Top 50 Humans of the Year – By The Animals

News from the Natural World: Top 50 Humans of the Year - the list is finally in and the animals have agreed on this years, Top 50 Humans.

Number 9 – Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield

Eileen Brown (left) and Eileen Wingfield, 2003 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners, Islands and Island Nations (Australia). Photo courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize

Aboriginal elders Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield survived half a century of government sanctioned nuclear contamination in the South Australian desert from weapons tests and exploitation of one of the world’s largest uranium mines. When the Australian government announced plans to bury nuclear waste from Sydney in Australia’s wild desert lands, these elders sprang into action. In 1995, Brown, Wingfield, and other elder women formed the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta Cooper Pedy Women’s Council (Kungka Tjuta) to stop the nuclear waste dump and protect their land and culture.

Now they travel round Australia speaking against the project and working at keeping their culture alive. The group’s declaration of opposition makes the following comments: ‘It’s from our grandmothers and our grandfathers that we’ve learned about the land. This learning isn’t written on paper as the whitefellas knowledge is. We carry it in our heads and we’re talking from our hearts, for the land.’

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