTEM AND ORE

malignant radiation diseases and their children who inherited the illnesses.
After being rounded into government settlements, many Aborigines died prematurely of a
“mysterious sickness”. Others suffered from an illness which some years later became Campbell’s former boss, M.R. Thwaites, stayed in Australia after the nuclear testing was
known as “Gulf Syndrome”. The legendary Aboriginal artists of Papunya, Kaapa completed. He was given the job of Chief Librarian at the Parliament House Library,
Tjampatjimpa and Tim Leura Tjapaltjari, died prematurely, most likely from nuclear Canberra, in the early 1970s. In 1974 Wongar received a letter from the Parliament
radiation. The Totem and Ore photographs tell of their fate and the fate of an entire House Library signed by a Mr D. Dun, informing him that he had seen the Totem and Ore
generation caught in the nuclear tragedy and forgotten by the rest of the world. collection exhibited earlier at the Australian National University. Dan asked if the Library
could have the collection on loan, to be mounted for two weeks in connection with the
parliamentary debate on the first Aboriginal Land Rights Report compiled by
The first showing of the Totem and Ore photographs took place at the Adult Education Commissioner A.E. Woodward. The letter explained that there was not enough
Gallery in Melbourne in 1974. Later on that same year the collection was exhibited at documentary material available on the impact of industrial development on Aboriginal
the Australian National University in Canberra during Aboriginal National Day people and that the Totem and Ore collection should provide politicians with valuable
celebrations. Yami Lester spoke at the opening. He described how some years earlier he information and stimulate parliamentary debate about the forthcoming Aboriginal Land
had seen a large cloud engulfing his tribal country. The cloud brought a dusty mist that Rights legislation.
stayed on for days, settling on plants and waterholes. His eyes became inflamed and
irritated, as did the eyes of his pet dingo. The animal often shook its body trying to A few hours after Totem and Ore was mounted in Parliament House, the exhibition was
dispose of the dust caught in its fur. Some months later the dingo’s eyes began to shine pulled down. Mr R. Thwaites then issued a press release denigrating the collection.
during the best daylight time of the day. Yami noticed that he too was losing his sight – (“Shame of Aboriginal Squalor Comes Down”, The Age, 2 October 1974).
the country around him grew dimmer every day until it sunk into darkness forever. Many
other Aborigines suffered similar symptoms; they called it “sandy blight” as no one knew On news of the banning of Totem and Ore, the Geelong Advertiser published an
at the time that the illness had been caused by the nuclear cloud. interview with Mr R. Wood, head of the Geelong Regional Library, who had earlier
hosted exhibitions of the collection; he stated: “The collection provided valuable
information on a little known area” (Geelong Advertiser, 4 October 1974). The
newspaper wondered why the politicians in Canberra were barred from seeing Totem MALIGNANT SYNDROMES
and Ore. The same question was asked by the Melbourne Sunday Press, which published Although a global nuclear conflict has been avoided so far, the world has been plunged
a number of the photographs under the heading “The Pictures MPs Couldn’t See” (Sunday into an equally destructive environment known as “Gulf Syndrome”. The lethal weapons
Press, 17 November 1974). containing depleted uranium and plutonium, originally tested in central Australian deserts
in the 1960s, have long since been perfected and deployed globally. Designed to
A special showing of Totem and Ore was subsequently organised by the Aboriginal destroy the enemy, DU is also killing the soldiers who deploy it as well as innocent
Advancement League (Victoria) at the Aboriginal Centre in Melbourne (November 1974). civilians and their descendants – it leaves behind a legacy of death to linger for many
The exhibition was opened by Aboriginal elder, Sir Douglas Nicholls, who, in his generations.
opening speech voiced his disappointment at the “blindness and ignorance of Canberra
bureaucrats towards the plight of Aboriginal people”. The Institute of Australian Studies in Much of the lethal data on DU remains “classified” by the USA and British governments
Canberra later hosted the collection for private viewings. This was followed by a new and nothing is done to alleviate the suffering of victims, just as nothing was done in
showing in Melbourne at the Australian Conservation Foundation (July 1975) jointly Australia to help the earlier victims of nuclear testing.
organised with the National Council of Aboriginal and Island Women.
14 15
The nuclear testing site at Maralinga has long been reclaimed by the desert but at nearby
In the early 1980s a European exhibition of Totem and Ore was planned for France and Woomera a cemetery of still-born babies remains, heralding many such cemeteries
Germany with the help of Simone de Beauvoir and Frederick Rose, however, this project springing up around the globe after deployment of DU weapons. During the 1991 Gulf
TOTEM AND ORE

