Yami Lester Yankunytjatjara Elder

and Atomic Test Survivor

No Dump Alliance ambassador Yami Lester was a Yankunytjatjara Elder, atomic test survivor, Aboriginal rights activist, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Mr Lester told his story to highlight the dangers of the nuclear industry. Yami’s voice and support was key to the formation and successful work of the No Dump Alliance.

July 2017 saw the passing of Yami.  We have lost a truly remarkable person and the Alliance deeply misses his leadership and strength.

“In 1953, I was just ten years old when the bombs went off at Emu and Maralinga, I didn’t know anything about nuclear issues back then, none of us knew what was happening. I got sick, and went blind from the Totem 1 fallout from those tests, and lots of our people got sick and died also.

Now I’m 74 years old and I know about nuclear issues. Members from the APY, Maralinga-Tjarutja and Arabunna, Kokatha lands say we don’t want nuclear waste on our land. There are big concerns. And I worry because I know it is not safe for South Australia land and the people. Why does the Government keep bringing back nuclear issues when we know the problems last forever?”

It means a lot to me to be in this Alliance. I would like others to listen and join, become a member and fight together.”

The No Dump Alliance is a broad cross-section of South Australian civil society.  We are Indigenous, public health, trade union, faith and environment groups, academics and concerned individuals who have come together to oppose the federal government’s continued push to establish a national nuclear waste dump.  The government wants to impose a radioactive dump on remote communities and open South Australia up to international high-level nuclear waste.

No Dump Alliance

    • Supports local communities to voice their concerns
    • Insists government uphold legislation that currently prohibits a nuclear waste dump in SA
    • Calls for a better process in the management of Australia’s nuclear waste

Voices of the No Dump Alliance


Karina Lester photo
“We are very excited to be involved with the No Dump Alliance. This is a wonderful opportunity to stand strong together, speak up strong and share our stories about how Aboriginal people have been victims of Nuclear Tests in South Australia.”
Karina Lester
Chairperson, Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation
Photo of Vivienne McKenzie
“Here in our region we have an Indigenous Protected Area, we have a registered story line and now the government comes along and wants to put a waste dump here. So, where do we stand? We are not going to give up. We will fight for the land.”
Vivienne McKenzie
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Photo of Emily Austin
“We know the stories from the bomb. We know the history. We know the country, and it is crying for us. We will talk over and over and we won't stop. For the kids and the land and for all the Kungka Tjuta that aren't here. Everyone has to say no. Irati Wanti - the poison, leave it.”
Emily Munyungka Austin
Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Photo of Jamie Newlyn
“The MUA have a long history of opposing expansion of the nuclear industry including nuclear waste dumps. We fear that the economic assumptions pale in insignificance to the unknown safety & environmental implications of such plans."
Jamie Newlyn
South Australian Branch Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia
photo of Margaret Beavis
"We know any additional radiation increases cancer rates, and that worldwide all high level waste sites have failed to contain this extremely toxic material; this proposal is a massive failure of the government’s duty of care to protect the health of all South Australians."
Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS FRACGP MPH
President, Medical Association for Prevention of War
Together we can say NO to nuclear waste