This badge is one of many produced in the 1980s in support of the anti-nuclear movement. The donor, Diana Pittock, writes of some of the activists and community groups:
Nuclear Free Australia was involved a number of rallies opposing the
government’s close alliance with the USA and its nuclear-equipped
military through the 1980s. People for Nuclear Disarmament was an[other]
active organisation, with local groups meeting in Melbourne regularly,
concerned about a nuclear threat to Australia. This was the Cold War
involving the USA, with which Australia,
together with New Zealand, had a close alliance,
the ANZUS Treaty. This
involved the threat of USA warships
which did not disclose whether
they had nuclear weapons on board [when] visiting Australian ports. At Pine
Gap in the Northern Territory there was a USA communications and
tracking station, [believed to be] operating as a spy base and command and control
centre in the event of nuclear war.
Also topical at that time was the threat of nuclear winter.
International scientific studies asserted that should
nuclear war occur in the northern hemisphere, the smoke and other pollutants
released could create a year-long ‘winter’ extending into the southern
hemisphere … Also, of course, the health effects of radioactivity
were a major concern. Australian Dr Helen Caldicott was, and is still,
a strong campaigner about the dangers of nuclear radiation, and helped
establish Doctors for a Nuclear Free Australia.
At various rallies and
in campaigning at election times [there] were opportunities to express a
opposing view to the government’s stance.