Australian news, and some related international items

My people are still suffering from Australia’s secret nuclear testing Sue Coleman-Haseldine, 

My name is Sue Coleman-Haseldine. I was born into poverty on the margins of Australian society on the Aboriginal mission of Koonibba in 1951. At this time my people were not allowed to vote and we had very few means to be understood, let alone be heard.

I was born into one of the oldest living cultures known on Earth and into a place that I love – a dusty, arid paradise on the edge of a rugged coastline. Our land and waters are central to our outlook and religion and provide the basis for my people’s health and happiness.

And I was born just before the desert lands to our north were bombed by the deadliest weapons on Earth in an extensive, secretive and devastating manner by the Australian and British governments.

In the 1950s, areas known as Emu Fields and Maralinga were used to test nine full-scale atomic bombs and for 600 other nuclear tests, leaving the land highly radioactive. We weren’t on ground zero, but the dust didn’t stay in one place. The winds brought the poison to us and many others.

Aboriginal people, indeed many people at that time, knew nothing about the effects of radiation. We didn’t know the invisible killer was falling amongst us. Six decades on, my small town of Ceduna is being called the Cancer Capital of Australia. There are so many deaths in our region of various cancers. My grand-daughter and I have had our thyroids removed, and there are many others in our area with thyroid problems. Fertility issues appear common.

But there has been no long-term assessment of the health impacts in the region and even those involved in the botched clean-ups of the test sites have no recourse because they cannot prove their illness is linked with exposure to nuclear weapons testing.

The impact of the Maralinga and Emu Fields testing has had far-reaching consequences that are still being felt today. Ask a young person from my area, “What do you think you will die from?” The answer is, “Cancer, everyone else is”.

I have lived my life learning about the bomb tests and also learning that the voice of my people and others won’t always be understood or heard. But I learnt from old people now gone that speaking up is important and by joining with others from many different places and backgrounds that our voices can be amplified.

Through these steps I found the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), or perhaps ICAN found me.

ICAN – as an organisation, as a collective of passionate, educated people working for a clear goal – has been so important to me. To know that my story and my voice helps bring recognition to the past and can shape the future of nuclear prohibition has strengthened my resolve.

Being involved in ICAN has been a double-edged sword. On one hand and for the first time in my life, I no longer feel alone or isolated. I have met others from many parts of the globe who have similar stories and experiences and who are passionate advocates for a nuclear-free future.

But the flip side of this is my understanding of just how widespread and just how devastating the nuclear weapons legacy is across the globe. To learn that so many weapons still exist sends fear to my heart. ICAN is a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – in a short time we have gathered support for a treaty to finally outlaw nuclear weapons and help eliminate the nuclear threat.

The vision was reached in part with so many nations adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017. And we should celebrate this win and the opportunity to work together to stop the suffering and assist countries to make amends to nuclear weapons victims by acknowledging the permanent damage done to land, health and culture.

Unfortunately, the Australian government, along with other first world nations, didn’t even participate in the treaty negotiations, and they haven’t signed the treaty yet, but over time we feel confident they will.

A lot has changed since I was born. Aboriginal people now have the right to vote in Australia, but still we battle for understanding about our culture and the Australian nuclear weapons legacy. My home is still remote and most of my people still poor. But we are also no longer alone. We have the means and the will to participate – to share and to learn and to bring about lasting change.

ICAN’s work is not done, our work is not done. We will continue to work together. A world without nuclear weapons is a world we need and are creating. I stand here in hope and gratitude for the opportunity to participate. I stand here with pride and I stand here for our future and the generations to come.

Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a Kokatha woman who lives in Ceduna, South Australia. This is an extract of her speech in Oslo marking the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN.​

December 11, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, personal stories, weapons and war


  1. Disgusting disrespect for human life 😦

    Comment by Pam Vernon | December 10, 2017 | Reply

    • I just looked up your website. Great site – congratulations. My only reservation. In long research, I have never found credible evidence against fluoridation.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017 | Reply

      • Thanks Christina. If you’re still researching check out some of the links there. I personally choose not to ingest it. I distill my water as here it is also full of chlorine, a known carcinogen.

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • Thanks. At present, I am flat out – especially as the National Broadband Network is getting put on here today – I could well end up with no phone or Internet (the NBN is a schemozzle, since the Liberal govt got in and mucked up the previous govt’s NBN plan) .

        There are worrying aspects to the anti-fluoride campaign. For example, if fluoridation is bad for human health,then the World Health Organisation, The Australian Dental Association, American Dental Association, British Dental Association, and the New Zealand one ( all must be either lying or stupid. I’ve just checked them all out, before writing this comment.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017

      • Yes I know this … the ADA has a long history of ignoring independent research, if you look at Dr Hal Huggins for example who revealed much about the dangers of filling our teeth with the hazardous substance called mercury. Those authorities you mention well I long ago lost trust in their credibility I’m afraid. But that is after many years of research into the independent research. Not mainstream. Mainstream also tells us glyphosate is safe, just like they told us DDT was, and smoking cigarettes. Too big stories to relay in a short blog reply but yes, we have been lied to on many fronts IMO. Rather than just trust those authorities, I recommend folk go and examine the independent research. Carefully. Those who oppose it are not just mindless idiots, in their ranks are professionals in their respective fields. But yes you need to spend time reading what they have to say. : )

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • Well, good on you, and I respect what you do.

