National Archives of Australia
Series A6455 Item AB1
Exhibits tendered before the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia During the 1950s and 1960s
G M Eames and A C Collett - Preliminary submission on behalf of the aboriginal people - Presented 2/10/84 at Sydney
Example interview for Yami Lester
Copyright P J Mackett 2020
NB There are a lot of abbreviations here but most is straightforward.
Maralinga / Emu Atomic Tests
Source / Author / Informants Yami Lester
Title Anangu Interview 07
Date 25. 2.1984
For Interview with Cliff Goddard and D Vachon at Indulkana
Synopsis Genealogical info and camp make-up at Wallatina, Granite Downs and Welbourne Hill
Fallout / Contamination incident
Personal details of informant
Yami was at Wallatina when the "dark smoke" came over. Soon
after the incident (in 1954) he went with his F/ Kanytji and M/
Pingkayi, along with others, to Everard Park.
Presently Director of the Institute for Aboriginal Development
in Alice Springs.
Closely related to the Mimili people.
Date / Location of the Incident
Alost certainly the "dark smoke" incident occurred during
1951. i.e. one of the Emu tests. This is on at least one basis
and that is a storv Yami recounts about the Queen's visit to
Australia in 1954. This was after the Wallatina events when Yami
was with his family at Everard Park. He had only one good eye
then. Yami was with some stockmen at Dinner-time Well, Atutja,
and they were tailing fat cattle and preparing to go to Finke
with them. Andy Pungkayi and Fred Hoke (a white bloke from
Queensland) were also tailing cattle. At that time Kelly and
Whiskey's initiation was being held at Granite Downs. A red truck
and a red ute had arrived from Ernabella. Lucy Lester was with
the people in the trucks and they were on their way to Adelaide
to visit the Queen. Doctor Duguid had asked Ron Trudinger to help
anangu see the Queen. Yami remembers hiding in the shed next to
the homestead and ewbarrassedly looking at the people arriving
from Ernabella. Lucy's school teacher at that time was Allison
Elliard (ne: MacDonald). [N1]
Therefore, that camp make-up of Wallatina and Franite Downs
refers to 1953 and 1954.
People involved in incident
People at Wallatina at the tine of the "dark cloud": [N1]
Kanytji (k/ Pingayi, res: Mimili)
Auntie Munyi (res: Alice Springs, #2sib/ Teddy Boy (deceased), #3sib/ Old William Wangkati, #4sib/ Kanytji)
may have been at Wallatina during the "cloud".
Old William Wangkati (res: Mimili, lived at Wallatina and may have been there during cloud)
Eileen Brown (res: Indulkana, #3sib/ Pingayi), may have been at Wallatina at the time of the "cloud"
Yami (k/ Lucy Lester, res: Alice Springs)
Yami's baby sister, deceased, perhaps before the "cloud"
Yami's younger brother, (deceased Port Augusta), from horse accident, ill after the smoke, sore, watery eyes which got better
Harry Wallatina (half sib/ Pingayi, res: Indulkana and Mimili)
Norman Wallatina (half sib/ Pingayi, res: mimili?)