had to be abandoned because of political obstruction from Australia. An earlier version War, the USA and Britain fired about 944,000 thousand DU rounds from ground and
of the Totem and Ore text was translated by Eberhard Brüning and published in Germany air – about 2,700 metric tonnes of depleted uranium. Many Iraqi civilians, including
(Bumerang und Bodenenschatze) as originally planned. The text inspired Annemarie Böll children, who survived that military onslaught, have contracted leukaemia and cancer; a
and her husband, Heinrich Böll, to translate B. Wongar’s Nuclear Trilogy into German. host of malignant syndromes have been passed on to their descendants of which 67 per
cent have been born with some kind of deformity. After the 1991 Gulf War many Iraqi
Many requests have been made seeking information about who gave the order to ban babies were born without eyes or without the crown of their skull – deformities linked to
Totem and Ore but with no positive result. The last request, under the Freedom of the deployment of DU in the war. A report by the British Atomic Authorities predicted that
Information Act 1982, was made in 1983 through the office of Clyde Holding MP, in years to come about one half a million Iraqi citizens would die due to the radioactive
Member for Melbourne Ports and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs at the time. In reply to debris from the war. This finding was prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq during which an
that request the Department of the Parliamentary Library advised that the matter “…is even larger quantity of DU was deployed against that country and its people, already
specifically excluded from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act…” and exhausted by years of UN sanctions and international neglect. In 2004 alone the US had
declined to provide the information. fired 127 tons of depleted uranium (DU) munitions in Iraq, the radioactive equivalent of
10,000 Nagasaki bombs.
The Aboriginal images from Totem and Ore helped Wongar in the following years to
write his Nuclear Quartet (the novels: Walg, Karan, Gabo Djara and Raki). The Depleted uranium was also dropped twice on Serbian people under similar circumstances
photographs also provided him with the inspiration for the collection of short stories The and prolonged UN sanctions during the Balkan conflict – in Bosnia (1995) and
Track to Bralgu, Babaru, Marngit and The Last Pack of Dingoes. The Totem and Ore Yugoslavia (1999).
photographs provided material for John Mandelberg’s film A Double Life – the life and
times of B. Wongar. The film won a finalist award at the New York Festival 1995. A new The bombing in Bosnia marked the first use of nuclear weapons on European soil and
film by the same director is in progress using many photographs from the Totem and Ore against Europeans. It was brought about through clandestine involvement of the USA in
collection. Bosnia. The Americans were allied to extremist Muslims trying to drive away local
Serbians from their land on which they had lived since time immemorial. They helped set
up Al-Qa’eda camps to train mujahedin warriors in bomb-making and sabotage. The UN
representative in Bosnia, Kofi Annan, sided with the USA, helping to smuggle mujahedin ecological disaster well planned and executed by the USA/NATO. It is developing into
fighters and ammunition into Bosnia, thus aggravating the conflict; he urged the USA to the largest tragedy in European history – for thousands of generations to come the people
bomb the Serbs and prevent them from overrunning Al-Qa’eda camps. The bombing in the Balkans will be dying from radioactivity. The estimated damage bill from depleted
lasted 7 days during which 5,800 DU projectiles where dropped on local Serbs. The uranium bombing of Yugoslavia is 300 billion dollars which the USA/NATO declines to
bombing was not authorised by the United Nations and it was illegal to use depleted pay.
uranium. Kofi Annan was subsequently promoted to General Secretary of the UN, and
voiced no objection to the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia (a founding UN member) by the According to an August 2002 report by a UN sub-commission, the use of depleted
US-led NATO force in the spring of 1999. The bombing was carried out without uranium weapons breaches the following laws and conventions: the Universal
authorisation of the Security Council of the UN and lasted 78 days, deploying depleted Declaration of Human Rights; the Charter of the United Nations; the Genocide
uranium weaponry chiefly on civilians: schools, hospitals, homes, apartment buildings, Convention; the Convention Against Torture; the four Geneva conventions of 1949; the
libraries, bridges, water treatment plants, electricity supplies, factories and other civilian Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980; and the Hague Conventions of 1889 and
infrastructure. 1907. All these laws are designed to protect innocent civilians from suffering in armed
conflicts. Since that UN sub-commission report, depleted uranium was deployed against
16 17
The Yugoslav TV station in Belgrade was hit, killing presenters, journalists, technicians and Afghanistan and the illegal invasion of Iraq.
other support staff; even taking the life of a young makeup artist. DU bombs were
dropped on columns of refugees near Prizren killing 75 civilians. At Grdelica Gorge a No person or country has been charged for breaching so many international conventions
TOTEM AND ORE