        The anti-fluoride movement in Australia has an ignoble history – it was strongly pushed in the 1970s by Eric Butler’s notorious extreme right wing “League of Rights”. They put out books showing that fluoridation makes people vote for Labor – for God’s sake!

        I certainly do still put my faith in the official and established health bodies. Even the WHO does warn of the dangers of ionising radiation (while it is still obliged to not offend the IAEA.) I will grant that the established health agencies are behind the times. The most obvious example of this today is that they are still rabbiting on about animal fats, not sugar, and getting strongly influenced by the sugar industry. If the anti-fluoride stuff is true – there should be compelling evidence, and as far as I can tell, that is not the case.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017

      • Thanks Christina, good to dialogue. And yes, there are always nutters in any cause who of course spoil the truth. We have to be discerning. All the best 🙂

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • I do respect your stance, what I don’t like is when we are force fluoridated. I think folk who want fluoride should add it themselves. Instead we pay megabucks to filter it out. That does irk me. Here our water is so polluted & dirty it’s undrinkable without the additives.

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • This is a difficult one. The accepted health information is that in an area that is deficient in the mineral fluoride, then fluoride added to the water is beneficial for teeth and bone strength. I am glad that my grandchildren are in an area of fluoridated water.

        I had to give my own children fluoride tablets daily all their growing up years – a system that is less effective. So, I was not happy that the few anti-fluoride people were able to prevent this better system being available to all children of the area, (an area where the fluoride content was low).It’s not a medication: it’s a restoration of an important mineral – a bit like iodine added to bread.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017

      • 97% of Europe does not drink fluoridated water & there is no difference in the teeth of fluoridated populations as against non fluoridated. Neither are fluoride supplements approved by the FDA as effective in preventing tooth decay. This is all from a medical Doctor

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • I have not studied about the fluoride situation in Europe. I would believe all the major dental associations over one medical doctor. Perhaps those European state do not have fluoridated water because the water there is not deficient in fluoride?

        Because my focus is on the nuclear danger, I just can’t let myself be distracted off into this fluoride debate. I am far more tempted to be distracted off into the very real public health hazard of fructose added to just about every processed food, and to that disastrous threat to children’s health – soft drinks.

        Good on you for waging your sincerely felt battle. (I do hope that you are not against vaccination, too?)

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017

      • Thanks Christina. Really the focus of my site as stated in the top left hand corner, is expose the lies & corruption within the respective industries. Our world has changed dramatically & particularly in NZ since neo liberal economics took over. Here our courts & justice system are corrupt as well. Whistle blowers are speaking up world wide on all of these issues. It is a whole layer that many just don’t look into. I have spent a good 6-7 years researching these issues … and listening to the whistleblowers. We are on very different pages. But thanks for the dialogue. All the best to you. 🙂

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

      • Good, Pam – the search for truth is what we are both about, I reckon.

        It’s difficult. I think of a very old TV police show. The honest policeman’s mantra was “Just wanna get the facts, Ma’m, just wanna get the facts.” A noble aim indeed.

        I admire whistleblowers. But not every one of them has actually got the correct information. I believe that by and large, the professionals are honest. I mean doctors, scientists, even bureaucrats. I believe that in all the authoritative organisations, there are some good people. I look with scepticism on the mavericks. Even if they sound convincing when they oppose the scientifically accepted view, I must ask myself these sorts of questions:
        Above all – what’s in it for whom?
        For example: Are they pushing some product or service for sale?
        Are they seeking fame and celebrity?
        Are they acting on a grudge against a person or institution?
        Are they influenced by some guru of dubious intentions?

        Of course, what they say might still be true, even if their motivation is not for the public good.

        The genuine ones will become apparent, by the sheer force of their facts and argument.
        A good example is David Gillespie (his book is “Big Fat Lies”) – he exposed the scandal of sugar. The authorities all rubbished him. Now they are quietly adopting his point of view.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 12, 2017

  2. My browser warns me this site is ‘not secure’ and the reblog button isn’t working. Censorship?

    Comment by Pam Vernon | December 10, 2017 | Reply

    • How strange that you have brought this up. I have been told by my friends in UK, that there is censorship going on in regard to my other site They asked me if this is happening in Australia, too, and I replied “No”. Perhaps that reply was premature.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 10, 2017 | Reply

      • I see censorship happening in other WP blogs, one I know of was just taken down no warning, another records censorship of their emailing & stats, (my stats are different on a stat counter than WP’s records) and recently I had most of a whole article disappear from drafts. It is happening.

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 10, 2017

      • I am such a Luddite – I don’t even know how to compare stats. Never mind. Please don’t teach me. I am overloaded with information already. I always thought that the powers that be would eventually get control of the blogosphere. It’s a race between those who have a concern for the truth and those who want to keep power and money.
        I did notice that Google used to have a facility for looking up blogs – but they removed that. So now you get pointed mainly to the mainstream media.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | December 11, 2017

      • Neither did I Christina & if you change your mind it was really very simple to install from a dead easy site. But I won’t press, I know what you mean am constantly on overload & trying to minimize. I agree about control, I believe that’s coming & I see it tightening now. Great connecting with you, I’ve finally organized the sites I’m following so have written yours down on paper where I can find it , and will reblog more in the next while. Thank you! Great informative site. Good to find the nuclear ones.

        Comment by Pam Vernon | December 11, 2017

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