Country, Culture, People, Future

Eddie Mabo

Remembering Eddie Mabo

Posted: June 29th, 2016

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Today we remember Eddie Mabo’s birthday, he would have been 80 years old. Eddie Mabo was born on the island of Mer in the Torres Strait, he was the key plaintiff seeking legal claim for ownership of lands on the island of Mer. This was the foundation of Native Title Claim. The high court decided in his favour and upheld the claim 10 years later in 1992.

From this landmark decision, the Government passed Native Title legislation in 1993 and the National Native Title Tribunal was established under this.

To commemorate Mr Mabo’s birthday, Google changed its front page to his likeness. You can see it here.

Anniversary of the Mabo Decision

Posted: June 3rd, 2014

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Today marks 22 years since the landmark decision  Mabo v. Queensland (No 2). That High Court decision overturned the doctrine of terra nullius, which was the legal fiction that Australia was unoccupied land when the British arrived, and had allowed Australian governments to ignore Aboriginal land rights for so long. The High Court found that native title exists, and that traditional owners have rights to the land, in accordance with traditional systems of law, except where those rights have been expressly extinguished (for example, through private ownership).

As a result of the High Court decision, the Federal Government, led by Prime Minister Paul Keating, introduced the Native Title Act 1993 to say how native title can be recognised.
The anniversary of the High Court decision, 3 June, is a public holiday in the Torres Strait every year, and also marks the end of National Reconciliation Week.

For more information visit Reconciliation Australia‘s resources page or  www.mabonativetitle.com