commuter train crossing a bridge was hit with DU missiles; the carriages fell into the and causing destruction to generations of victims.
Morava River leaving no survivors. A maternity ward in a Belgrade hospital was
obliterated by NATO bombs. As for remote Australian Aborigines, those who miraculously survived uranium mining and
nuclear testing, they are to be engulfed by yet another nuclear tragedy – the Australian
The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was hit by DU missiles, killing many people inside. government has recently authorised the building of a large depository site for nuclear
NATO had planned even to bomb the Serbian nuclear reactor at Vinca on the outskirts waste near Woomera, it is strongly opposed by local people. The Woomera area has
of Belgrade for so-called “humanitarian objectives”. The West watched the air raids daily been leased to the Americans for testing the new generation of nuclear weapons.
on their TVs as a spectacle, without concern for the fate of the victims of such horrific
bombing. Prior to NATO’s attack, the Serbs were demonised by Western politicians and
the media as being subhuman, just as the Aborigines were perceived during the nuclear LYNDA BILCIC and B. WONGAR
testing in Australia. Papunya, 2003

After the bombing the Yugoslav authorities began publishing data on birth abnormalities
and the effect of radiation on humans and the environment, but that ceased after the USA
instigated “regime change” in Belgrade. In a letter sent to UN Secretary Kofi Annan
dated 7 February 2002, NATO finally admitted that about 31,000 tonnes of depleted
uranium missiles and other projectiles were used to bomb Yugoslavia.

That real figure is about 100,000 tonnes according to Yugoslav sources, perhaps even
higher. During the closing days of the bombing, the US military admitted that its stockpile
of DU ammunition was severely depleted. Ironically, Kofi Annan initially called for the
“humanitarian” bombing of Yugoslavia, even though such action contravened
international law and the UN charter. The bombing of the Serbian people brought about
TOTEM AND ORE Photographic collection
Expedition one — 1960s
20 21
TOTEM AND ORE

Jetty at Arnhem Land


22 23
TOTEM AND ORE

Ghost town at Mary Kathleen Mine Nuclear contaminated land

“The white man has strangled the country


by stealing the magic that made rain”.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
25

Survivor of the blast … (left)


… with her family on contaminated desert
27

Of man and flies (left)


The white man has taken everything except poverty
28 29
TOTEM AND ORE

Nothing left to live for

“What they did to my dear people!”


SIR DOUG NICHOLLS

Blinded – no longer able to see his tribal country


30
TOTEM AND ORE

Habitats 1, 2 and 3
32
TOTEM AND ORE

The tribe has vanished.


Why?
35

Home!
34
TOTEM AND ORE
36 37
TOTEM AND ORE

Evicted from a nuclear testing area The art of survival


39

Relatives Toddler plays in old fridge


40 41
TOTEM AND ORE

Billycan man Miner’s mistress


42 43
TOTEM AND ORE

Condemned Working for the white boss


44
TOTEM AND ORE

Why do so many of us die?


