• View the image of the Lin Onus sculpture Maralinga or see the real thing at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth.
    • Ask students to share their responses - feelings or thoughts - in some way
  • Find out about the nuclear testing in Australia conducted by Britain between 1952 and 1963.
  • Read about the British Nuclear Tests at Maralinga: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/maralinga-how-british-nuclear-tests-changed-history-forever
  • Students mark on a map the five areas where tests were conducted in Australia
    • Monte Bello
    • Emu Field /Jjunction
    • Maralinga
    • Christmas Island
    • Malden Island.
  • Students can look at the photos of each of the nuclear bomb tests on the website and record their responses - descriptions, thoughts and feelings. It should stimulate some interesting discussion.
  • DET's Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum (APAC) website has a series of 3 lessons based on the life and books of Yami Lester. At 13 years of age, Yami became ill and blind from radiation sickness caused by fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga.
  • Yami Lester refers to a "black mist" Find out what the black mist is and how it relates to nuclear testing at Maralinga.
  • Students create a "Black Mist" artwork: poetry, painting, sculpture, song, other, in response to what they have learned about the effects of the testing at Maralinga.
  • Read the picture book Maralinga: the Anangu Story. You can access comprehensive Teachers' Notes for students 10-14+ years from Allen & Unwin's website:
  • Read the story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Students share responses and draw parallels with the story of Yami Lester and Maralinga.
  • Students listen to the song Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil and discuss what they make of it. Brainstorm all the words/feelings/fears that are raised by this song. How does the song link to Jabiluka? Where is Jabiluka? What happens at Jabiluka? Research and discover facts regarding Jabiluka and the long term effect on the land and peoples.
  • Investigate the effects that nuclear testing could have on the flora and fauna of Aboriginal country - nuclear fragments, particles and dust. Can sites be rehabilitated or are they lost forever?
  • Students can use all the discovered words associated with nuclear testing in Australia, including the place names, to make a cross word/word sleuth.


  • Maralinga (1990) Sculpture by Lin Onus. fibreglass, pigment, plexiglass, paper stickers. State Art Collection. Art Gallery of Western Australia.
  • Midnight Oil. Blue Sky Mine. From the albums Blue Sky Mining; The Real Thing and 20 000 Watt RSL
  • Yalata & Oak Valley Communities with Christobel Mattingley. Maralinga: the Anangu story. Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 2010
  • Lester, Y. Yami : the autobiography of Yami Lester. IAD Press, Alice Springs, 2000.
  • Cross,R; Hudson,A. Beyond belief : The British bomb tests : Australia's veterans speak out. Wakefield Pres, Kent Town, SA, 2005.
  • Nuclear Power. Issues in Society, vol 246, Spinney Press.Thirroul, NSW. http://www.spinneypress.com.au
  • Ceorr, E. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Hodder, 2002

Last updated: 14/07/14