04 March 2015

Yami Lester



I was privileged some years ago to meet Yami Lester. Some of you will know of him. As a young boy he worked, as many indigenous lads did, looking after animals (goats I think) in remote northern South Australia.

But how could he? According to the government of the day there were no indigenous people living in the region north and West of Maralinga where the British Government tested the "bomb"
This continued as a myth for 3 decades and one day a hapless Minister on Alice Springs radio was confronted by Yami Lester who rang in and said "Well I was there!" and ..... to cut a long story short with people being caught with their pants down..... Yami was vindicated.
He had been blinded by the fallout. Others, we suppose, died unacknowledged.

Yami went on, despite significant physical impairment, to lead and inspire the charge and  recognition of the travesty that was nuclear testing in lands occupied by people who no one cared two hoots about.

He is now nearing the end of his life. A life we can give thanks for. But which we wish had not been so early curtailed.

Lots of follow up stuff in the links below!

  1. Check out
  2. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/verbatim/yami-lester/3588840
  3. http://www.papertracker.com.au/radio/interview-with-yami-lester/
  4. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/01/23/maralinga-compo-collapse-prompts-calls-act-grace
  5. https://bobinnes.wordpress.com/tag/uluru-handover/
  6. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/songline-at-heart-of-secret-mens-business/story-fn59niix-1226360712409
  7. Paul Kelly's song about Yami, Evie & Maralinga ...
  8. Paul Kelly-Maralinga-Rockwood Music Hall, NYC- 3-8-2012.MTS
  9. If  time permits (for both of us!) I am planning to pay a brief visit over the next month to sit and have a chat

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