Mother’s hand (right)
48 49
TOTEM AND ORE

Toddler and flies (previous) Separated from her parents


Someone else’s finery
51

Shanty Princess

“Human victims of dual tragedy –


uranium mining and nuclear testing”.
FREDERICK ROSE

Sweets in exchange for his country


53

Under the tent and radioactive dust (left)


Growing up
54 55
TOTEM AND ORE

Young Australian… …and his brother

“Displaced and forgotten”


GERALDINE BRIGGS
56 57
TOTEM AND ORE

Wary Growing discontent


Landless generation (over)
60
TOTEM AND ORE

Feeding time
Washing off radioactive dust (opposite)
63

Close to mother (opposite)


Timeless grace
While the billy boils (over)
65
64
TOTEM AND ORE
66 67
TOTEM AND ORE

Tribal matriarch under scarf Bobby Secretary


Lament for a time bygone (over)
69
68
TOTEM AND ORE
70 71
TOTEM AND ORE

Man in his dugout Behind their corrugated hut


72 73
TOTEM AND ORE

Barefooted youth (opposite)


Lookout
74 75
TOTEM AND ORE

Barefooted generation The outcasts

“Absent from national statistics and conscience”.


“Deprived of their country”.
GORDON BRYANT
76 77
TOTEM AND ORE

Migrant mine-builders in Arnhem Land


TOTEM AND ORE Photographic collection
Expedition two — 1970s
80
TOTEM AND ORE

Confined 1

Confined 2

‘The white man took everything but anguish’


SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
82 83
TOTEM AND ORE

Man in charity coat Woman with bony hands


85

Living block 1

Living blocks 2 and 3


86
TOTEM AND ORE

Songman and didjeridoo player


Pierced-nose man (right)

‘No politician has ever been charged


for destruction of our people!’
STEVEN MURRY
90 91
TOTEM AND ORE

Between a rock and a hard place (previous) Water-bearer


At a rock-shelter
92 93
TOTEM AND ORE

At sunset Sunset forever


94 95
TOTEM AND ORE

Dinny Nolan, Tim Leura Tjapaltjari and Kaapa Tjampatjimpa


98
TOTEM AND ORE

At wind-shelter (previous)
Home 1 and 2
Home 3 (right)
100 101
TOTEM AND ORE

Waiting for Godot


103

Barefooted trio (left)


Tim Leura Tjapaltjari’s kid
105

Friends (left)
“…anyone home?”

‘silent anguish in vast outback’


ROGER KISSING
106 107
TOTEM AND ORE

Waiting for Godot 2


Godot never comes (over)
CONTRIBUTORS

BAIGENT, HAROLD. As head of the Arts and Drama HOLDING, CLIVE. Former Federal MP and Minister for
Department at the Council of the Adult Education, he Aboriginal Affairs; tried to help B. Wongar obtain
organised the first exhibition of Totem and Ore information under the Freedom of Information Act about
photographs in Melbourne, 1974. the banning of the Totem and Ore collection, but it was
found that the affairs of Parliament are exempt from the
de BEAUVOIR, SIMONE. French writer; was the first to Freedom of Information law.
publish B.Wongar’s work in Les Temps Modernes, the
magazine she co-edited with Jean-Paul Sartre, 1977. KISSING, ROGER. American anthropologist; took part in
She wrote a foreword to the Wongar Nuclear Trilogy. the Totem and Ore exhibition at the School of Pacific
Studies. He selected some photographs from the
BILCIC, LYNDA. Editor, writer. Edited some of collection to illustrate his book Cultural Anthropology,
B. Wongar’s books including Totem and Ore. She which is used as a textbook in the USA.
worked for a while for the government laboratory in
Melbourne which housed samples of ash from human JAGAMARRA, MICHAEL NELSON. Elder of the
victims of nuclear testing. She also took part in a 2003 Anmatjira tribe from Central Australia; artist; helped with
expedition to the Macdonnell Ranges and Papunya to field research on Totem and Ore. He made a number of
gather additional field information and catalogue the paintings on the theme of nuclear testing in Australia.
photographs. She worked closely with Aborigines Dinny
Nolan, Janie Kaapa, Daisy Leura Nakamarra, Christine LESTER, YAMI. Aboriginal elder of the Pitjantjara tribe,
Kaapa, and Michael Nelson Jagamarra. She visited the author and activist. He was blinded by the nuclear
110 nuclear testing area at the Macdonnell Ranges; on her testing carried out in his tribal country. 111
return to Melbourne she became ill and died from
cancer (2004). MANDELBERG, JOHN. Filmmaker; found nuclear testing
site in the Macdonnell Ranges during the filming of A
BÖLL, RENÉ. German publisher and artist, he promoted Double Life (1995). His film shows a large number of
Totem and Ore in Europe. He published B. Wongar’s photographs from the Totem and Ore collection.
TOTEM AND ORE