Kukika (half junior sib/ Pingayi, k/ Barney Yanima)
Kukika et al F/ (ini: Dick Wallatina)
Kukika et al M/
Dick Wallatina's brother (k/ Lily Wallatina) [N2]
Lilly Wallatina (#1sib/ Betty, #2sib/ Pompey Everard, #4sib/ Linda Kutatji)
Mutanya (k/ Betty) cannot recall if ill after smoke, lived alone at Wallatina after separating with Betty,
probably at Wallatina during "dark cloud"
Teddy Edwards, used to stay at Wallatina but not sure if present during "dark cloud", as was a nyiinka pulka
at the time, used to go back and forth to Mimili
Kanginy (k/ Tommy Nyuntungku, #3sib/ Jack Tjapilyi, #1sib/ Walter (deceased))
Walter (deceased Granite Downs c1956) almost a nyiinka at the time of the "cloud" [N5]
Kelly Tjulyanya (res: Mimili) about 12-123 at the time, cared for by Kanytji after the "cloud"
Kelly's F/a (deceased Wallatina, c. before "cloud") [N4]
Kelly's M/ (deceased Mimili c1979, ini: Walykaka, #2sib/ Judy Mayawara)
Judy Mayawara (k/ Jack Kumantjara, res: Mimili) may have been at Wallatina at the time of the "cloud"
Myrtle Wallatina (k/ Jimmy Wallatina, res: Indulkana, #2sib/ Tulinya, #3sib/Wallace Wallatina) may have been at Wallatina
during the "cloud", Kanytji would feed Myrtle and her sibs because he had been close to Myrtle's deceased F/
Tulinya (k/sep Leslie Mingili, k/ Billy the Kid), may have been at Wallatina
Wallace Wallatina, may have been at Wallatina
Myrtle et al. M/ (ini: Kunytjiriya, deceased Indulkana of cancer in 1977-1978, widow when died, buried at Indulkana)
not certain if she was at Wallatina at the time of the "cloud"
Billy Cullinan (deceased Indulkana c1983, half-sib Huey Cullinan, half-sib Johnny Cullinan), nyiinka at the time
Billy's MF/ and MM/, usually lived at Wallatina and may have been there during "cloud", deceased when Yami was
at Granite Downs a couple of years after the "cloud", uncertail if they were ill
Lily (k/ David Umala), at Wallatina around the time and may have been there during "cloud"
Tommy Cullinan (deceased Alice Springs c1956 of cancer), station owner of Wallatina
Tommy Cullinan's k/
Molly Tjapukula (k/ Huey Tjami), may have been at Wallatina during the "cloud" [N2]
People not at Wallatina
Linda (k/ Billy Kutatji, sib/ Pompey Everard, sib/ Lilly Wallatina [N2])
Kanytji's F/ and M/ (deceased long before the cloud)
Shannon (#1sib/ Yami), probably not born yet
Billy Cullinan's M/ and stepF/
Distribution of other people
People at Granite Downs during the early fifties
Whiskey (res: Indulkana) and two siblings, Riley (res: Indulkana) and Harry (deceased Indulkana 1983) and family
Huey Cullinan (res: Indulkana)
Treacle (res: Fregon) and sibling, Wonga (res: Fregon)
Tiger Baker (res: Indulkana) and family
Mick Lambina and family
People at Welbourne Hill
Billy Cullinan's M/ and stepF/
(i) nature of - N/A
(ii) effects of - Yami said people developed a skin rash after they had come into contact with the "dark cloud" [N3]
(i) involving anangu
Yami went away from Wallatina after the smoke with Kanytji. This was during hot time and not immediately after the "dark cloud"
(ii) involving others
Present / Subsequent medical data of people involved
Myrtle Wallatina's M/ (ini: Kunytjiriya) died in 1977-1978 of cancer and is buried at Indulkana.
Tommy Cullinan died in ALice Springs of cancer 1956.
Walter Wallatina was buried at Granite Downs airstrip. Yami says that sometime after the "cloud",
Walter (Yami's Kamaru) became increasingly ill and Kanytji (along with others) took him to the
strip awaiting the Flying Doctor. Walter died before the plane arrived and was buried there.
Queen's visit to Australia in 1954
[N1] See below for people who were not at Wallatina as well
[N2] Described in the following genealogy
ego Lily Wallatina, res: Mimili
002 Pompey Everard, res: Mimili
Gn1 (uncertain of birth order)
003 Linda Kutajti, res: Indulkana
006 Charly, res: deceased when Yami was living in Alice Springs c1975
007 Molly, res: Mimili
008 Billy Kutatji, res: Indulkana
009 Dick Wallatina's brother
-101 / Jackie
Gn2 as with all of Jackie's siblings, uncertain of father, but there were no children from the third marriage
Gn3 Andy Daeger's M/
-103 Jack Kumantjara, res: Mimili
-104 Teddy Edwards, res: Mimili
-105 Kay, deceased Mimili 1983
-106 Judy Mayawara, res: Mimili
-107 Ray, res: Mimili
-108 Bob Wamatjala, deceased Mimili c1981-2
-109 Kanginy, res: Mimili
-111 Jack Tjapilyi, res: Mimili
-112 Molly Tjapukula, res: Mimili, Gn3 May have been at Wallatina visiting her F/ Mutanya and M/ Lily Wallatina, malatja
-113 Huey Tjami, res: Mimili
N3 Yami gave this information after questioned on Judy Mayawara's
contention that there was no skin rash.
N4 Kelly's second F/ (ini: Wipiya, res: Fregon) married Walytjaka sometime after Kelly's first F/ died at Wallatina
N5 See Present / subsequent medical effects
Date of last entry