Karina Lester (Aboriginal Language Worker, the University of Adelaide)

1. What actions have you been taking to help realize the nuclear weapons ban treaty? Now that the treaty is open for signatures, what will be the focus of your work?

Since the UN Treaty negotiations back in March and June 2017 I have been speaking up and speaking to media about the opportunity given by ICAN for Aboriginal people of South Australia to speak strongly about the impacts felt by the British Nuclear Tests back in the 1950’s – 1960’s. ICAN has been an amazing platform for us Aboriginal people (Anangu) to have a voice and reach out to the many networks that exist. Unfortunately, Australia have not yet signed the treaty so there is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done to work with and encourage the Australian Government to sign the treaty.

2. What do you think is the key to creating a world without nuclear weapons? How can we make good use of the treaty to reach that goal?

First and for most. A strong and determined peoples of the world who feel passionate and strong about a world without nuclear weapons. Strong people, strong community and strong voices sends a strong message to the Governments of the world. That means commitment from organisations such as ICAN and others to continue to educate the wider community of the lies and risks of this industry, and to continue to support OUR STORIES.

Secondly then would be a true and genuine good will and commitment by the Governments of the world. Global agreement for World Peace.

ICAN and key Anti-Nuclear Weapons organisations globally need to now lobby hard with their Governments for their signature. We need to remind everyone of the harm it brings and the CATASTROPHIC disaster it brings to our people, our land, our waters OUR WORLD.

3. Could you please offer a message to the citizens of Hiroshima? And please share with us your impressions of Hiroshima, if you’ve visited our city.

Continue to be the messengers, and keep up the great work of sharing your stories globally. I know it is a very sad and tragic story but it is a story of truth, destruction and determination.

I get my strength from you (Hibakusha) and we Aboriginal people of South Australia stand with you on this global journey for WORLD PEACE a world free of NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

I did have the privilege of travelling to Hiroshima in 2015 with my daughter to attend the World Nuclear Victims forum, it is a very beautiful place, full of history and stories. A place full of pain BUT a place full of determination and good-will to share to the world about August 1945. Sad but inspiring too many to continue to share our stories.

I wish I knew Hiroshima before the A-Bomb.