Nuclear Trilogy, translated into German from the original


manuscript by his parents Annemarie and Heinrich Böll. MARSTON, HEDLEY. Australian scientist opposed to the
(Lamuv Verlag 1983) British nuclear testing in Australia. He was reprimanded
for warning of human and environmental destruction.
BRIGGS, GERALDINE, with her daughter Lois, helped
organise the second showing of Totem and Ore MURRY, STEVEN. Aboriginal elder from Victoria. As
photographs in association with the Australian head of the Aboriginal Advancement League 1974, he
Conservation Foundation, Melbourne, 1975. Geraldine organised an exhibition of Totem and Ore soon after the
joined B. Wongar on an expedition to Central Australia work was banned in Canberra and invited the Victorian
(1977) where at Papunya they met with Aboriginal Aboriginal community to the opening.
artists Kaapa Tjampatjimpa and Tim Leura Tjapaltjari
who both pioneered the Desert school of art. Briggs and NICHOLLS, SIR DOUGLAS. An Aboriginal activist and
Wongar continued to West Arnhem Land, visiting tribal elder; co-editor of Smoke Signal. He opened the Totem
communities affected by uranium mining. and Ore exhibition at the Aboriginal Advancement
League Centre in Melbourne (1974) and spoke of the
BRÜNING, EBERHARD. German academic; translated tragic impact of the nuclear testing on the tribal people.
into German some of B. Wongar’s work including the
earlier version of Totem and Ore. ROSE, FREDERICK. Anthropologist who pioneered
research among Aborigines in the 1930s and the
BRYANT, GORDON. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in the 1940s. He was expelled from Australia because of his
Whitlam government 1974; a member of the Aboriginal opposition to nuclear testing. He settled in Germany and
Advancement League and editor of their magazine lectured at Berlin’s Humboldt University. In 1974 he was
Smoke Signals. This was the first journal to publish some invited back to Australia as a visiting Professor at the
photographs from the Totem and Ore collection. Bryant Australian National University where he saw and
tried to improve the living conditions of the Aborigines commented on Totem and Ore.
and was subjected to an unfair campaign for “over-
spending” on Aborigines. He set up the Land ROSS, ROBERT. American academic associated with the
Commission Right. Edward A. Clark Center for Australian Studies at the
University of Texas at Austin; and one of the founders of
DOBREZ, LIVIO. Wrote a number of essays on the journal Antipodes, which published some of the
B.Wongar’s work including Totem and Ore. photographs from the Totem and Ore collection. He
wrote an essay on Wongar’s Nuclear Trilogy for World
FESL, EVE. Mumewa. While director at the Aboriginal Literature Today.
Research Centre at Monash University in 1988 she
organised a writer-in-residence programme for SHAPCOTT, THOMAS. Australian author; encouraged
B. Wongar at the Centre to promote Totem and Ore. B. Wongar to persist with the writing of the Nuclear
She also hosted the launching of his Nuclear Trilogy. Trilogy. He contributed to promoting Totem and Ore.
Lynda Bilcic at Papunya, September 2003
BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Age, “Shame of Aboriginal Squalor Comes Down”, 2 October 1974.


