The British government notoriously conducted a series of atomic bomb tests in South Australia's Maralinga lands during the 1950s and 1960s. The traditional owners, the Anangu, were moved to Yalata, within a kilometre or so of the main highway from Adelaide to Perth. Estranged from their lands and unable to visit their sacred sites or attend to the ritual obligations owed to the lands, the Yalata, community became a troubled one.
Fifty years later, in 1980, a legal battle began to enable the Anangu to return. Young lawyer Garry Hiskey, senior solicitor for the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, was assigned to the case. This is his story of the fight to return the Maralinga lands to their original owners, helping them gain an inalienable freehold title to some 76,000 square kilometres of land.
It's a story of intrigue, divided loyalties, political controversy, voting rights, and of a mining company finding itself the meat in the sandwich in a battle of wills as to who should be permitted to explore and mine the lands on which the customs and beliefs of Anangu were based.