Overview and early life
Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a Kokatha elder from Ceduna on the far west coast of South Australia. She is a nuclear test survivor and an outspoken advocate of Aboriginal culture and environmental protection. Sue is a proud Ambassador for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Australia. She participated in the campaign leading to the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN the same year. The UN Treaty is the first to clearly outlaw nuclear weapons in a similar fashion to the bans on chemical and biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions. Today, Sue continues to campaign for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty.
Sue was a child at Koonibba Aboriginal Mission when the British tested nuclear weapons at Emu Field and Maralinga in the 1950s and 60s. Radioactive fallout travelled over her community and country, contaminating land and water. The nuclear experiments contributed to intergenerational health issues such as cancers and thyroid abnormalities.