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The Maralinga people have lived on their lands for over sixty thousand years. This deep relationship with their country was challenged by the arrival of a colonising force that lead to the institutionalisation of the Maralinga people in the Ooldea Mission in the 1920s. This attempt to dispossess was intensified as Maralinga land was used for the British Nuclear Test Program between 1953 and 1963. The Maralinga people never relinquished their connection to and responsibility for their country. They fought for the clean-up of the radioactive and other contamination, for compensation and for the handback in 2009 of the Maralinga Village and Test Sites. What has been achieved is a rebuilding of traditional communities into vibrant, creative cultural communities that will ensure Maralinga custodianship of their lands for the next sixty thousand years.
Larissa Behrendt, Jacob Hickey