The Blackheath History Forum continues their 2017 program with a talk by Dr Elizabeth Tynan. Dr Tynan talk will delve into a remarkable era in Australian history when this nation hosted another country’s nuclear weapons test program, and paid the price for decades.
The British commandeered 3200 square kilometres of South Australian desert in their desire to keep up with the arms race that they had helped to initiate. They named the site Maralinga (which means “thunder” in an Indigenous dialect). At this desert test range, experiments on the destructive capacities of atoms proceeded without complete safeguards, including the safeguards afforded by public scrutiny and accountability. Maralinga was born in secret atomic business, and has continued to be shrouded in mystery decades after the atomic thunder died away at the South Australian test site.
Dr Elizabeth Tynan is a senior lecturer at the James Cook University (JCU) Graduate Research School in Townsville. Her PhD from the Australian National University examined aspects of the British nuclear weapons tests in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. She is a former journalist and journalism academic with a background in both print and electronic media. Her popular history, Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story, was published by NewSouth in September 2016.
When: Saturday 26 August 2017, 4:00pm
Where: Blackheath Public School, Leichhardt St, Blackheath NSW 2785
Image: Courtesy of Blackheath History Forum