Ward 4a - The Military Industrial Border Complex


The Military Industrial Border Complex

A red dusty street in the Patjarr community is pictured at dusk. A power pole and electrical lines connect to houses. Vehicles and other signs of domestic life are present.

[imagecaption] Main Street of Patjarr Community, 2014. Photo: Jason Thomas. [/imagecaption]



The removal of families like Mr Ward’s from their country was a direct consequence of Australian British co-operation during the Cold War. They were endangered, as their lands lay in the Blue Streak missile/rocket testing flight path associated with the Weapons Research Establishment program. The removal from their traditional lands changed their lives.

Relocated to larger settlements, the desert peoples were encouraged to become sedentary dwellers dependent on western foods, healthcare and education. Extended families were split and members relocated to communities many hundreds of kilometres distant. Kinship ties were rendered asunder. At Warburton Mission the core members of what became known as the Ward Family found themselves on another Indigenous culture’s land. They were often treated poorly in the competition for scarce resources.

(Based on a longer narrative prepared for Deathscapes by Jan Turner.)


Please Read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.