Aboriginal Land Rights Commission Report, Australian Government Publishing Service,
Canberra, 1974.
Atomic Energy Act, Commonwealth of Australia, 1953.
Bruce, Ian: “Unknown Illness Sweeps US Troops”, The Herald, Glasgow, 2 October 2003.
Butt, Peter: Silent storm, documentary, Film Australia, 2003.
“The Consequences of Depleted Uranium Bombing of Yugoslavia 1999”, Glass Javnosti,
29 October 2005, Belgrade.
de Beauvoir, Simone: Foreword to Walg, Dodd Mead & Co, New York, 1983.
Department of Aboriginal Affairs (letter to S. Bozic dated 14 November 1983).
Department of the Parliamentary Library (letter to S. Bozic dated 29 November 1983).
Dimic, Momo: Pod bombama (Under the Bombs), Prosveta, Yugoslavia, 1993.
Fesl, Prof. Eve Mumewa D.: Conned, University of Queensland Press, 1993.
113
Holding, Clyde MP: (letter to S. Bozic dated 28 September 1983).
“The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium”, Chugoko Shimbun, Hiroshima, 2002.
Lester, Yami. Yami, Institute for Aboriginal Development Alice Springs, 1993.
Lester, Yami: History and the Land, Institute for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs, 1992.
Lewis, John: “The Pictures that MPs Couldn’t See”, Sunday Press, 17 November 1994.
Indoctrination Exercise – Operation ”Lighthouse”, Atomic Weapons Tests, Paper, 1958, Atomic
Fallout Vol. 3, No. 4, 2001.
Mackay, Neil: “US forces use of depleted uranium weapons is ‘illegal’”, The Sun Herald,
Scotland, 30 March 2003.
Mereweather, Charles: “Government Squalor”, Farrago, October 1974.
O’Neill, Brendan: “Don’t Blame the Neocons – Al-Qa’eda in Bosnia”, The Spectator, 27 August
2005, UK.
Pilger, John: A Secret Country, Vintage, London, 1990.
Rose, Frederick G.G.: Correspondence with B. Wongar (unpublished).
Ross, Dr Robert L.: “The Track to Armageddon in B. Wongar’s Nuclear Trilogy”, World Literature
Today, Vol. 64, Winter, 1990. USA.
“A person shall not tamper with prescribed uranium substance.
Ross, Annabell: The Uranium Hunters, Rigby Ltd, Australia, 1971.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years”. Weinberger, Eliot: “What I Heard about Iraq”, London Review of Books, 3 February 2005.
“... shall not tamper with atomic research or development. Wongar, B.: “Bumerang und Bodenschatze”, in Der Pfad nach Bralgu, Verlag Philipp Reclam,
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years”. jun., Leipzig, 1981.
Wongar, B.: “Le chemin de Bralgu”, in Les Temps Modernes, No. 369, Paris, 1977.
“…shall not publish, communicate or disclose photograph articles, notes or any information.
Wonger, B.: Nuclear Trilogy: Walg, Karan and Gabo Djara, George Braziller, New York,
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years.” 1990.
“… shall not prejudice defence of Australia. Wongar, B.: Dingoes Den, ETT Imprint, 1999.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years”. Wongar, B.: The Last Pack of Dingoes, Harper Collins, 1993.

ATOMIC ENERGY ACT 1953


© Text and photographs B. Wongar

ISBN 0 9775078 0 7
Totem and Ore
Wongar, B.
First published 2006 by Dingo Books
PO Box 147
Carnegie, Victoria, Australia 3163

All rights reserved

Cover photo: Displaced


Photo page vi: The Aboriginal mass-grave at the
Quandong Tree site, 30 miles north of Maralinga. The
sign above the skull was placed by soldiers to ridicule
their sergeant. (Atomic Fallout Vol. 3. No. 6 2002)

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